Rewards on reefs and rocks
  |  First Published: July 2010

Winter sure has shown its true colours this year, but the icy weather hasn’t deterred local fishos, or the fish for that matter.

The cooler months are perfect for hitting the stones and apart from the odd day of swell and wind, they have been productive.

Casting baits from the rocks north of Coffs has been producing a lot of bream with fish up to a kilo regular and there have also been a few better quality Winter tailor starting to show up.

At least at this stage, the salmon seem not to be as thick as previous years.

There have also been some good luderick taken off the ocean rocks. John Hill recently had a great session at Sawtell, scoring a heap of quality luderick, the biggest of which just bumped 1.3kg to take the lead in the local comp.

If you happened to go to Sawtell headland recently I’m sure you would have noticed the transformation at the entrance to Bonville Creek. A new mouth has broken through and at high tide it looks like you could just about drive the QE2 in there!

It looks great. The old mouth, running out right beside the rocks, looks like it will become a trickle at best, which may affect the fishing from the stones a little but I’m very excited to see how the creek itself reacts to a bit more flow.

As always when the cooler weather hits Coffs, there are plenty of good snapper to be had and this year is no exception.

Skirted slow jigs are working well again this year and they are nice and easy to fish if there is a bit of strong wind or current.

A soft-tipped rod rigged with a Daiwa Bay Rubber, Gillies Octa Jig, and Shimano Lucanus or similar can be deadly simply left in the rod holder to allow the movement of the boat do the work.

Don’t forget about dropping a bait, though. Fresh bait has been turning up great pearlies on all the snapper grounds and a beautiful silver fish is always a welcome addition to the day’s bag of pink ones.

I have heard a few reports of leatherjackets beginning to cause some dramas out wider, with people fishing the deeper water coming across them occasionally. Let’s hope they don’t turn up in plague proportions like they did a couple of years back.


For something a little different offshore over the next few months, a couple of my workmates have been giving me the run-down on catching spanner crabs.

This isn’t as simple as dropping some pots up the creek, or as cheap, I might add.

We are talking deep water, large floats and a lot of rope, but I’m told the legal 1m by 1m frame with 10mm mesh, baited and sent to the bottom anywhere between 35 and 75 fathoms and will put you in with a chance at a feed of Spanner Crabs.

The boys showed me how it’s done recently, returning with a pleasant haul of fantastic looking spanners ready for the table.

They made it look easy but assured me there was a hard day’s work in it. I won’t know for sure until they take me out to show me their secret spots, I guess.

This month my fishing is going to have me travelling around a bit, with a number of bream comps up and down the coast.

I was at Nelson Bay in early July for Round 7 of the Gamakatsu Teams Series and as this issue hits the shelves in late July I should be on the waters of the mighty Clarence for the final ABT NSW Bream Qualifier.

Then it’s off to the Gold Coast for the Gamakatsu Series Round 8 and I might try and sneak into the Australian Fishing Trade Association show while I’m there to get a glimpse at the latest goodies from tackle producers here and from around the world.

But I’ll be back in Coffs in between trips to keep an eye on the water at home. I hear the drummer calling my name so I’ll be giving the rocks a hard time in between trips.

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