May 22, 2020
What a week of contrasting weather we have had, the first half of the week was relatively mild and calm and now we are feeling the effects of a pretty strong low-pressure system which looks like it’s going to hang about until around the middle of next week. While the wind, rain and swell will put a dampener on a lot of fishing options, there are still plenty of fish there for those wishing to brave the conditions.
The Estuary is full of fish at the moment. Most of the action is concentrated in the first quarter or so of the system, the area from the mouth of the river up to Wallis Island and The Cut. Bream are now in huge numbers and have settled along both rock walls, the bridge pylons and any of the Oyster Leases consisting of decent cover (look for those leases with plenty of growth on them). Catching these winter fish is very easy, all you need is a tiny sinker (or none at all if possible) running down to a #1 or #2 Baitholder Hook baited with a bit of Mullet, Prawn, Whitebait, Pilchard or Bonito Fillet (or any other bait you would like to try, chances are they will eat just about anything at the moment). Simply flick the bait in near a bit of structure or down along the rock walls and let it drift down slowly, you should get a bite fairly quickly, normally before it reaches the bottom. Alternatively, you can fish with soft plastic lures such as the Gulp Crabby, Bream are absolute suckers for these little lures!
Luderick are still schooled up along the northern rock-wall in good numbers but they were definitely fishing better earlier in the week. It may well be worth having a look at the bridge pylons, in ‘The Paddock’ or possibly around in Breckenridge Channel this weekend.
Flathead are really starting to show themselves in the rivers now, the Wallamba is fishing particularly well all the way up to the Discovery Caravan Park. There have also been some nice fish caught down around Coomba Park, if you decide to sneak down that way for a fish don’t be surprised if you run into some nice Snapper as well, there’s normally the odd one cruising around down there at this time of the year.
The local beaches have been very funny this week. 9 Mile still seems to be the better option but the Bream have definitely thinned a little, surprisingly I received some very good reports of big Whiting coming from the northern end of the beach earlier in the week. Tailor continue to be a frustration for many, most are reporting being able to find one or two fish each trip but that’s about as good as it gets. I did get one report through from an angler that had a half an hour session right on dark down at Jaineys Corner and he managed to land 10 good sized fish.
Jaineys is still fishing fairly well for Luderick and Bream off the rocks, as well as the odd rogue Black Drummer. For those wishing to target Drummer specifically, Booti has been producing the better fish and they are in good numbers. Those that fished out there last weekend said it was absolutely perfect, a good amount of wash but still fishable and the place was teeming with life. With the water still sitting at just under 22 degrees there is still the odd pelagic cruising about however this weekend’s weather rand swell may well put an end to the land-based game season.
Snapper have been a little tricky to find this week. Unfortunately, most of the inshore grounds close to home have been invaded by loads of small, mostly undersized fish. I fished Blackhead and 5 Mile yesterday and struggled to find anything over about 40cm, still great fishing as the little buggers are belting plastics and jigs like there’s no tomorrow but finding the bigger models is always better! Those that have managed to find the better fish have all had to do the miles. Dennis Shoals, Seal Rocks and the deeper reefs all seem to be holding the big fish. The forecast swell and weather should stir things up in a big way over the next few days so the fish could be anywhere once it settles down again. There was a few crazy fisho’s that headed out wide earlier in the week and their report back was that it was horrible out there with massive choppy waves pummelling the boat, they did however manage to find some nice fish including a good lot of tasty Gemfish.
May 15, 2020
We have been lucky to have had a near perfect week of May weather here in the beautiful Great Lakes. The nights and mornings are fairly chilly now but the days have been calm and mostly sunny, brilliant fishing weather actually!
Our estuary is a hive of activity at the moment, particularly down around the entrance where fishermen (and lots of Women which is awesome!) are flocking on a daily basis to take advantage of the red-hot Bream, Luderick and Mulloway action. Luderick have schooled up in a big way along the northern (Tuncurry) breakwall and are being caught in huge numbers by anglers using baits of Weed or artificial Weed flies. As long as you fish the run out tide you are just about guaranteed to find a fish or two, but more likely to find yourself catching them by the dozen! The fish are in great condition and most are big bronze thumpers which can be a bit of a handful on light gear.
The run-out tide has been great for those hoping to snag a mythical Mulloway this week. While there doesn’t seem to be many over about 110cm there is tonnes and tonnes of them down there and they are smashing small live baits or 6-8 inch soft plastic lures. Mixed in with the Mulloway are the ever-present Yellowtail Kingfish which seem to be feeding almost exclusively on Garfish at the moment making them very hard to trick!
Bream are the other species that comes to mind at this time of the year down around the break walls. Under normal circumstances you would be aiming to fish for these guys about the top of the tide however at the moment you can fish anytime you like and you will almost certainly run into a Bream or twenty! While a lot of the fish are around the 25-30cm mark there are also plenty of fish up over 40cm which make short work of light leaders!!!
The beaches continue to tick along fairly nicely with loads of nice Bream about as well as the odd Whiting and Flathead. There have been a few more Tailor reports this week which hopefully means that they will thicken up over the next week or so.
The local rock ledges have been fairly busy this week with plenty of anglers making the most of what is left of the land-based gamefish season. There is still some fairly nice water lapping the shore in places and these areas have been producing Longtail Tuna almost daily for those anglers who are dedicated to the chase. Other anglers have hung up their gamefish gear for the year and have now switched over to chasing Drummer, Bream and Luderick. Jainey’s corner has been particularly productive for all three species however just about any rock ledge that has a bit of a hole and wash over the top should hold fish at this time of the year.
I am very happy to report that the Snapper fishing offshore has kicked back in after a week or so of fairly average fishing. It’s almost as if someone flicked a switch and they magically re-appeared back on the inshore grounds in 10-40m and while there hasn’t been any trips this week consisting of huge numbers, the fish that are there seem to be of a decent size with not much coming over the side under 40cm. Further out, the deep drop brigade has had a few great days out wide. Bags consisting of Bar Cod, Snapper, Kingfish, Nannygai and Pearl Perch seem to be a common thing at the moment. We even saw a few Blue Eye caught earlier in the week so you just never know what you may run into if you do the miles and head out to the depths!!!!
Have a great weekend, enjoy this wonderful time of year!
May 7, 2020
While the cool change that we have experienced over the last week has slowed a few fishermen down, most anglers actually wait in great anticipation for the arrival of the ‘winter season’. The chilly weather gets us thinking of all sorts of angling opportunities; Big Bream, Black Drummer, Luderick, mega late season Tuna, Mulloway, Kingfish and Snapper to name but a few!
Wallis Lake continues to set itself up for the Winter with a lot of fish on the move now. For those of us clinging to summer, Flathead remain a very worthwhile option if we are happy to move with them as they make their way back up the system. There have been plenty of fish hanging about ‘the Cut’ and well up into the Wallamba River as well as down around Coomba Park, interestingly there has also been some nice Bream still holding in the Wallamba and down on the weed beds to the south of Wallis Island despite the inherent drive to go to sea to spawn.
For the serious Bream fisherman, you can’t really go past the breakwalls or any of the Oyster leases that sit between Wallis Island and the mouth of the river. I am hearing stories everyday now of monster Bream that have been ‘unstoppable’ as well as plenty of caught fish well over the 40cm mark. Most anglers are targeting them with lightly weighted baits of Mullet, Bonito, Tailor, Whitebait or Pilchards. For the more adventurous angler that’s up for a challenge, throwing small soft plastics on light line for Bream is hard to beat. Any fish over about 37cm will really test you and your gear when fishing 4 or 6 pound line and leader but when you manage to stop and land one it’s an awesome feeling!
Luderick numbers continue to build throughout the lower reaches of the system (towards the mouth). The ‘Paddock’ and bridge pylons are holding a fair few fish now but if you really want to get amongst them you have to fish the break walls. The northern wall is fishing particularly well at the moment with most fish being caught on the run-out tide. As is often the case, finding green weed is harder at the moment than finding the fish however they are very keen to whack a well presented weed fly which can be easily fished on a traditional Luderick rod using a standard float rig.
Large seas limited beach fishing opportunities earlier in the week however plenty of anglers have hit the sand in the latter half of the week and, with favourable tides and a full moon, there will be lots of people keen to soak a bait of an evening for a Mulloway over the weekend. Tailor continue to be somewhat sporadic, down on 7 Mile there have been a few fish about but not really enough to target, while on 9 Mile fishing for them very early in the morning seems to be fairly consistent. If you fail to find any Tailor don’t despair because there are loads of very nice Bream cruising along our coastline at the moment as well as the odd late Whiting. One thing worth mentioning is the number of really nice Flathead that are sitting on 9 Mile Beach. Local lure maker Rob Voorby has been walking the shore tossing small metal vibes and jigs finding loads of nice fish up to about 60cm.
The local rock fishing continues to impress. There are still plenty of Longtail Tuna about and now that we have entered the ‘late season’ period most of the fish left here are fairly solid in size, I have heard of a fair few 20kg+ fish this week. As the pelagics slow, the winter species start to come into their own. With a decent stir up earlier in the week its no surprise that there was a fair few anglers keen to see how many Drummer were about and I am pleased to say that most found a few fish. Those anglers that didn’t find any Drummer were still very pleased by the amount of big Bream and Luderick that are currently holding in the wash zones.
With big, unsettled seas and a full moon in play, this week has been a little tough offshore. The inshore Snapper fishing has been insanely difficult with a lot of boats relying on the good old Flathead grounds to fill the Esky for a feed. Those boats that have ventured out wide have fared much better managing to find mixed bags of Snapper, Pearl Perch, Kingfish, Nannygai and the odd Bar Cod. The FAD is still holding the odd Mahi Mahi, but you will have to fish through the small guys if you want to find one or two legal fish out there.
Have a great weekend, enjoy this wonderful time of year!
May 1, 2020
Despite the less than favourable conditions, the estuary has still seen plenty of fishing action. The breakwalls are still littered with loads of anglers every day and most have been having a ball tangling with big Bream, Luderick, Mulloway, Kingfish, Luderick and Leatherjacket. Along with the walls, the bridge pylons and the oyster leases in ‘the Paddock’ are also holding some very nice Bream, many of which with leave anglers wondering just how big they were!
With Mullet, Luderick and Bream all on the move undertaking their annual spawning migrations, it’s no surprise that there have been some really nice Mulloway hanging about the rock walls taking advantage of the smorgasbord which is on offer at the moment. There has also been loads of Pelagic action down around the mouth of the river with Kingfish and Tuna hammering bait schools on every incoming tide, the Tuna have been seen as far as the bridge even!
Local beaches continue to fish well and the weather forecast for the next week looks perfect for it. 9 Mile continues to impress with great catches of Bream and Whiting along with more than a few Flathead and Mulloway. 7 Mile is on the improve and the swell forecast for Sunday should do wonders, once things settle I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a great run of Tailor down there as its often about this time of the year that we see some really good fishing off the Elim, Santa Barbara and ‘Pump Station’ entrances.
Local rock fishermen haven’t given up on chasing the Longtail Tuna, Cobia and Mackerel just yet and while this week has been tough for the Land Based Game brigade there was a few good fish caught earlier in the week from the ledges down south. With a bit of swell and cooler temperatures forecast, the next week is shaping up to be much more favourable for the rockhoppers chasing Bream, Black Drummer and Luderick. It’s hard to beat a morning on the stones tossing crabs or Cunjevoi into wash zones in search of extra-large Bream and Black Drummer, just make sure you fish sensibly and take a mate or two.
Offshore has been tough due to the weather this week. Last weekend saw a lot of boats on the water until the wind picked up on Sunday afternoon and most boats managed to find a few fish. Plenty of anglers made the trek north to Snapper Rock and Dennis Shoals in search of Mackerel, there was a few fish caught but the action was fairly slow apart from the thousands of Mack Tuna and Bonito up there, like always the boats that put the time in eventually got the rewards. The Snapper fishing has been a little hit and miss this week. The shallow grounds have held plenty of fish but they have been very patchy, it would seem that most of the shallow water fish are hanging about the reefs to the north of Redhead/Snapper Rock. Unfortunately, the reefs sitting in 30-80m have been strangely quiet of late apart from a few Trag and the odd Snapper, however the deeper grounds in 100m+ have been fishing very well for Kingfish, Bar Cod, Nannygai, Pearl Perch and Snapper. The saving grace yet again for a lot of crews have been the great Flathead on offer out there, while the overall size is not that great there seems to be an endless supply of 35-50cm fish at the moment which are perfect Esky fillers!
April 24, 2020
This has to be the best run of weather I have seen for a few years and its awesome to see that even though we are somewhat limited as to what we can and can’t do there has been loads of locals out enjoying our beautiful waterways and beaches. Please don’t forget about the social distancing and unnecessary travel regulations in place though, we have been so good up until now and as a community we have done really well as far as supressing the spread of COVID-19 goes so to see us slacken off now would be very disappointing.
On the fishing front, this month is one of my favourites. You can fish for absolutely anything at the moment and chances are that even if you don’t succeed in catching your target species, you will catch something! Bream continue to be very good throughout the bottom of the system, an older gentleman reported to me earlier today that “the Bream are jumping out of the water down at the bridge, I’ve never seen them this good!” Baits of Chicken Gut, Mullet Gut, Mullet strips, Bonito strips or Whitebait are all working very well. Flathead are still about in fairly good numbers up around Wallis Island and Coomba Park and chances are that you will find the odd school of Squid mixed in with them. There have been plenty of School Prawns about over the recent ‘dark’ so it’s no surprise that the Whiting have been fairly active up on the flats.
The mouth of the river is always worth checking out during the ‘Mullet run’, the action has been a little on the quiet side apart from the School Mulloway (up to 110cm or so) that have been there for the last couple of months.
The local beaches continue to produce plenty of fish. 9 Mile is still the standout and is holding plenty of stud Bream, Whiting, Dart and Flathead to 70cm. I have heard of a few small Mulloway mixed in with the Whiting so it may well be worth going for a look over the weekend, the tides should be perfect for it!
The rock fishing scene has been red hot over the past week. The bread and butter fishermen have been out in force chasing Luderick, Bream and Drummer with Jainey’s Corner has been particularly productive. The Land Based Game enthusiasts are still managing to find some quality fish, the weather has been great for it, there’s loads of bait about and the water is amazing at the moment.
Conditions for offshore fishing have been amazing this week. The water is absolutely beautiful at the moment and with a bit of luck it should stay like this for some time yet. Snapper are still being caught all over the place, there’s some great fish in on the shallow grounds to the north but there have also been loads of good fish caught out in 200m! The intermediate reefs in 40-70m are fishing really well for Trag and the odd Pearl Perch, the more prominent peaks are worth prospecting for a sneaky Kingfish as well. The wider grounds have been fishing great as well this week and I would say there will be a lot of boats taking advantage of the flat seas to head out there on Saturday, there has been a real mixed bag out there lately with boats bring back Kingfish, Bar Cod, Snapper, Nannygai and Pearl Perch.
On the pelagic front, things have been fairly steady this week. There are loads of Mack Tuna and big Bonito about which can be frustrating, however mixed in with them are some very nice Spotted Mackerel, the odd Spanish Mackerel and more than a few Cobia so it’s definitely still worth putting some time in on the shallow reefs. The FAD is still holding loads of Mahi Mahi and while most fish are small there is the odd fish of 80-100cm out there.
April 17, 2020
We have been blessed with absolutely amazing weather over the past week and it’s been great to see so many people getting out and about in a sensible, distanced manner to take full advantage of it! On the fishing front things have been fairly good with most anglers managing to find a few fish no matter where they go.
The estuary is full of life at this time of the year; baitfish are continually moving in and out of the system and Bream, Mullet and Luderick have all started their annual run to sea to spawn. The ‘Mullet Run’ kicked off over the long weekend with some huge schools of fish heading out onto 9 Mile beach, hopefully with export restrictions and lower demand big numbers of these breeding fish will have a chance to spawn this year! Bream numbers remain very good along the rock walls and most are of a good size and can be caught fairly easily using a lightly weighted strip bait of Mullet or Bonito floated down along the rocks. Luderick continue to school up around the bridge pylons and along the rock walls and while the season hasn’t kicked off in earnest yet, a few anglers have managed to bag out on some very nice fish already. Mixed in with the hordes of Bream and Luderick are some very nice Leatherjackets so make sure you take a few small long shank hooks with you if you’re heading out for a fish!
The local beaches continue to fish very well. Bream have begun to move up and down the coast in huge numbers and can be caught off just about any of our beaches. 9 Mile seems to be holding some particularly chunky models which are smashing Mullet strips. Whiting have also been great on 9 Mile of late which is no surprise given the amount of worms hiding in the sand there at the moment! Tailor continue to be a bit of a frustration for anglers, they can be there one morning and gone the next, mind you the fish that are about are all fairly nice.
Rock fishermen continue to hit the stones in search of Tuna, Cobia and Mackerel and reports of all three species have been filtering through all week. The Tuna seem to have slowed up a little this week but the numbers of Cobia about have more than made up for it! For the bread and butter specialists there have been some stonker Bream about as well as the odd Drummer and Groper.
Offshore fishing has been very hit and miss this week. Conditions have been nearly perfect for heading outside and plenty of boats have taken the opportunity to do so. On the pelagic front, there are still Mackerel and Cobia hanging about however fishing for them can be insanely frustrating! Mack Tuna and big Bonito continue to make nuisances of themselves and anglers have found themselves having to fish through 15 or 20 Tuna to finally get a mackerel bite….. Snapper have saved many a day this week and there have been some absolute crackers landed in the shallows to the north, the best I saw all week was a very nice 85cm fish which actually hit a slow trolled Slimy Mackerel. A little further out, the reefs in 40-80m have been holding plenty of nice Teraglin as well as the odd Snapper while the deeper reefs in 80+m have been fishing great for a mixed bag of Pearl Perch, Snapper, Kingfish and Bar Cod.
April 11, 2020
Around Easter is when we see some of the best fishing action for the whole year, there is a huge array of species on offer and no matter where you choose to fish you are likely to run into something worth catching! This year is shaping up to be no different, however with the COVID cloud hanging over our heads we must be very mindful of our actions and ensure that we adhere to all of the rules and regulations that have now been very clearly set out for us. Yes, we are definitely allowed to go fishing from either the shore or the boat, however please make sure that if you do you do it in a sensible manner; keep your distance from others, stay local (DON’T TRAVEL) and don’t linger around boat ramps or cleaning tables. If we, as anglers, do the right thing this holiday period we will be able to enjoy our sport throughout the rest of the crisis, if we decide to act like morons we may well lose the freedoms that we are lucky to still have…..
Local estuary fishing is still firing. Big Bream are about in huge numbers down around the bridge and rock walls with fish well up over the 40cm mark being fairly common. Baits of Mullet, Bonito, Slimy Mackerel and Pilchard are all working really well and the fish can be caught at any time/tide. In with the Bream there is some very solid Leatherjacket, I saw one during the week that was a tad over 40cm! Flathead have slowed up considerably this week, however those that have put the time in have found plenty of fish and most are of a good size (45-60cm). Like always, artificial offerings are outfishing any baits and the fish seem to be more numerous up around Wallis Island, Regatta Island and ‘the Cut’.
Fishing from our local beaches has been a contentious issue this week with the local council initially deciding to close all beaches to all activity as of midnight on Wednesday. However, luckily for us, further details of the closures revealed that the enforcement agencies would not be issuing fines or warnings for individuals who are using the beaches for exercise (provided that they are doing so sensibly). Fishing-wise, the local beaches are still definitely worth a look. All beaches are producing some nice Tailor at the moment and 9 Mile Beach is fishing very well for Bream, Whiting, Flathead and school Mulloway. I have even seen a very nice Longtail Tuna which was landed on a local beach this week after it came in close enough to smash a stickbait which was intended for a Tailor.
On our local ledges all systems are go. There is loads of bait about and plenty of predators mowing their way through it. The Longtail Tuna action has been very well spread out this week, it doesn’t really matter where you choose to fish, you are in with a good chance of seeing a fish or two. Along with the Tuna there has been the odd Mackerel but the Cobia have been strangely quiet. Not all fishermen are after the pelagic speedsters, this is a great time of the year to have a go at nailing a few Black Drummer, big ocean Bream and Luderick.
Offshore has been fairly good this week. Pelagic species are about in fairly good numbers now however targeting them can be a very frustrating game. As is the case with most types of fishing, those anglers that put in the hours will be the ones who find the most success. This years’ Mackerel are very healthy with most Spotties being up around the 6-8kg mark, mixed in with them are some very nice Spanish with one fish during the week hitting the 28kg mark (which was landed on 27lb wire). If you decide to chase the pelagics and find no joy, don’t despair because the same inshore reefs are also holding plenty of very nice Snapper. It’s amazing how many good ‘Reds’ get taken every year on live baits intended for Mackerel…. The deeper reefs are holding plenty of Trag and Snapper as well as the odd Kingfish and Bar Cod.
April 3, 2020
After many weeks we finally have great water off Grassy Head. This has brought good numbers of Spotted Mackerel and the odd Spanish back to this area. On the bad side this area is loaded with Sharks praying on your catch. A few Fisho’s are also heading further north with some good results. On the bottom there are a few Reds coming in but mostly just legal fish with the odd Pearl Perch amongst them. Off the Jail there have been a few Spotted Mackerel with a couple of nice Wahoo starting to show up. Mac Tuna are in good numbers along the coast with a thumper or two amongst them. Kings are around Fish Rock and Green Island while Black Rock is still holding a few Mackerel and Cobia. You will need to search for bait because the normal Bait grounds have been slow.
It has been tough to find that elusive Jewfish in the river so maybe search for one of those monster Macleay Flathead that have been showing up over the last few weeks. Bream are all along the walls but the big units are missing in action this week. Whiting and Flathead are around Clybucca up to Fisherman’s in fair numbers with a run in tide more productive. Past Jerseyville the Whiting numbers are good taking Nippers and Worms.
Rock Hoppers are getting amongst some nice Tailor with a few Kings and Tuna. One or two Spanish have been caught off the ledges around Hat Head.
The beaches all are fishing well for Whiting and Bream with Smoky giving up a few Tailor in the mix.
March 27, 2020
We are currently living in a very confused, worried and somewhat scary world. Many have lost their jobs, closed their businesses or been left in a state of limbo, still employed but not making any money due to shutdowns. With no clear plan or vision being offered to us by our leaders, it’s very hard to know what to do or how to feel. We are not yet at a stage of lockdown that requires us to stay at home 24/7, we are still fairly free and able to move about so we can still get out for a fish and a bit of peace and quiet. PLEASE, if you are out and about, only go from A to B, do what you need to do and leave again. Wherever you go, limit your contact with people and products and if you are unwell stay home! The NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it very well yesterday when she said that, if you are out and about, instead of worrying about contracting COVID-19, act as if you have COVID-19 and as if you are trying your best not to spread it. If we all do this, no one should become infected!
Like I said, thank goodness we are still able to fish, for many it is fishing that comforts them and gives them strength. Luckily the fishing is amazing right now! In our estuary you can pretty much catch anything you like. Bream are hanging about the lower sections of the system in huge numbers and most are of a good size with the odd really big fish among them, the biggest I have heard of this week was 49cm. The better fish are absolute suckers for a well-presented bait of brined Bonito, Slimy Mackerel or Pilchard but can also be tricked fairly easily with a smaller profiled soft plastic such as a Gulp Crabby. Flathead are still about in good numbers as well. While they may not be in the numbers that they were a month ago, there is still plenty there and most are of a good size.
This years’ Luderick season seems to have kicked off nice and early with a few anglers having some great sessions chasing them along our rock walls. There is some nice weed growing in the pond near the Marine Rescue watch tower at the moment so it’s a fairly easy proposition.
Local beaches have been fishing fairly well this week. 9 Mile is holding good Bream, Whiting and the odd Flathead. There’s no gutter that is producing more fish than any others, just hit the beach and find a good-looking patch of water and you should find fish. 7 Mile is starting to fish a little better now however there has been a fair bit of swell down that way this week which has made things difficult. The area down around ‘Elim’ has been holding some really nice Tailor at dawn and dusk and the fish are taking lures as well as Pilchard or Garfish baits.
The local stones continue to be a little hit and miss for the Land Based Game guys. There are definitely fish about and plenty being caught but they are quite sporadic which means that some days can be fairly long and testing! Much more reliable fishing can be found not far to the north at Crowdy Bay so it may well be worth the extra 40min drive up the road at the moment.
On a whole the offshore fishing has been fairly consistent this week. There are still plenty of snapper about, the better fish seem to be up around Dennis Shoals. Blackhead and Snapper Rock are still worth a look but reports from these areas have not been overly positive with a lot of undersized fish being caught and nothing over about 2kg. Snapper Rock did produce a nice Spangled Emperor earlier in the week though, these visitors from the north are always welcome! The deeper reefs in 35-80m are still holding some nice Teraglin and the odd Pearl Perch, I haven’t heard of any Barracouta this week so fingers crossed they might be finally gone!
Pelagic fish are definitely about. There have been a few Mackerel caught locally however there have been many more fishless failures than trips of success, fishing out of Crowdy will give you a much better chance at running into a few of these toothy critters.
Have a great weekend, please look after yourselves and each other!
March 20, 2020
Estuary: Wallis Lake continues to fish very well for the more popular species. Flathead are still being caught in fairly good numbers throughout the bottom of the estuary, they have definitely thinned out a little in numbers but the fish that are there are mainly solid 40+cm models. Soft plastics and soft vibes have accounted for the majority of fish; however, those soaking live Mullet or Herring have also been catching quite a few. Bream can be caught absolutely everywhere at the moment. The Rock walls and Oyster Leases down towards the mouth of the estuary are getting better and better every day, interestingly the rivers are also starting to fire again after a month or so of being a little on the quiet side due to all of the lovely rain we have had. Sand Whiting have been a bit slow up on the flats around Wallis Island and Lanis where they are normally a sure thing, instead it would seem that the majority of the fish are hanging about down around the Bridge and Rock Walls. I have seen some very nice 40cm fish that have been caught this week at the back of the Rock Pool net, once you find the schools of fish you should be able to tempt them fairly easily with a well-presented Prawn, Worm or Yabbie.
Beach and Rock: There has been a little bit of swell about over the last week which has made it a little tough to hit the sand. On the quieter days, plenty of anglers have been trying their luck and most have been finding a few fish. 9 Mile Beach is still fishing great for Whiting, Bream and the odd Flathead, Tailor are still about sporadically, you really have to be fishing right on dusk or dawn to give yourself the best chance. 7 Mile Beach has improved marginally on last week, there has been some great Tailor caught late of an afternoon and a few more Bream and Whiting along the gutters. Hopefully the little bit of swell that we have had over the last few days will help in forming some better gutters down there.
Once again, I don’t have a whole lot to report from the stones. There are definitely fish hanging about but as of yet there has not been too much Tuna or Mackerel action. Conditions are looking fairly good for the next few days and we saw some nice water push in during the week so it shouldn’t be long until things go crazy! While you wait for some pelagic action, there are loads of really nice Bream and small Kingfish about which can be great fun on the light gear.
Offshore: The fishing offshore remains very good. We had a few unsettled days this week which made it hard to get out, however those boats that have managed to sneak out have found plenty of fish. Snapper are still being caught just about everywhere. The shallow inshore reefs (10-30m) have probably fished the best and have been producing a lot of bigger fish up to 6kg. The fish have been taking a bit of a mixture of baits, plastics and jigs. A visiting angler fished a reef in 25m using Kabura jigs and got absolutely destroyed 6 times in a short session which saw 15 fish make the esky, no fish were under 50cm! A little further out (40-80m) you can expect to find a variety of fish including Snapper, Trag, Pearl Perch and Kingfish. I had a report this morning of one boat that managed to run into a school of very big Trag, the biggest was a little over 5kg which is a very nice fish. Unfortunately, the deeper reefs to the south that have been holding big numbers of Pearl Perch of late seem to have gone quiet this week with the much sought after Pearlies being replaced with the dreaded Barracouta!!!
On the pelagic front there are still all sorts of fish sneaking about. The FAD is holding plenty of nice Mahi Mahi and just about every angler that’s fished there recently has a story of being ‘smoked’ by something huge! I have heard a few whispers of Mackerel this week, the bait and water are certainly good enough for them so it may well be worth having a look for them on your next trip.
March 13, 2020
Estuary: We have had another awesome week of fishing here in the Great Lakes, the weather has cooled a little and the days have been mainly overcast which is perfect. Bream are still the standout species by a mile. The rock walls are fishing particularly well for them and they are taking just about any bait you can think of with Mullet, Whitebait, Pilchards, Prawns and Yabbies are all working well. If you prefer to throw lures for them, small crustacean profiled soft plastics are working great just remember to fish a slight as you possibly can in both jig head weight and leader weight. Along with the Bream, you can also expect to see the odd Snapper, Blackfish, Flathead and Leatherjacket along the rock walls. Flathead are still fishing fairly well for most, like I said last week, focus your efforts on the areas that are holding the cleanest water and don’t be afraid to have a go for them on the top of the tide. Sand Whiting have been really good this week in both size and numbers. These tasty little morsels can be easily caught using Yabbies, Worms or Prawns, alternatively you can also chase them with 70-100mm surface lures such as the famous Bassday Sugapen. Luderick numbers are slowly increasing and a few early birds are chasing them each day and managing to get plenty, they seem to be particularly fond of Cabbage Weed at the moment and are in better numbers on Tuncurry Breakwall.
Beach and Rock: It’s been a bit of a funny week on our beaches this week. 9 Mile Beach has been fishing very well for most species this week. Whiting and Bream have been very good right along the beach and the northern end has produced a few Mulloway to 12kg this week, the first I have heard of these beautiful fish on 9 Mile for ages! Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for 7 Mile Beach to the south, while it normally is a very consistent beach to fish, at the moment it has very little to offer except for the odd Tailor during the low light periods.
The local stones are absolutely littered with baitfish, Bonito, Mack Tuna and Bream at the moment. While schools of feeding Longtail Tuna have been spotted all over the place, they are yet to move in close enough to the rocks to be targeted successfully. With a strong Southerly forecast for this weekend, I would say that next week should produce a fish or two. For a few very dedicated fishermen there have still been some nice Snapper hanging about the rocks, targeting these fish takes a lot of time and patience but once you work them out it can be unbelievably rewarding.
Offshore: Our offshore scene remains very productive. Snapper can be caught on just about any piece of reef you can think of and most are of a decent size. The shallow grounds to the north have quietened a little due to the full moon that we are moving through but are still producing the odd fish. By far the majority of fish tend to be hanging on those reefs sitting in 25-50m of water and you can expect to find plenty of Trag and the odd Pearl Perch mixed in with them. The deeper reefs out in 80-100m have fished well on the days where there hasn’t been too much current and they have been holding Snapper, Pearl Perch, Kingfish and even the odd Bar Cod.
Normally by now we have seen a few Mackerel passing over the cleaning tables, however this year everything seems to be delayed by a few weeks. While there have been reports of fish over the past couple of weeks, they definitely are not here in numbers yet and I am yet to see any proof of them being caught. With a stiff southerly forecast over the next couple of days and seeing some nice fish caught not far to the north of us, I would say it won’t be long until the razor gang turns up!
Have a great weekend, please look after yourselves and each other!
March 6, 2020
Estuary: It’s been a funny old week on Wallis Lake, anglers seem to be either catching loads of fish and buzzing with excitement or barely catching any fish and horribly confused! The happiest of all at the moment are the Bream fishermen, Bream are about in huge numbers throughout the lower sections of the system. The break walls have been fishing particularly well and most fish have been 30cm or better and in great condition. The easiest way to chase a few of these brawlers is by using bait, just about any bait will work with Mullet, Chicken, Whitebait and Pillies being the preferred. Flathead have been very interesting, Tony from Forster Estuary Charters and the lads from ‘Yep I’m On Fishing’ both had great sessions on them earlier in the week, both parties fished up around the Wallis Island/Lani’s area, however I have had reports daily from anglers struggling to find many fish at all. I think a big factor at the moment with the Flathead is finding that clean water, areas such as the Cut and the flats in around Jonnel Park/Native Dog Island are all heavily influenced by the Wallamba River which is still very dirty, on the contrary the flats around Lani’s, in Breckenridge Channel and over the back of Wallis Island see very little effect from the residual run off that the northern section of the system is experiencing. Sand Whiting have been fairly good this week with some great fish coming from the flats down around the Bridge on Yabbies. They’re also still attacking surface lures on the top of the tide with gusto, a visiting angler had a cracking session on Thursday that consisted of 17 Whiting to 42cm with a few Bream and Flathead mixed in between them!
Beach and Rock: Our local beaches have been amazing this week. Whiting, Bream and Flathead have all be about in big numbers. 9 Mile has fished particularly well at the southern end towards the breakwall, it would seem that the recent rain has pushed a lot of Whiting and Flathead out onto the beach and there has also been some great Tailor about early of a morning. The biggest frustration on 9 Mile is the amount of weed floating about, if you can find a weed free gutter you will find fish!
Our local stones have been very busy this week, there is a real mix of anglers out there at the moment as on one hand we have the dedicated Land-Based Game fishermen waiting for a pelagic speedster to come along, while on the other hand we have a band of bread and butter warriors who have been having a ball on big fat ocean Bream, Snapper and Drummer. Bream numbers are unbelievable along our coastline at the moment and most fish are of a very nice size, the early run Black Drummer have mainly been small fish but there is the odd 50+cm model among them. Unfortunately, the Land Based crew is still waiting for the season to really kick off, there are definitely Mack Tuna and Bonito about, and there has to be a Cobia or two sneaking about but as of yet we haven’t seen any Longtail Tuna or Mackerel.
Offshore: The offshore fishing has remained fairly consistent over the past week on the days where the wind has allowed us to get out! Snapper have been a little bit tricky to find but once you figure out where they are it’s a breeze. The shallow reefs to the north have been particularly good with plenty of fish coming from water under 10m deep, the best I saw this week was a very fat 85cm model which hammered a plastic and decided to fight up high in the water column in 9m, talk about lucky! Reefs sitting in 20-50m have been a bit of a patchy affair but again once you find a school there is some nice 2-4kg fish there. The deeper reefs have been holding some nice Trag and the odd Pearl Perch but unfortunately the dreaded Barracouta just won’t go away.
I haven’t got much to report at all on the pelagic front but the fact that there are Watsons Leaping Bonito about means that there has to be some good fish sneaking about.
February 28, 2020
Estuary: With things settling down and returning to ‘normal’ after all of the rain that we had a couple of weeks ago the estuary fishing has really improved. Fish have begun to spread back out again now, Bream in particular can be caught just about anywhere with some cracking fish coming from the break walls, well up into the tributaries and just about any structure in between. Flathead just keep on keeping on and with the nice warm water that we have here at the moment they should stay good for a little while yet. Like always, artificial presentations are catching the majority of the fish however Prawns and Whitebait are also working quite well if you prefer to fish with bait. Sand Whiting have been fairly good again this week, fishing the top of the tide and the first half of the run-out seems to be most productive time to have a go with Beach Worms, Yabbies and Prawns all working a treat. The local Luderick have calmed down a bit now that the flood water has well and truly stopped running, up until this week they were being caught on all sorts of baits as they gorged themselves on all of the dead and dislodged morsels of food that were flowing out to sea. While the fish are still there, you will have to revert back to a more traditional method of targeting them. Cabbage baits seem to be working particularly well at the moment but any weed should do the trick really. The breakwall is holding good numbers of Mulloway at the moment and the fish are fairly easy to tempt into taking a soft plastic lure or live bait, unfortunately most fish are only small with the bigger fish in the school only being 8-10kg. If you do manage to figure these amazing fish out, please look after the undersized ones, support their bodies if you take them out of the water and return them as quickly as possible!
Beach and Rock: Our local beaches have been fairly nice to fish this week and most have some accessible, close to shore gutters along them that are very comfortable to fish. 9 Mile Beach is fishing very well for Whiting, Bream and Flathead as well as the odd early morning Tailor. 7 Mile Beach is fishing very similar but is also producing some nice Dart and occasionally a small Mulloway. Our local rock ledges are poised ready to explode with action as soon as the first Longtail Tuna start to filter through. There are a few early birds that have been testing the waters and so far, I have not heard of anything more than Mack Tuna. However, hearing that Port Macquarie has seen a bit of action during the week leaves me with no doubt that the first good fish will be caught over the next week or so.
Offshore: Going offshore at this time of the year is amazing. The amount of life out there at the moment is absolutely insane. Water temperatures are great and it’s definitely warm enough for all of those pelagic species that we love to target. While I am yet to see a picture of any Mackerel caught locally yet this year, I have no doubt that the inshore reefs up north would have some hanging about them. Snapper have been the standout again this week, they have been holding on the inshore reefs in really good numbers and most fish are of a nice size sitting between 1.5-3kg. BJ Freihaut from the Bulahdelah Fishing Club scored a really nice fish on Thursday that went 87cm, the fish belted a whole brined Pilchard. The deeper reefs are holding plenty of Trag however there are still some very annoying Barracouta sitting down deep so if you drop your bait or lure down and get bitten off out there it might be worth moving to your next mark! Our FAD is still producing plenty of Mahi Mahi, unfortunately most are only just legal at best. I can wait to see what turns up over the next week or two, gear up and strap yourselves in because I think it could be a cracking Autumn!
February 21, 2020
Estuary: It’s been an interesting week on the water here in the Great Lakes with some very mixed results for anglers. There’s a lot of fresh still exiting the system and most of the more successful fishing missions have been centred about the bottom of the estuary. Concentrating your efforts on areas between Wallis Island and the mouth of the river will give you the best chance at catching a few fish. Bream have been the standout by a mile this week, the torrential rain and rough seas have done a couple of things to really kick the Bream fishing into gear. First of all, it has pushed a lot of fish down into the lower section of the river, some fish had already moved down prior to the rain which is quite normal for this time of the year but we now have huge numbers of fish settled upon just about any structure you can think of – the bridge, oyster leases and the rock walls are all worth checking out. Secondly, the fresh water and recent rough seas have killed, flushed out and dislodged all sorts of food and the very best place to take advantage of this smorgasbord that is currently on offer is the Rock Walls or the Bridge Pylons. Flathead are still fishing fairly well despite the fresh water, as long as you stick to the cleaner parts of the lake you should find fish on most of the drop offs, weed edges and Oyster Leases. Soft plastics and soft vibes are by far the most successful way of chasing a feed of Flatties. Sand Whiting continue to surprise anglers with how willing they are to feed in the dirty stuff. Even the lure tossers are still managing some very nice fish off the flats, Tony from Forster Estuary Charters has even managed a few fish on the good old Cicada lures!
This week has been really good on the crustacean front. Prawns have been plentiful and have been scooped up by the dozen along Breckenridge Channel by both boaties and people on the bank or jetties. You can either scoop a handful to use as bait and turn into Flathead, Bream or Whiting fillets or keep scooping enough for a feed on their own! Crabs have also been on the move, unfortunately any river crabbing is off the cards and a lot of anglers have reported having dead crabs in their traps up the tributaries due to the flood water. However, those working the ‘big lake’ from Wallis Island down to Pacific Palms are having a ball catching plenty of Blue Swimmers with the odd nice Mud Crab mixed in.
Beach and Rock: With the swell dropping off earlier in the week our beaches are still going through a bit of a re-forming process at the moment which can make it a little tough to fish them. There is also a lot of debris still in the water on some beaches which can be an absolute pain as it gets snagged and tangled in your line. However, those anglers that have hit the sand this week have been delighted by how good the fishing is despite all of the obstacles! 7 Mile Beach has been fishing well for nice Bream, Dart and the odd Whiting. 9 Mile Beach is probably the dirtiest of all of the beaches and it has fished really well over the last couple of days for big Bream and solid Whiting and Tailor up to 45cm, the only downside to fishing 9 Mile is the amount of Shovel Nosed Rays and Stingrays that are currently calling it home!
Rock fishermen relished the rough conditions that we had recently. There was some red-hot Drummer, Bream and Luderick action to be had for a few days before the swell flattened off. The Bullring and the Tanks saw a lot of action on the Luderick front while the holes around North One Mile and Pacific Palms produced the bulk of the Drummer. Unfortunately, the heavy rains that we had have pushed a lot of dirty water out of the river systems which may see the land-based game fishing season stall for a week or two, however the inshore water between Forster and Seal Rocks is fairly clear, full of bait and of a good temperature so with a bit of luck things will be back on track very shortly.
Offshore: The offshore conditions have been fantastic for much of this week. The rough conditions that we had last week have really stirred things up and the Snapper are loving it! The shallow reefs have been fishing really well, even Latitude Rock has been producing loads of nice 2-4kg fish early of a morning or late in the afternoons. The reefs to the north are still fairly dirty due to the amount of run off coming out of the local estuaries but they are still holding plenty of Snapper and I think now would be a great time to try and look for a Mulloway or two up around Snapper Rock. As soon as things settle and the water clears up a bit, it will be very interesting to see what turns up. We have some very nice patches of water inshore already and the bait and temperature is there so the pelagic fish that we all love to chase shouldn’t be too far off!
February 14, 2020
Estuary: How amazingly good has all of this rain been! While it will present some challenges for anglers in the short term, we should see some red-hot fishing once it all settles down again. As you can imagine, our estuary systems have all had a really good flush out over the past week or so and there is still a lot of fresh water to exit the rivers yet. On the fishing front, the first half of the week was all but a write off due to the rough conditions and amount of freshwater in the lake, however the tail end of the week has seen some much nicer, clean water pushing in with the high tide and the fishing has been fairly good (there has even been the odd Kingfish still about!). The rock walls always attract a lot of attention during big rain events and for good reason. There have been some very nice Bream taken from the walls and around the bridge this week, the best I have heard was a 46cm beast which hit a 70mm hardbody that was meant to be for a Flathead! In among the Bream have been some very hungry Luderick which can be a funny fish during a flood as they tend to eat just about anything when that water is running ‘fresh’. Unfortunately, the Mulloway have been very quiet this week, hopefully they will fire up this weekend now that there is a much more defined difference in water quality between the tides. Flathead have definitely slowed down a lot since the rain, however there have been plenty getting caught once the clean water pushes in on the incoming tide and for the first half of the run-out tide. The Crabs have absolutely loved the rain! The lake is littered with hundreds of pots at the moment, Blue Swimmers are very thick on the ground down around Coomba and Pacific Palms and the Mud Crabs are on the move so don’t be surprised if you find a few in with the Blues.
Beach and Rock: Our coastline has been an absolute mess for the last week. Big seas and heavy rain have left our beaches very unsettled, dirty and littered with debris. It’s no surprise that there has not been a lot of action from the sand, however those anglers who are a little switched on know that when we get flooding rain and the consequential opening (or man-induced opening) of our estuary systems that are usually shut off from the ocean there can be some very good fishing to be had around these new river mouths. The opening of Farquhar inlet up at Old Bar/Manning Point during the week has been awesome and the fishing along the beach near it has been pretty good so far. While there haven’t been a lot of Mulloway about yet, there have been some huge Whiting, Luderick and Bream waiting in the gutter to head back in and they are all super hungry! With a little more rain, the same may well happen to the south at Smith Lake so keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground and get down there for a look if it does. The local stones have been fairly quiet this week due to the rough conditions, however the rough conditions are also perfect for chasing Black Drummer, Bream and Luderick and the few anglers who know of safe spots to fish from have had a ball over the last couple of days, places like the back of the ‘Bullring’ are really good spots to start looking. This weekend should be perfect for hitting the washes and ‘pot holes’ as we have nice SW/West winds coming which should smooth everything out a bit.
Offshore: I have absolutely nothing to report from the offshore scene this week. I know of one big boat that ventured out on Wednesday but they quickly turned back around due to how rough it was. Looking forwards we should have some ok sea conditions over the weekend and the Billfish Shootout is on down at Port Stephens so there will be plenty of boats out there to inform us as to what’s going on. Inshore water temperatures are sitting around 19/20 degrees so it will be interesting to see if the little Black Marlin are still about or not. I think the inshore Snapper fishing should be pretty good with the amount of feed that has been washed out the rivers and dislodged from the reefs due to the swell, and hearing that the Kingfish are already back on the break walls means absolutely anything could be about out there!
February 7, 2020
Estuary: How lucky are we to have such an amazing estuary fishery here in the Great Lakes! After a week consisting of strong Northerly/Easterly winds and cold, filthy water offshore, good old Wallis Lake has continued to shine and saved many a fishing trip! While the Flathead fishing has slowed down a little due to the fall in water temperature, there is still plenty of fish there. When there is a significant drop in water temperature a fishes’ (which are mostly cold blooded) metabolism slows considerably, this is important to us anglers because it means that they won’t need to feed as often and will be less likely to move about. From a fishing point of view this means that you need to try your best to fish at the right time/tide (the last half of the run-out tide) and use the best possible bait or lure that you can. If you are lucky enough to have a good quality sounder on the boat, don’t be scared to search around to find the warmer patches of water, these will often be the drains and edges of the flats which hold the nice warm water that has spent the last few hours up in the shallows being burnt by the sun! Even an extra half a degree in water temperature can be enough to get the fish fired up. The shallow flats fished very well earlier in the week for big Sand Whiting, a sneaky local fished his ‘spot x’ for 2 hours on Monday and managed 20 good fish, the biggest I heard of this week was just shy of 44cm. Trumpeter Whiting are becoming harder and harder to find now but if you are super keen and able to search around with your sounder you will find some schools of them up around Regatta Island and possibly up towards Green Point. The ‘Big Lake’ (southern section) has been holding some nice Blue Swimmers with the odd Mud Crab mixed in and this rain should only make the crabbing better with a bit of luck. Our rock walls have been fishing fairly well for big Bream, Flathead and the odd Mulloway and once we start to see a bit of run off coming down the river things should really heat up down there, unfortunately we are also expecting some fairly unsettled sea conditions so if you do hit the walls for a fish make sure you stay safe!
Beach and Rock: As you can imagine the beach and rock fishing has been fairly quiet this week due to the strong winds and cold, dirty water. Before the water cooled off on Sunday the beaches were fishing fairly good for Whiting, Dart and the odd Bream and Flathead. One lucky visiting angler managed to catch two school Mulloway off Diamond Beach last Saturday using small baits of Beach Worm intended for Whiting, the fish were 78 and 82cm, he couldn’t believe a fish of that size would be interested in such a small bait! With big swell and unsettled conditions forecast over the next week or so, I can’t imagine any beaches being protected enough for a fish. The local rock ledges have been a mess for much of the past week. I did have a Seal Rocks local in on Wednesday and he mentioned that he managed to spot a couple of free jumping Marlin not far off boat beach so with a bit of luck there will still be the odd fish about once things settle down again. If it is safe enough, there should be some great Bream, Luderick and Drummer on offer in among the washes with this unsettle weather, but please be safe out there!!!!
Offshore: What a difference a week makes! This time last week the fishing was great offshore with loads of reef and pelagic fish about. However, after strong NE winds on Saturday and Sunday we now have 17-19 degree water that is turbid and dark green in colour, definitely NOT what we all wanted! The few boats that have managed to sneak out this week have really struggled on the reef fish, there have been a few small Snapper hanging about on the inshore reefs but that’s about it. The deeper reefs are once again plagued by Barracouta. The only positive from this week is that there have been some very nice Mahi Mahi still cruising about out there and there have been a few Marlin seen free jumping so with a bit of luck it will all kick back into gear in no time.
January 31, 2020
Estuary: The Australia Day Long Weekend is always insanely busy on Wallis Lake, this year we were lucky to have near perfect conditions for boating and fishing over the weekend which saw a lot of people, boats and jet skis hitting the lake. I am constantly amazed at just how good the estuary can fish with all the commotion around and this past week has been no exception. Flathead remain very solid throughout the bottom of the system (between Wallis Island and the mouth), there have been some really nice fish taken from the rock walls this week and there’s good numbers of fish still holding up around ‘the Cut’, Twin Island and Wallis Island. A couple of young guns had a ball fishing surface and shallow diving lures over the flats up around Lani’s and Golden Bay, while they were targeting Flathead in particular, they managed to hook some very nice Whiting and Bream as well. Bream have been fishing very well on surface up the rivers and are schooled up in big numbers over the weed beds down south. Once again there have been some big Bream taken from the Tuncurry break wall on lightly weighted baits as well as the odd nice Snapper to around 2kg. There has been Crabs galore this week, both Blue Swimmers and Mud Crabs are definitely on the cards at the moment and now that the School Holidays have finished it’s a perfect time to get those pots out!
Beach and Rock: The local beaches have continued to tick along quite nicely this week. For most anglers, Whiting and Dart have made up the bulk of their bags with the odd Flathead and Bream mixed in. I have started to hear of some nice Tailor sneaking about the gutters early of a morning, one angler lost three Whiting rigs before he decided to switch over to a metal lure and proceeded to catch 6 nice Tailor, his biggest was just shy of 50cm. The local stones are really starting to get a simmer on now with some very nice reports coming in including solid Tailor, Bonito, Kingfish to 90cm and a 14kg Cobia. While the water has gone a little green and cooled off again, the forecast is looking pretty good and I don’t think it will be long until things really start to kick into gear. By far the coolest report this week came from the rocks down south where an extremely lucky angler managed to land a 9.2kg Snapper, an absolute fish of a lifetime off the stones!!!
Offshore: The last week has been very busy offshore with a lot of boats getting out over the long weekend. The most exciting news this week is that our inshore Black Marlin season has well and truly kicked off with a bang! The weekend saw loads of boats hitting the marlin grounds down around Seal Rocks, one angler reported having 40 boats around him at one stage on Monday. From all accounts most boats managed to hook at least a couple of fish with one boat managing 8 in one day. With such great water quality hitting the shore, it’s no surprise that there was also a lot of Mahi Mahi caught as by catch, I even heard reports of two Sailfish being tagged which is a little left of field for this far south (though not uncommon at all, we usually see one or two sailfish a year). A local spearfisherman who dove at Seal Rocks on Monday saw all sorts of species including Queenfish and baby Flying Fish! There are still some great reef fish on offer out there, the deeper (40+m) reefs seem to be holding the most fish, however the last few days has seen a lot of current out there which can make it very difficult to fish.
January 24, 2020
Estuary: Wallis Lake has really turned it on this week; warm, crystal clear and full of life! Baitfish, Prawns and shrimp are absolutely everywhere and the fish (and fishermen) are loving it. Flathead continue to impress in both numbers and size, they can be caught really easily using either bait or lure and are best targeted in the lower sections of the estuary. Tuncurry channel has been fishing particularly well for land-based anglers this week, working lures about the bridge on the run-out tide has been the most successful technique however quite a few fish have fallen for drifted baits of Herring, Poddy Mullet, local Prawns and Whitebait as well. Tony from Forster Estuary Charters has been putting clients on to some quality fish this week up around The Cut and Wallis Island, as well as Flatties he has been finding plenty of Trumpeter Whiting and Squid which makes for a great mixed box of fish! We have had very nice high tides of a morning this week, perfect for getting up into the shallows to look for some big Sand Whiting. Lani’s and the flats around Wallis Island are holding the better-quality fish but there are good numbers of fish on just about any sand flat and if you fish through them you should come up with a nice bag of fish. Bream continue to fish fairly well up on the weed beds to the south and I am happy to report that there is already a lot of good fish starting to settle on the rock walls and jetties down around the mouth, lightly weighted Whitebait is working a treat on these wily big old fish but once you fool one or two you will find the rest very hard to tempt! The rock walls are also holding some very nice Leatherjacket at the moment, these fish can be a bit tricky to catch as they are incredibly good at stealing your bait without you even feeling it, however if you do manage to figure them out they are beautiful on the plate (perfect for kids and people that don’t like ‘fishy’ fish!).
Beach and Rock: Our local beaches have been a ‘bread and butter’ fisherman’s delight this week. Absolutely any beach is worth a shot, just find a decent looking gutter and lob out a bit of Pipi or Beach Worm and you should be able to find plenty of nice Whiting, Dart, Flathead and the odd Bream. I have heard of a few Tailor getting about however they are all fairly small at the moment, we should see a better run of Tailor in a month or so. Not a lot has changed on the rock ledges this week. There are still a few anglers out there playing with the seemingly ever-present Bream and Black Drummer however most are now waiting for the first signs of any Pelagics to show up. With the amount of bait in the water and the condition of the water itself, things could kick into gear very soon. Fishing the ledges this weekend could definitely be worth the effort, conditions are looking fairly good and there’s got to be a nice early season Cobia out there somewhere!
Offshore: There is a real buzz about the offshore fishing community at the moment and for good reason. The fishing has been unbelievably good out there over the past month or so and we now have some very nice water and bait schools hanging about which should equate to a great game fishing season. There has already been a lot of boats out on the hunt for a Black Marlin and while there has only been a few reported thus far, if South West Rocks is anything to go by, we are in for a bumper year and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few fish get tagged this weekend. The demersal fishing continues to tick along very nicely. Snapper are still about on the reefs to the north and out wide but you will find that you will have to search around a bit to find the fish. For the best chance at getting a feed, I would suggest heading out the front of Cape Hawke (outside the marine park of course!) or South. The Hawke reef area is holding a huge variety of fish at the moment from Trag to Kingfish. The deeper reefs off Boomerang and Seal Rocks are still covered in loads of quality Pearl Perch (to 4kg), Trag, Snapper, Amberjack and big Flathead on their edges.
January 16, 2020
Estuary: Its ‘steady as she goes’ on the fishing front here in the Great Lakes. We have had some fairly stable weather conditions over the past week so it’s no surprise that there has been a lot of people out and about enjoying our waterways. Flathead remain at the top of the estuary hit list and are still being caught in big numbers. Now that the water has warmed up again, fooling these fish has never been easier using either bait or lures. Drifting with Whitebait, Pilchards, Herring, Prawns or good old Mullet Strips will all work a treat, just try to fish the last half of the run-out tide if possible. On the lure front, there is a huge array of things that will work. Soft plastics and vibes are working really well and using them is a ‘no-brainer’ at this time of the year, however for something different, try throwing slender minnow style lures across the shallow sand flats and weed beds – you will be amazed at what you can find lurking in 30cm of water! The Trumpeter Whiting seem to have thinned out considerably over the past week however the Sand Whiting are about in good numbers and are fairly active throughout the Lake. The better fish seem to be hanging about the ‘middle’ of the Lake on the flats near Wallis Island. The Breakwalls are fishing fairly well at the moment. The light tackle bait fishermen are having a ball chasing big Bream, Flathead and the odd Snapper. The heavy tackle brigade have been catching a few nice Kingfish and Mulloway on the run out tide, like always, those that put the time and effort in will reap the rewards.
Beach and Rock: With some really nice, warm water pushing in to our coastline it’s no surprise that the beach fishing has improved considerably over the past week. Most beaches are holding plenty of Whiting, Dart, Flathead and the odd Bream. There have been a few scattered reports of Tailor and Salmon but not really enough to make it worth chasing them. 7 Mile Beach has probably been the pick of the bunch but the sand down around Pacific Palms has also been delivering the goods including a couple of nice school Mulloway. The local stones don’t see a whole lot of activity at this time of the year, even though the water is now sitting between 22-24 degrees, it’s still a little early to be chasing any pelagics. Anglers throwing lures off the rocks have been catching plenty of Bonito and the odd Kingfish up to 80cm but that’s about it. There’re a few anglers fishing the washes at the moment and they’ve been landing some very nice Snapper, Bream, the odd Drummer and Groper. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the coming weeks if this nice water decides to hang about!
Offshore: Offshore fishing has been a little hit and miss this week. Earlier in the week things were very quiet about the full moon which also coincided with a very strong push of warm water from the north. The spots that were holding good fish were all of a sudden devoid of life and it wasn’t until Wednesday that boats started to find the quality fish once again. The deeper reefs out the front of the marine park have been very consistent for a nice mixed bag of Snapper, Trag and Pearl Perch, as well as the odd Kingfish which will often harass a hooked fish as you bring it to the surface out there. The grounds to the south have been great for Pearl Perch again this week, there seems to be huge congregations of these fish on some reefs at the moment so if you see something on your sounder that you would normally call for a mass of ‘bait’ don’t ignore it as it may be a big school of Pearlies! Good Snapper can still be found to the north on the shallower grounds however they seem to be spread out a fair bit now compared to how they were last week. As eluded to earlier, we have had an unbelievable patch of warm water push into our waters this week. I have heard of temperatures up as high as 26 degrees in some spots with most areas sitting between 22 and 24 degrees. This type of water brings pelagics with it and there have already been a few Black Marlin encountered as well as some very nice Mahi Mahi. With a bit of luck this water will hang about for a while now, if it does we should be in for an amazing game season!
January 10, 2020
Estuary: We have had a beautiful week of weather here in the wonderful Great Lakes, we have even been lucky enough to score a few showers of rain! In the estuary, things have remained very consistent with lots of anglers out and about trying their luck. Flathead continue to be the fish that most are chasing and for good reason as they are about in huge numbers throughout the lower reaches of the system and don’t seem to get upset by the boat/jet ski traffic like some other species do. One of the biggest things to remember when targeting Flathead is to try and fish the last half of the run-out tide. If for some reason you must fish the top of the tide, focus your efforts about the shallow sand flats and weed beds as the fish will move up into these areas to feed before the tide starts to recede. Alternatively, you could switch your focus completely and start to fish these areas for Sand Whiting or Bream. The local Whiting have been getting more and more active each day as the water temperature has been slowly climbing again after it dropped out during the last lot of strong ‘noreasters’. The weed beds down the bottom of the lake (towards Coomba Park/Green Point etc) have been holding some really nice schools of Bream and they are fairly keen to whack a well-presented surface lure at the moment which can make for some really fun fishing. It’s no secret that our estuary holds some very big Yellowtail Kingfish, over the last few days visitors have been amazed by the size and numbers of these fish as they have been milling about the bridge. Seeing these big fish is one thing, tempting them to eat and then landing one is a totally different story!!!
Beach and Rock: While I have not heard any reports from anglers fishing the stones this week, our beaches are slowly improving once again. A group of visiting anglers had a ball down on 7 Mile earlier in the week where they managed to catch a stack of Beach Worms and turned them into some nice Whiting, a few Flathead and a 2m Hammerhead Shark (which they caught on a live bait intended for Mulloway). This is the second shark that I have heard of this week landed down there, the other being a solid Whaler which was well over the 2m mark. One Mile Beach and 9 Mile Beach have been holding a lot of Dart and the odd Bream, Whiting and Tailor. Hopefully the southerly that we are expecting over the next couple of days will see water temps keep increasing which should mean a bit more action up and down our coastline.
Offshore: The offshore fishing has been awesome this week. While it was a bit slow earlier in the week, the nice days and quality fishing in the latter part of the week have more than made up for it. Snapper are about in huge numbers on the shallow reefs to the north. Setting yourself up on a likely looking bit of reef in 15-30m of water should almost guarantee you a fish or two! I was lucky enough to sneak out on Thursday and although it took us about half an hour to find a good show of fish on the sounder, once we did it was amazing. There was multiple hook ups each drift and most of the fish caught were Snapper and not Red Rock Cod or Sargent Bakers as can often be the case. The deeper reefs are holding good mixed bags of fish with a lot of Trag and Pearl Perch being caught this week as well as the ever-present Snapper. The water temperature offshore has been slowly rising all week, its sitting between 19 and 20 degrees now, there are masses of Slimy Mackerel out there everywhere as well as Mack Tuna and Bonito so with a bit of luck it won’t be too long before the first Black Marlin is landed locally.
January 3, 2020
Estuary: Happy New Year!!! The festive season has consisted of beautiful sunny days but horrible strong easterly winds. Thankfully these winds have done nothing to hamper the estuary fishing, indeed I think this is the best summer estuary fishing season I can remember! Flathead are still well and truly at the top of most anglers’ lists and for good reason as they are about in huge numbers and are very easy to catch. Bait fishermen are finding plenty of fish using Whitebait, Pilchards and freshly caught Herring. For land-based anglers, think about targeting areas such as the Bridge, the rock walls and jetties that run along Tuncurry foreshore, Taree Street and the back of Forster main street. Fishing during the last half of the run-out tide will give you the best shot at finding a few fish but you really can fish any tide at this time of the year. Big Sand Whiting continue to fish very well up around Wallis Island, Lanis and Regatta Island, there are also good numbers of fish down around the bridge but most of them are barely even legal. Trumpeter Whiting are still about in good numbers, you do need to have your finger on the pulse though as they have moved down a fair way now and may be holding in places that you didn’t expect! There have been some reports of really nice Garfish getting about the canals this week so it might be time to dig out your pencil floats and have a crack at catching some very nice baits or super tasty treats. The resident Kingfish population has been making a nuisance of themselves this week, they are proving to be very difficult to tempt on the heavy gear but have been all too happy to take baits intended for Flathead or Bream on light line!
Beach and Rock: The horrible winds that we have had over the past week have really affected our coastal waters. The water temperature has fallen by about 7 degrees and there is a fair bit of red weed floating about. The anglers that have hit the sand have had mixed success, the Whiting have gone really quiet but there have been some nice Flathead landed, the biggest reported going 65cm which is a great beach fish. Unfortunately, the Tailor that had been fairly consistent have been very hard to find this week with just the one angler reporting having had any success chasing them and he was throwing lures off the back of North One Mile. The windy, unsettled conditions and cooler waters have made rock fishing fairly difficult however they have made for some very nice wash zones which have yielded some nice Bream and the odd late season Black Drummer.
Offshore: It has been nearly impossible to get outside this week due to the horrible NE winds, not only do they make for very unsettled conditions, they also have ‘turned’ the water over and created a cold, soupy mess! A few boats snuck out on Thursday and the results were very mixed, the more successful boats were those who were happy to do the hard yards and really search for the fish. The saving grace for at least one crew was the beautiful big Flathead that they caught on the way home to complement their one Snapper!
December 27, 2019
Estuary: Merry Christmas! The School Holiday period is well and truly under way now and those lucky enough to be hitting the water are having a ball! Wallis Lake is a fisherman’s playground at this time of the year, the options are endless and there are loads of fish about. The bottom section of the system (the area from Wallis Island to the entrance) is fishing very well despite the increased boat traffic. Flathead can be found just about anywhere; shallow flats, drop offs, weed edges and Oyster Leases are all worth looking at. You can easily target them using either bait or lure and at this time of the year they will eat just about any offering! For the bait fishermen, fish baits such as Whitebait or Herring are proving to be hugely successful while 3 and 4” paddle tailed soft plastics have been the standout artificial offering. Sand Whiting continue to cruise the nice warm sand flats in good numbers searching for an easy meal, the better-quality fish seem to be hanging about a little further up the lake around places like Regatta and Wallis Island but you can find good numbers of fish on just about any sand flat. Their smaller relatives, the Trumpeter Whiting just keep on keeping on with plenty of anglers filling their bags each morning. Schools of these tasty little morsels can be found all over the place, try areas like Regatta Island and the Step to start with but don’t be scared to move about a bit until you find the fish. Most of our Bream have now well and truly moved up into the rivers, for the land-based anglers though there are still some very nice fish holding along the rock walls with the odd Snapper mixed in, you can easily target these fish by floating a lightly weighted piece of Pilchard, Mullet or Whitebait down along the wall.
Beach and Rock: Our local beaches have been fairly steady over the last week. Most beaches are holding plenty of Whiting, Bream and Dart as well as the odd Salmon and Flathead. For the early birds there have been a few Tailor floating about up around the northern end of 9 Mile Beach and if you fish the same gutters after dark there’s a good chance that you might find a Mulloway of two. You can also find plenty of Tailor off the rocks at the moment with North One Mile, Jainey’s Corner and Booti headland all worth a look. There are plenty of small Kingfish mixed in with them and you just never know what else may be cruising about as the warm currents start to creep down the coast!
Offshore: Offshore reports have been fairly mixed this week. There are still some really nice Pearl Perch and Teraglin getting about on the deeper reefs, Phil from Reel Ocean Adventures has been putting smiles on clients’ dials all week, one drop during the week landed his crew 21 Trag! The shallow reefs to the north have been holding some great Snapper this week, if you decide to head up that way don’t be afraid to get in nice and shallow, a local customer had a great session earlier in the week and caught all of his fish in 10m of water after starting to fish in 35m and working his way in!
Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year!!!
December 20, 2019
Estuary: Those of us lucky enough to be living or holidaying in the beautiful Great Lakes area over the Xmas break are in for a real treat on the fishing front. Wallis lake is an amazing place at this time of the year, it is full of all sorts of critters and the angling options are endless! Flathead remain the focus for most and for good reason as they are in good numbers and are very prolific throughout the whole system. Often by this time of the year most of the fish have well and truly settled into the bottom section of the system (close to the mouth), however I am still receiving very good reports on a daily basis of some red-hot action from well up the Wallamba River. While there haven’t been any really big fish taken from the river, most have reported catching loads of good table sized fish around the 45-50cm mark as well as the odd one up to 75cm. Similar sized fish are also abundant up around Wallis Island and down around ‘The Cut’. For those anglers who have caught the ‘Flathead on surface lure’ buzz, a much bigger class of fish can be found around areas such as Lani’s, Twin Island and down through ‘The Paddock’. The beautiful sand flats that litter our estuary are alive with prawns and baitfish at the moment and the ever-popular Sand Whiting are very hungry! Launching a nice bit of Beach Worm or a freshly pumped Yabbie up into the shallows on a nice high tide will see you landing plenty of good fish, a visiting angler reported having had a great little session using King Worms where he almost caught a fish on every bait and none of them were undersized with his biggest going 39cm. With the deafening song of the Cicada in full swing in some of the trees that line the banks of the lake, right now is a great time to dig out those Cicada or surface lures to go and chase a few Bream up the rivers. A lot of Bream are also holding on the breakwalls, particularly of an evening. Floating strips of Mullet, whole Whitebait, Yabbies or Prawns down along the rocks is a fool proof way of finding a few and you will be pleasantly surprised by how many Snapper you will catch at the same time! The mouth of the river has also been producing some very nice Mulloway over the last week as well as the odd Kingfish.
Beach and Rock: Our local beaches are now in full Summer mode. Most stretches of sand are holding good numbers of Sand Whiting and Dart as well as the odd Bream and Flathead. There are definitely schools of Tailor cruising up and down the coast however most are undersized or barely legal at best, one angler fished his way right along 9 Mile Beach early on Thursday throwing metal lures and apart from a few Dart he didn’t see a Tailor until he reached ‘Backbeach’ at the northern end. Once he found the fish it was practically a ‘fish a cast’ but they were all 20cm long. The local rock ledges have been producing loads of small Kingfish (as well as the odd bigger model!) and Tailor for the lure tossers. Fishing the washes with baits is producing some nice Bream and the odd late season Drummer, for the early birds there have been lots of Snapper (upto 2kg) around North One Mile, Pebbly Beach and Haydens Rock.
Offshore: Offshore reports have been very mixed this week. Under normal circumstances, those boats that put the extra effort in to travel to the shoals and reefs a long way to the north of Forster/Tuncurry are normally guaranteed to find some red-hot Snapper fishing. However, this week those reefs to the north have been very quiet, with most trips only producing the odd small fish. On the contrary, the boats that have fished out off Cape Hawk or to the south have reported some very nice mixed bags of Snapper to 7kg, plenty of big Pearl Perch and the odd nice Teraglin. For those who have gone out in search of a feed of Flathead, the past week has been unbelievably good. Fishing the grounds around ‘Elsies’ has been particularly good with a lot of big 60cm+ fish being reported, it’s amazing how much better the Flathead fishing is when there has been no Trawlers working the area for a while….
December 13, 2019
Estuary: If the lead up period is anything to go by, the Xmas Holiday period is going to be an absolute cracker for all of the local and visiting fisher people! Fish, Prawn and Crab numbers and activity have all been on a slow increase over the last month or so and with a bit of luck this trend should continue over the next couple of months. Flathead remain very consistent throughout the estuary, focussing your efforts on any of the sand flats, drop offs and oyster leases between Wallis Island and the mouth of the system should see you catching more than enough for a feed. For land-based anglers, flicking plastics along the bank down off Taree St, Point Rd or around the Bridge is your best bet by far. Prawn numbers have finally increased in the main system now and the Sand Whiting are absolutely loving it! We have some very nice high tides at the moment which are perfect for getting up onto the shallow flats to throw surface lures about, Whiting, Bream and Flathead (and probably massive Kingfish) will all be up there smashing as many baitfish, Prawns, Crabs and Worms as they can before the water recedes. For a more relaxed approach, fishing the same flats and adjacent drop offs with Yabbies or Worms will also fill the bag with Whiting in no time at all, particularly once that tide begins to drop. Both Blue Swimmer and Mud Crabs have been very slow to kick into gear this year however both have improved significantly over the past week and should continue to do so over the next few weeks.
Beach and Rock: Once again the local stones have not seen too much action this week. There has been the odd patch of Tailor hanging about the ledges to the south, particularly around places like Booti Booti and Shellies. For the bait fishermen, there should be Drummer, Bream and possibly the odd Snapper haunting the washes. The beaches have been fairly consistent once again this week. The northern end of 9 Mile Beach (Backbeach)has been holding a lot of Tailor lately and while the fish are only small (25-35cm) they are great fun on light gear, especially when it’s a ‘fish a cast’ type of action! Most beaches are fishing fairly well for your typical Summer species now, unfortunately the Whiting are a little on the small size but there are some very nice Bream and Flathead mixed in with them.
Offshore: Once again, reports from offshore have been fairly steady this week. The Snapper fishing has been great on the deeper reefs for some time now and its these reefs (in 40-80m) that will out-fish just about anywhere else as we move through the current full moon period. There have been some very nice Pearl Perch mixed in with the Snapper however the Teraglin remain fairly quiet. The FAD is holding a lot of Mahi Mahi at the moment, the last report I had come in wasn’t great in that the fish were only small however this can change overnight and with some very nice warm water sitting offshore there has to be some decent fish about somewhere!
December 6, 2019
Estuary: The piscatorial playground that is Wallis Lake just keeps on keeping on which is great news for those anglers that are planning to visit over the next two months. Flathead have to be at the top of just about anyone’s list at this time of the year; they can be caught just about anywhere, they will eat either bait or lures and are amazing on the plate! I have had reports this week of some really good flathead being caught from around the Bridge, along the south/western side of Turn Island and up around ‘The Cut’. As is often the case, most fish have been caught on either soft plastics or soft vibes, as well as some really nice 80+cm models that have been taken on surface lures. Sand Whiting continue to fish well throughout the system with some really nice fish coming from the flats a little further up by anglers using Yabbies or surface lures. Trumpeter Whiting have kept anglers on their toes a little this week but if you move about until you find the fish you should be able to get a feed together in no time.
Beach and Rock: Reports form the stones have been few and far between this week, however our beaches have been fishing fairly consistently right up and down the coast. Diamond Beach to the north is holding a lot of Whiting at the moment as well as the odd nice sized Bream and School Mulloway. The beaches to the south are also fishing well for Whiting and Bream and if you get up nice and early and explore the gutters you should find the odd Tailor. Unfortunately, I have heard of a few patches of red weed floating about on some beaches, fingers crossed that it remains patchy and our beaches remain clean and clear for the summer!
Offshore: Once again reports from outside have been very encouraging this week. While the sea hasn’t been all that good, most mornings have been fishable and the days that have allowed people out have been fairly productive. Snapper can still be caught from just about any reef you choose, the more productive reefs have been in 35-70m and it doesn’t seem to matter if you head north or south. These deeper reefs are also holding some nice sized Pearl Perch along with the odd Teraglin. A big positive this week is that it would seem that the Barracouta have thinned out significantly, this is news is music to any offshore fishermans’ ears!!!
November 29, 2019
Estuary: Even though we are all still recovering from what has been a devastating past five weeks or so due to the bushfires, it has been nice to finally get back to some sort of normality this week. Although we have had a bit of wind about, most days have been manageable and our estuary has been fishing great!
I can’t remember such a good lead up to the Summer Flathead season as we have had this year. There have been plenty of fish caught during the week from all over the lake. The middle section of the system around ‘the Cut’, Wallis Island, Coomba Park etc seems to be place to target if you are chasing a feed as there seems to be good numbers of 40-55cm fish which are perfect for the table. The Wallamba is still holding a lot of fish up around the Discovery Holiday Park with anglers reporting fish up to 70cm which have been taking both lure and bait. If you are chasing a trophy Flattie, focus your efforts on the shallows in the bottom half of the estuary (towards the mouth). Places such as the Paddock are stacked with big fish right now, landing these big, heavy, powerful fish is a real challenge though! Sand Whiting have really started to kick it up a notch now with some really nice fish being caught from many of our awesome sand flats. These fish are hitting surface lures with gusto up around Wallis Island and Lani’s where the water stays nice and warm, the fish hanging about the bridge are not quite as active and while you will get a handful on surface, a freshly pumped Yabbie or bit of Beach Worm is a much more successful way of targeting the ‘elbow slappers’! The seemingly never ending supply of Trumpeter Whiting are still about in the Lake with most anglers getting more than enough for a feed each day. If you are new to chasing these little guys please make yourself aware of the regulations and only keep what you need!
Beach and Rock: Our sandy stretches are cruising along quite nicely now. Most beaches are holding good numbers of Bream and Whiting now with the odd Dart, Salmon and Tailor mixed in. Diamond Beach to the north has been fishing particularly well for Whiting, Bream and Salmon, and if you put the time in of an evening you are almost guaranteed to find a few school Mulloway at the moment. 7 Mile has been producing the odd nice Tailor of a morning but you will have to get up nice and early and find the fish as they are few and far between, with a bit of luck they will only get better over the next month or so. Not many anglers hit the stones at this time of the year as we are now out of the ‘winter’ species and awaiting the arrival of the ‘summer’ speedsters. However, those that have had a look have been having a ball chasing Tailor, big Bream, Snapper and the odd Drummer over the past week. Booti booti in particular is holding some nice Tailor just at the back of the beach break, North One Mile is also holding the odd Tailor but the quality is nowhere near as good as down south.
Offshore: The fishing offshore has been nothing short of amazing of late. Snapper have been about in huge numbers in just about any depth of water. There have even been 1-2kg fish caught from places like the bait grounds and Hayden’s Rock! Phil form Reel Ocean Adventures put his clients on to some very nice fish during the week, one trip ended with 53 Snapper alone being caught not to mention the ‘by catch’ of quality Pearl Perch! Fishing between 20m and 50m seems to be particularly productive with the reefs between Blackhead and Old Bar producing the better-quality fish. Unfortunately reports coming in from the FAD have not been great this week, the big fish that were holding there seem to have moved on and have been replaced by loads of undersized fish. It’s definitely still worth checking out though if you are in the area as the fish holding there can change overnight.
As I write this report the local area remains blanketed under a thick shroud of smoke from the horrendous bushfires that we have been experiencing of late. This area has been ravaged by fire for the past month and a massive THANKYOU has to go out to all of the NSW and Rural Fire Brigades that have been battling to save lives and property. Without their hard work and professionalism, the outcomes of these fires would have been much worse. Unfortunately, the fight is far from over as the fires continue to burn throughout the area and we send our heartfelt condolences out to all of those who have been or are being affected by the fires.
Estuary: For a lot of people, in times of stress and heartache, fishing is the thing that they turn to as a way of calming themselves down and ‘escaping’ reality. Luckily for them the estuary has been fishing really good this week! Flathead continue to be caught throughout the system with some very good catches of 50-70cm fish coming from well up the Wallamba River. Tony for Forster Estuary Charters has also been putting his clients on to loads of Flathead up around Wallis Island and ‘The Cut’ along with an unusual number of big Flounder. Trumpeter Whiting continue to fish fairly well in the usual spots with a good school of fish starting to make its way a little further down towards the mouth of the system so it may well be worth keeping an eye on your sounders as you head up to The Step or The Duckpond. Sand Whiting are numerous on all of the shallow flats and are surprisingly keen to take lures, I thought that the cooler water temperatures might have slowed them up a little but they were very active yesterday morning. I have had some slightly left of field reports filtering through this week, there was one from a bloke who has been catching small Mack Tuna in Forster Keys, another from a fisherman who managed to land a 4.1kg Tailor while fishing for Bream and a 10kg Kingfish that was speared a long way up into the estuary!
Beach and Rock: Apart from loads of burnt leaves and ash, the water along our coastline is really nice at the moment; a little cool still but crystal clear! Those that have hit the sand for a fish have reported good catches of Whiting and Dart as well as a few nice Bream however the fish have been a little patchy. The more successful anglers have been fishing a fair way south down around Pacific Palms and Seal Rocks. Reports from the stones have been non-existent this week however the water remains fairly chilly thanks to the strong NE winds that we have had so there should be the odd Drummer about as well as Bream and Luderick.
Offshore: While the weather has not been ideal for offshore fishing, most mornings have been good enough to sneak out for a look in the smoke! Those boats that have chosen to head south have definitely fared better than those heading north this week. To the north, the water is sitting around 16/17 degrees and has a distinct ‘greenish’ tinge to it. While the boats who have fished up there have managed to find some nice Snapper and the odd Pearl Perch, those fishing to the south have had clear, 19 degree water and much better bags of fish consisting of Snapper, Teraglin, Pearl Perch and big Flathead. Pelagic activity is definitely on the rise with reports of a lot of big Mack Tuna getting about as well as a few nice Mahi Mahi holding on the FAD, with a bit of luck it won’t be too much longer before things really start to heat up!
Estuary: Well the hot ‘summery’ conditions have prevailed for much of this week yet again, we desperately need a good drop of rain as does the whole of this beautiful country of ours! The strong northerly winds that we have had on most days really knocked out water temperatures down, Tony from Forster Estuary Charters reported finding water way down at 15 degrees! Having said that, the fishing has remained fairly consistent. Flathead are still being caught in good numbers, particularly by those anglers who are using their sounders to search out the warmer pockets and drains. If you head up to Wallis Island, up around Coomba Park or up any of the rivers that flow into the main basin you should find the fish fairly easily. We fished the flats in the bottom part of the lake yesterday prior to the big winds and while we saw a lot of nice Flathead they were very hard to tempt. The Sand Whiting didn’t seem to mind the cool water though, they were eagerly chasing and hammering our surface lures which makes for great fishing from a paddle board! Their smaller relatives the Trumpeter Whiting are still filling keeper bags each day and should continue to do so for another couple of months.
Beach and Rock: Reports from our beaches and rock ledges have been very few and far between. I have heard some great reports of some very solid Tailor being caught to the south as well as a few nice Bream but that’s about it. Unfortunately, we had a bit of red weed come in close over the weekend and water temperatures dropped fairly low, with a bit of luck we will get the forecast southerly winds over the next week or so and the water should warm and clear in no time!
Offshore: Unfortunately, offshore efforts have also been fairly well hampered due to the weather this week. I have only heard of two boats venturing out, one chose to stay close to home and just chase Flathead. They fished in 45m and filled their bag limit with most fish being 40-50cm. The other guys headed north and fished in close at Blackhead where they managed one nice 50cm Snapper along with some Mack Tuna. With a bit of luck, we should see a break in this horrible windy weather pattern over the next week and we will all be able to get offshore again.
Estuary: Things are feeling awfully summery out there at the moment with warm temperatures and strong NE winds blowing daily. While this makes fishing offshore and from our coastline very difficult, our estuary is nearly always worth fishing no matter how strong the northerly winds are and it has been fishing very well of late. Flathead are being caught throughout the system now, there seems to be a lot of fish sitting up around Wallis Island and ‘The Cut’ and they are absolute suckers for a well-presented soft plastic or soft vibe. There are a lot of smaller fish in the schools at the moment however you will find the odd 45-55cm fish among them if you fish through the numbers. The sand flats and weed beds have really come to life now and throwing big surface lures over the shallows is a sure-fire way to hook onto a few bigger fish, if you down grade your lures to 70-100mm sizes you will also run into some nice Sand Whiting and Bream. For the bait fishermen, the same flats can be fished with some good quality Beach Worms for some very good results.
Beach and Rock: Unfortunately, I haven’t heard much news from our beaches this week. Strong NE winds make it very difficult to fish successfully and there is a very real risk that we may start to see patches of red weed hitting our shores in the near future. If you can find a nice gutter in the northern corner of one of our beaches you should find plenty of nice Bream and the odd legal sized Whiting. The rock fishermen have fared much better this week, the consistent winds have meant that there has been a constant ‘wash zone’ along our rocks, almost perfect for chasing Black Drummer, Bream and Luderick. With ocean temperatures still fairly cool inshore, there is still plenty of Drummer on offer as well as some great bycatch in the form of stud Bream and big Luderick.
Offshore: There have been very few boats heading offshore this week due to the strong NE winds that have, on most days, started blowing very early in the day. The few boats that did manage to get out found a few nice Snapper, Pearl Perch and the odd Teraglin but no boats reported anything outstanding. Possibly the most exciting report that I received all week came from an angler that popped out to the FAD for a quick look who reported that there are some very nice 10+kg Mahi Mahi cruising about along with the odd Kingfish. Unfortunately, he had no live baits and the fish showed no interest in his lures or dead baits but I would love to be the first boat out there with a tank full of nice live Slimy Mackerel!
Estuary: As we wave goodbye to the cold weather, our beautiful estuaries really start to come to life! Wallis Lake has been fishing really well for most species of late and the past week has been no exception. Flathead can be caught absolutely anywhere at the moment, tossing soft vibes or soft plastics about any oyster leases, sand flats or weed bed edges will guarantee you a few fish. While there are plenty of smaller fish about, the better fish have come from the typical hot spots such as Lani’s, the Paddock and the Cut as well as up the Wallamba River. Sand Whiting have really started to fire up over the past week with a few really nice 35cm fish reported, both of which were caught on soft plastics intended for Flathead! Fishing the shallow sand flats up around Wallis Island and Lani’s using Worms or Yabbies (or surface lures!) should see you landing a few nice fish, just make sure you don’t fish too deep. Trumpeter Whiting are still fishing very well throughout the Lake, the better schools seem to be up around The Step on the eastern side of Wallis Island through to Green Point. The weed edges up around the same area are holding some good Bream now and I have had a few reports of some early surface action, the surface bite should only get better over this weekend with the predicted daytime temperatures getting fairly warm.
Beach and Rock: Our sandy stretches have been fishing fairly good this week, with a nice variety of fish being reported. There are still a few nice Tailor about for those wishing to fish early or late into the evening, I heard of quite a few nice 40-50cm fish being caught this week as well as a 95cm monster which took a Mulloway Bait. The same anglers also managed to land a nice 14kg Mulloway which made for a great few nights’ fishing. Bream are by far the most prolific species along our beaches still, the Whiting are slowly getting better but most are still a little on the small size. The rocks have been fairly quiet this week, a few dedicated fishermen have still been venturing out to the ledges but have been left with not a lot to report. There are a few nice Tailor up to 50cm still cruising about as well as plenty of small Kingfish. For the bait fishermen there is still a few nice Bream about and you will also find the odd Black Drummer in and around the washes.
Offshore: Picking your days to go offshore has been the most important thing this week. As long as the weather allows you to get out, you are almost guaranteed to find fish! Snapper have returned to the shallows, while they are not in big numbers, the fish that are there are of a good size (most around 45-55cm) and willing to take soft plastics or unweighted baits. The reefs in 30-60m are holding the majority of fish however the deeper you go the more chance there is that you may run into the hordes of Barracouta, if you manage to find a reef in 50-70m with no pest fish you will be in with a good chance of getting a very nice mixed bag consisting mainly of Snapper, Pearl Perch and possibly the odd Teraglin. I only received one report from out wide this week which came in from Dean who managed to get onto the Bar Cod with no troubles at all, he said the current was good and the fish were absolutely everywhere!
Estuary: I absolutely love how exciting the estuary fishing is at this time of the year. The estuary has been very consistent over the past month or so and the past week has been no different. Flathead remain very active throughout the system, most of the better sessions have been a little further up into the Lake around places such as Wallis Island, Dago Island and Regatta Island with some absolutely dynamite surface action reported. If you’re more focussed on that once in a lifetime trophy fish, think about fishing in and around ‘The Paddock’ and Lani’s and you should see a few big crocs (catching them is another thing altogether though). Getting a feed of Trumpeter Whiting is a sure thing now, their numbers have been steadily increasing over the past 6 weeks or so and now they are to the point where ‘you can’t miss’! Bream are still fairly consistent across the board with some nice fish (along with the odd nice Snapper) being taken off the break walls on peeled Prawn, Garfish and Whitebait. Further up there are also some cracking fish sitting on the rock bars and weed beds around Coomba Park which can be targeted fairly easily on small plastics or crankbaits. You will also run into a few nice Flathead up there which are welcome (and tasty) bycatch! Sand Whiting are becoming more and more active and if these nice warm days keep up it won’t be long until they are smashing our surface lures.
Beach and Rock: The beaches have not always been the nicest places to be this week with some fairly windy days in the mix. For those who have fished them though there have been some nice fish on offer. Most beaches are holding some great Bream at the moment, 7 Mile in particular is worth a look and they’re going nuts for the nice big, juicy, locally caught King Worms that we have in stock at the moment. Using worms is also a good idea because there has been some fairly nice 35cm+ Whiting starting to show up along our coast. There are still some nice Tailor being caught by those flicking metals and stick baits around the headlands early or late in the day, as well as some very fun small Kingfish which can be a bit of excitement on the Tailor gear! Windy conditions have ensured a good bit of wash is almost always present along the coast which has been great for those wishing to soak some baits in search of a few Bream or Drummer. Jainey’s Corner and Booti have both been fishing fairly well but just about any decent hole with a bit of wash is worth a look at this time of the year.
Offshore: Offshore efforts have been hampered a little again due to the wind this week. Along with the wind, we have had a full moon all week which often makes Snapper fishing a little difficult. Unsurprisingly, the inshore shallow reefs have been a little on the slow side, the fish that have been caught have mainly been good fish (a lot of 4+kg models). More consistent results have been coming from the 35-65m reefs where you can expect a bit of a mixed bag consisting of Snapper, Trag and Pearl Perch.
Estuary: Although we have had some fairly average weather over the past week, the fishing has been really consistent for those wishing to wet a line in the Estuary. Flathead seem to be getting better and better by the day with a lot of nice 40-50cm fish making their way into boats. The better results are coming from areas a little further up into the system such as ‘The Cut’, ‘Lani’s’ and the area up around the back of Wallis and Regatta Islands. Trumpeter Whiting are thick in most of the usual spots now but have been a little fussy with some anglers reporting that they will only take Worms or Prawns. Bream have been awesome all week and reports have been flowing in from all areas of the system. The break walls are still holding good numbers of very nice fish which have been keeping the land-based anglers busy, the weed beds and rock bars to the south have been fishing fairly well on the top of the tide, and there have been a lot of fish caught well up into the tributaries as well.
Beach and Rock: It’s been a fairly tough week for beach fishing. The days consisting of southerly winds have been the better days to have a look and there have been a few anglers getting out there. Most have reported catching some nice Bream and the odd Whiting. Tailor and Salmon have been a little on the quiet side with the only Tailor report coming from the stones down at Booti Booti so it might be worth hitting the headlands for a spin early over the weekend. Otherwise the unsettled sea should be ideal for chasing a few Drummer or Bream off the rocks.
Offshore: The fishing offshore continues to produce on the days that the weather permits. Those that have been able to sneak out during the windows of fair weather (or mad enough to fish in the unsettled conditions) have found some great Snapper fishing. While the shallow grounds have been holding some nice fish, those reefs sitting in 20-40m seem to be fishing the best and this should only continue to be the case as we move through this full moon phase. The deeper reefs continue to be a frustration due to Barracouta although they are also holding some really nice Snapper, Trag and the odd nice Pearl Perch. Hopefully these unsettled conditions will pass over the next few days and we can get back out there!
Estuary: I absolutely love this time of year, the fishing is amazing, the weather starts to feel an awful lot like Summer and the town is a buzz with Kids and families enjoying the School Holidays! Wallis Lake has been a hive of activity of late, the warm, still mornings have been perfect for hitting the water to chase a few fish. Trumpeter Whiting are about in huge numbers now and there is a flotilla of boats chasing them each morning now with most anglers hitting their bag limit with ease.
Bream have really started to fire up in the rivers which is good news and it won’t be long until we hear the first lot of Cicada’s singing which will mean the start of the Bream on surface action! There has been the odd Prawn on the move this week which will fire up the weed beds and sand flats, I have already had some very good reports coming in from guys nailing plenty of nice Flathead and the odd Whiting on surface this week and they should only get more active as the days go on. Flathead have been pretty keen on the soft plastics and soft vibes this week as well with a lot of nice fish being caught around ‘The Cut’ and the Twin Island area.
Luderick have really started to slow up now, there are a few dedicated fishermen still chasing them but their bags have gone from being filled each session a week ago to now only scoring two or three fish each day.
Beach and Rock: Surf fishermen have had a fairly good week on the beaches this week. While there has been no stand out reports, there have been some nice Bream, Tailor and Salmon on offer as well as the odd nice Sand Whiting and small Mulloway. As is often the case, 7 Mile is probably your safest bet however most beaches are holding enough fish to make things interesting. The local rocks have still been consistent for Bream and the odd Drummer, for the early risers there are also some nice Tailor hanging about North One Mile and the headlands to the south.
Offshore: Offshore continues to produce some fantastic fishing in close. Snapper have been holding in really good numbers on just about any reef sitting in 15-40m, the usual haunts such as Blackhead, the Diamond, 5 Mile Reef, Snapper Rock (and the ground around it) and Dennis Shoals are all worth a look. Further afield, the deeper reefs are holding some very nice Snapper, Trag and Pearl Perch, however there have been a few reports of the gear stealing Barracouta ruining trips this week so you may struggle to get to the good fish sitting under the pests if you head out wide. I haven’t heard any reports locally of anyone that has hit the deep stuff this week, however boats that have gone out to the north and south of us have caught some nice Mahi Mahi on the troll as well as two reported Marlin hook ups so it may be well worth the trip out to see what’s out there.
Estuary: Once again we have had a week of very varied weather with the wind blowing from all directions (sometimes every direction within a day even) and a little bit of much needed rain. Having said that, most days have been good enough to sneak out for a fish in the estuary and plenty of boats have been hitting the water to try their luck! Trumpeter Whiting have now begun to really school up and most fish are of a good size, if you want to chase them this early in the season though you will have to do a little bit of searching about and possibly travel a bit further than the good old ‘step’ or ‘duck pond’ areas. Tailor are still about in good numbers throughout the deeper areas of the system with those fishing up around Wallis and Regatta Islands finding the most success. Right now is a really good time of the year to chase big Flathead as they really start to fire up on the warmer days, targeting the warmer flats and drains with soft plastics and vibes is the way to go and should see you land plenty of smaller models with the chance of hooking into that fish of a lifetime!
Beach and Rock: Conditions have been far from comfortable on the beaches this week with windy and unsettled sea conditions on most days. A few anglers have had a crack though and have managed to land enough fish to keep them interested. There have been a lot of Australian Salmon about this week which is a nice surprise, up until now they had been almost non-existent! Tailor and Salmon have been caught all over the place this week, no place has really fired and been better than anywhere else with fish being taken on 7 Mile Beach, One Mile Beach and 9 Mile Beach. Not a lot has changed on the rock ledges this week; Drummer, Bream and Tailor continue to make up most catches with some nice ‘rat’ Kingfish thrown in for a bit of fun! The northern end of One Mile Beach has once again been holding a lot of Tailor and Bream which is very convenient for those that live in town.
Offshore: Our offshore reefs are holding loads of fish at the moment however the weather has made getting to them very difficult over the past week. A few boats fished on Sunday and found some very nice Teragalin early as well as plenty of Snapper and the odd Pearl Perch. Once again, those reefs in 30-70m seemed to be the better option. Apart from that boats have been limited to fishing in and around the rock walls which has been hard going, the Kingfish are definitely about but gathering bait and tempting them to bite has been very difficult.
Have a great afternoon.
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