Jacks have a last lash
  |  First Published: May 2010

It’s getting cooler now but this time last month, the mackerel were making their last-ditch efforts and a few were still getting caught.

I just blended into the background and then tried to quietly sneak away after my disgraceful efforts trying to chase mackerel from my kayak. Even though I was unable to get one, there were plenty who did so I won’t give up all together.

Instead, next year I might have to get my workmate Chris Cahil (pictured on this page) to show me how it’s done.

The cooler weather over the past few weeks didn’t completely switch off the mangrove jacks, with a few good fish still being pulled from the snags. The smaller creeks north of Coffs, not to mention Coffs Creek itself, produced some good fish late this year and those who persisted were rewarded.

Smaller lures, 6cm to 10cm at most, have done the trick in enticing fish that by now would have had a lot of attention over the season. I don’t think we will see any more jacks for a few months now, though.


I haven’t chased a lot of bream over recent weeks, with only a couple of sessions in the Bellinger and Kalang rivers and a day trip up to the Clarence to fish a Gamakatsu Teams Series event (don’t as how we went!). A session up in the Clarence is always a treat, fishing the deep, endless retaining walls – it’s a great chance to try a few different tactics in situations not as abundant down here and it’s a challenging system to fish, too.

Locally, the headlands and coastal rock walls are fishing really well with kilo-plus bream regularly encountered on bait and lures. So you will see me hitting them plenty of times this month, for sure.

Although I had a bit of a bream void the past few weeks, I did pull my finger out and throw a few plastics for jew – one of my many other weaknesses.

I’ve been hitting a few of my normal southern haunts and the quality of fish is noticeably better than a few months ago.

The old faithfuls like big Squidgy Fish will still entice the schoolies and lately I’ve done quite well on 7” Gulp and Slam Jerkshads. The Slams have actually accounted for the better schoolies over the past few trips.

Its not all plastic for the schoolies, though, plenty of fish are coming in on bait fished in the surf gutters and I’m looking forward to some cold nights on the beach soaking bait this month.


Now that the mackerel mania seems to have subsided, we can settle into the fantastic Winter snapper fishing we’ve come to love over the past few years.

They reds congregated in close a few years back but since then they seem to be a little more spread out, with quality fish on shallow inshore reefs and out in the deeper water.

That’s fine by me – we don’t have to fish out of each other’s pockets to score a feed. The Dave Irvine Memorial Snapper Classic will be held on the June long weekend and there won’t be any snapper going home for a feed that weekend, it’s all catch-and-release.

Over the past few years it has grown into one of the premier fishing events on the coast and it’s sure to be a great event again this year. Whether you take part or just go and see some of the great attractions over the weekend, it’s worth checking out, I hope to see you there.

If you need any further info about the comp you should contact the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club on 02 6652 1534.

Apart from throwing plastics for snapper during the Classic this month, I’ll be on the beaches whenever I get the chance, throwing lures or bait for a nice big Winter jew. And I’m sure I’ll be able to find plenty of willing tailor as well – I’ll need bait so they’d better be there!

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