Looking for a sign
  |  First Published: October 2008

Writing fishing reports after the event is a piece of cake – unlike those between the pages of this magazine, which try to be predictive where possible.

Unfortunately we don’t rely much on hindsight or if we did we could tell you where the fish were and when you should have been there!

It’s a bit like the guy you meet in the caravan park when you arrive who tells you the fishing has gone quiet but they were going off last week and you should have been there.

If your luck is anything like mine in the holiday department (including the weather) I seem to strike the same scenario every time.

Of course, the mere fact that someone tells you that the fishing is quiet doesn’t mean it is. It is up to you to scratch out a few spots and times that you can encourage the fish to bite.

The seasonal Spring change has been in effect for a while now, with longer and warmer days, and I suspect we will have a few days this month when the mercury reaches near-record highs for the month.

Along with the warming weather we should see a few good schools of chopper tailor shredding the coastal bait schools along the beaches and rock fringes.

The fact is the same choppers will enter the lake and spinning for them from the seawalls on both sides is a relaxing early-morning event.

The run-out tide is good and the ends of the wall seem to be best during this period. Occasionally there is a monster or two to 4kg among the schools but the general size of the tailor is around 35cm to 40cm.

If you are taking a feed, remember to bleed the fish when you catch them and put them in a keeper bag to prevent the feline poachers running off with your catch.


The rocks have been fishing OK. It’s hard to make a song and dance about the action because it has been very much a case of hit and miss.

Some sessions are blinders with plenty of fish of whatever you are chasing, then there’s next to nothing.

The range of success is puzzling and extends right along the immediate coastal area.

A recent club comp saw rock fishos fishing their secret spots from Seal Rocks to Crowdy Head and all but two anglers reported poor results.

The lucky anglers stumbled on patches of fish and cleaned up, so the best bet is to stay mobile and don’t rely on any one spot to produce.

The salmon don’t seem to have pushed too far up this year, though a late run is probably not out of the question.

There is a good amount of bait off the coast and apart from the choppers and small kings, there hasn’t been too much worrying them. The bonito should appear soon, though, and put fear through the gars and slimies.

Offshore, the snapper have been providing plenty of action on bait and soft plastics. The plastics are the rage at the moment and some fish around 4kg and 5kg have been caught from the shallow reef areas along the coast.

Off Blackhead and around Latitude Rock, the regular anglers have been successful and the odd pearlie has been hitting the tables, too.


The lake has gone through one of it dormant periods when everyone bemoans the lack of fish and even the regulars have found the pickings a little scarce.

The warming water and longer daylight hours will soon trigger the growth of the butter prawns and shrimp in the tributaries and in turn will encourage the bream and whiting to fire up.

The longtom never seem to leave the estuary and will again cause havoc with the bream and whiting popper anglers this season. It

is a little early for the spawning aggregations of sand whiting over the flats but a few exploratory flicks with the poppers should be considered.

By the end of the month, flathead should be a common catch in the lower end of the lake and the big mommas will start turning up from late this month onward.

It will depend on the volume of rain and the effective run-off but fingers crossed for another big lizard Summer like last year’s.

Remember that any live bait for flathead, like whiting, should be of minimum legal length, even though it is only bait.

I’m not sure whether the new closed season on the bass and estuary perch had much effect on the local populations but I can assure you that the amount of rain we had back at the beginning of the year the bass season should be a blinder. Remember, too, Wild River Bass 2 is available at good tackle suppliers and is distributed by Daiwa.

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