Port Macquarie Report

Surface fishing early morning with cicada imitations.
42 Gordon St, Port Macquarie | Ph: (02) 6583 8318

June 30, 2020

The winter angling season on the mid north coast is now in full swing with terrific results being achieved from most areas. With the school holidays now upon us, hopefully the decent weather of recent weeks stays with us for a while longer, and the fish continue to co-operate as they have been doing.

In the estuary, blackfish numbers remain reasonably consistent with the break walls again the place to be. With good quality greenweed now available, this has been the gun bait although both weed flies and cabbage have also been effective. Bream numbers remain excellent, with the better results numbers wise being achieved by those throwing lures during the day, whilst those throwing baits after dark have scored some quality models, particularly around Rawdon Island. On the flathead front, there have been plenty of numbers about with some nice fish taken from the break walls as well as up river. Lures of all profiles, whitebait and poddy mullet have all been effective options. Still a few nice whiting about with Lake Cathie worth a look with either worms or yabbies. After dark seems to be the more productive time if you don’t mind the cooler temperatures. We have also had a few reports of mud crabs still being active, so it look like we will enjoy another winter during which the crabs hardly slowed at all.

Off the rocks at present, tailor numbers have been reasonable, with early morning and late afternoon sessions producing fish to over a kilo or better. As usual, pilchards and metal lures are getting the quantity results, but for quality, try upsizing to either sea garfish or large surface poppers. The latter in particular is a very visual and effective method to chase the better greenbacks. Blackfish remain a reliable option with Point Perpendicular containing good numbers of fish, whilst locally Shelley’s and around the Lighthouse are worth a look. Drummer also remain excellent from most headlands, however avoiding the sanded up gutters and ledges is paramount to success.

Off the beaches, bream and tailor remain reasonable with both North beach and Lighthouse consistently producing fish. There have also been a reports of quality whiting still cruising the beaches, which is to be expected until the water cools a few more degrees. Beach worms and pipis have been the gun baits for both bream and whiting, while pilchards lures and whitebait have all proven effective on tailor. Mulloway however again remain disappointing although there are plenty of salmon about to entertain you in the meantime.

For outside fisho’s, some terrific snapper have been on offer, highlighted by a cracking 11.35 kilo fish recently caught by Jacob Wilkie. Best results have come from south of the Lighthouse although the reefs off Plomer are also certainly worth a look. Pearl perch numbers also remain terrific, as to large sand flathead, particularly on the reef edges in around 55m. Wider out, a few nice kingfish are about with both live baits and jigs working well.

June 23, 2020

Despite the weather being a tad on the fresh side, this time of year is simply terrific on the angling front. All locations are fishing exceptionally well, whether you choose to wet a line in our estuaries, off the rocks or beaches, and of course offshore.

In the estuary, bream numbers have been consistent with good catches taken by bait fisho’s after dark, whilst those throwing all manner of lures during the day have also been enjoying great success. Blackfish remain consistent, with the break walls fishing as well as anywhere on both cabbage and greenweed, as well as the artificial weed flies. Up river, flathead remain well worth chasing, with soft vibes seeing terrific results. Best reports have come from around the Hibbard area but anywhere from the break walls to Wauchope is worth a look. For whiting enthusiasts, Lake Cathie and Limeburners are still worth a look with either worms or yabbies, whilst those throwing surface lures are scoring some feisty trevally from around the canals. There are also plenty of garfish in the lower reaches for those after a bit of light line fun.

On the beaches, bream numbers remain solid, particularly off North beach where several quality fish to around a kilo have been taken. The last hour or two leading up to high tide has produced the better results. Tailor numbers have been a little more consistent with both North beach and the lower end of Lighthouse continuing to produce a steady stream of fish, including the odd greenback to over 2 kilos. Increasing numbers of salmon are also getting about which is great from a sport fishing perspective.

Off the rocks, tailor action has been excellent with pretty all ledges along the mid north coast producing quality fish. Both morning and evening sessions have been productive, with pillies, garfish and lures all proving successful. Locally Lighthouse and Shelleys have been the pick of locations. Also around the rocks, drummer and blackfish numbers remain excellent with all locations fishing well. Locally, Blueface, Shelley’s and Miners have all been worth a look. A few nice groper are also getting about as is usually the case throughout winter. Calm seas, crabs for bait, solid tackle and a very good foothold are the key ingredients should you wish chase these robust fish.

Offshore, kingfish numbers have been excellent with Trag Rock, the 75 reefs off North beach and wider at the ridge all worth a look. Snapper and pearl perch have been terrific closer in, with the reefs in between 45m and 55m off Plomer well worth prospecting. We are also still getting reports of exceptional flathead to around 60cm just off the reefs in around 55m. One lucky angler also caught another Venus Tusk Fish off Port, which is certainly a welcome surprise. For those wishing to chase a few mahi mahi before the FAD is removed for winter maintenance, just be mindful is has dragged approximately 1.5NM south, currently at 31 26 088S – 153 04 199E.

June 16, 2020

The winter fishing season continues to fire on the mid north coast, with great reports from most locations.

In the estuary, blackfish remain consistent from all points in the lower section of the Hastings, with some nice fish well over a kilo being encountered. Weed flies and cabbage seem to be accounting for the better fish. Bream numbers also remain consistent, particularly for those fishing at night, with gut baits and yabbies achieving the better results. Most areas from Rawdon Island to the break walls are worth a look. For flattie fans, there are still good numbers of lizards active in most locations downstream from Rawdon Island. Whitebait, soft plastics and soft vibes have all proven successful. Those throwing lures are also still finding some nice school mulloway, ranging from around 50cm to 90cm which is great fun on light gear. For those fishing even lighter gear, there are plenty of garfish in the system at the moment. Either bread or small portions of peeled prawns, fished on a size 12 hook under a float is the way to go for the gars.

On the beaches, tailor have pick up, with several fish around and over the 2 kilo mark taken from around Crescent head to the north and Kylies to the south. Many of the better fish have been taken on slab baits intended for mulloway which are still proving rather elusive in the main. On the bream front, North Beach has been the pick of locations, with early morning sessions using either pipis or mullet strip seeing fish to around a kilo. Those using worms are also still scoring the odd nice sized whiting, with the entrance to lake Cathie well worth a look. Salmon numbers are also picking up, and will further do so as the water begins to cool.

Off the rocks, tailor catches are improving as is expected at this time of year. Reports of greenbacks over 2 kilos have come from Hat Head and South West Rocks, while a good class of fish is also around locally. Bream numbers have been reasonable, particularly at night, with fresh tailor and bonito strips achieving the better results. A few reasonable mulloway have also been active around Plomer and Bonny Hills, with both lures and tailor slabs successful offerings. On the drummer scene, this season has beenexceptional to date with pretty well all locations from Hat Head to Seal Rocks firing. Cunjevoi, prawns, cabbage and plain old white bread have all been successful. Using bread for pigs has gone out of favour a little over recent years, but can be deadly at times. Try either using either the crusts or squeezing the bread into a hardy ball. Both methods work although you will need to rebait constantly. Makes sense doesn’t it considering it is what many use as their primary berley source.

Offshore, the reefs continue to fish well for most of our common species. Snapper, pearl perch and kingfish have been regularly on offer, together with some terrific teraglin and mulloway. We have also had several reports of exceptional flathead to around 60cm from the gravel patches just off the reefs in around 50 to 60 metres. For those ken on mahi mahi, the FAD is worth visiting however be quick, as all FAD’s south of Forster have now been removed for winter maintenance, with ours also likely to go any time.

June 9, 2020

Wasn’t it great to see some calm and angler friendly weather over the long weekend. As you would expect with social restriction now being eased, both local and visiting anglers were out in force, taking advantage of the fantastic conditions on offer and enjoying the terrific winter angling on offer throughout the Mid North Coast.

In the estuaries, blackfish numbers have been reasonable with some solid fish over a kilo on offer. As has been the case over recent seasons, weed flies have been working well, as to of course cabbage and greenweed if you can source it. Most locations in the lower estuary are worth a look, with either break wall the picks of locations. Bream numbers remain first class despite the big moon, with pretty well all locations holding fish. Best baits have been either yabbies, mullet strips or gut baits of pretty well any description. For lure enthusiasts, blades, soft vibes and crab imitations continue to achieve terrific results. On the flattie front, there are still plenty of lizards active in the lower reaches, with the south wall fishing particularly well over the long weekend. Pilchards and most lure profiles have worked well. The full moon phase also saw a few nice mulloway to around 19 kilos taken off the break walls on both lures and live baits. Lake Cathie has also begun to produce a few really nice whiting, with the area between the bridge and entrance well worth a look.

On the beaches, bream numbers continue to be consistent with both Lighthouse and North beach fishing well. Best baits have been either mullet strips, pipis or beach worms. Tailor numbers have been marginally better around Laurieton and the beaches further south over the past week, although Lighthouse and North Beach have also held a few nice choppers on occasions. Whiting remain reasonable particularly around the entrance of Lake Cathie, however mulloway numbers again disappoint apart from a few isolated encounters.

Off the rocks, drummer have again been excellent, with this season to date being significantly better than recent years. Hopefully this trend will continue throughout winter. For those keen to float a bit of cabbage in the washes, Plomer and Shelley’s have both been productive with bronzies to around a kilo in good numbers. On the tailor front, most headlands are fishing reasonably, with Lighthouse locally as good as anywhere, while the recent full moon phase saw a few mulloway around Plomer and Big Hill.

On the offshore scene, the seas last weekend were kind with plenty of vessels venturing out for both morning and evening sessions. Close in, some solid snapper were on offer, with both baits and plastics successful approaches. Wider out, good numbers of most welcome pearl perch have been about, whilst those dropping livies have scored the odd mulloway to around 8 kilos and some nice teraglin. If you are planning on heading out any time soon, just be mindful there are masses of whales starting their journey up the coast at present, which can be somewhat of a navigation hazard at times, particularly after dark or when travelling at speed. Caution is recommended.

June 2, 2020

Winter 2020 has finally arrived and right on cue we get our first really cool blow from the west. While an extra layer or two of clothing may be required, the fishing at this point of the season is generally first class, and this year is certainly no exception.

Reports from the estuaries indicate there are plenty of bream and blackfish in the lower reaches, albeit a tad patchy over the past week. Best results on the bream have been achieved during the darker hours, with live yabbies and mullet strips proving the better baits. Those throwing lures during the day have also been scoring great results, with blades, soft vibes and crab imitations all doing well. Limeburners, the coal wall and both of the break walls are all worth a go, as to most up river haunts. If blackfish are your scene, the break walls are worth a look, as to the ever popular Lady Nelson wharf. As usual, greenweed if you can get some, cabbage and the weed flies have all had their moments. Flathead continue to be excellent and show few signs of slowing down, enhancing the notion they are a year round proposition, not the summer only species many have grown up believing. For those seeking some succulent whiting, Lake Cathie will certainly be worth a look now the water has begun to clear, with live worms or yabbies fished after dark a recommended combination.

Off the beaches, tailor numbers have fired right up with North beach in particular worth prospecting. Bag limits have been common with some nice fish amongst them. Metal lures of all descriptions have been the more productive offering. Bream numbers have also been consistent with Lighthouse and the beaches around the Camden Haven fishing well. Mulloway however remain below expectations.

Off the rocks, tailor catches as expected are excellent, with Point Plomer, Bonny Hills and around Lighthouse locally fishing well. The ledges to the north are also producing improved numbers of mulloway, with the majority of the fish in the 4 to 8 kilo bracket and the odd better model rewarding preparation and patience. Drummer also have been terrific with most ledges fishing well although if anything, the areas south of Port are a little more consistent. Prawns and cunjevoi have again been the baits of choice. Plenty of blackfish also off the rocks for those floating a bit of cabbage.

Offshore, last weekend saw mixed results with some doing well and others missing out. Snapper have been reasonable and should only improve further into winter. Look for the close in reefs to really fire up over the coming weeks. Some nice pearl perch have also been about, with positive reports from off Plomer in 50 to 60m, and around 45m off Lighthouse Beach. A few teraglin and kingfish have also been on offer, while some nice blue eye trevalla and bar cod have been taken from the deeper reefs when the current has been reasonable.

May 26, 2020

As most people would by now be aware, Lake Cathie is again open to the ocean after an extended period of being closed. While this was perhaps not councils intended outcome, mother nature and the laws of physics combined to turn the intended berm scraping down to 1.2AHD into a normal manual opening of sorts. Whilst this may be viewed as long overdue, there is strong opinion the timing could not have been worse, with a less than optimum tide phase combining with huge ocean swells seeing a much slower release of water than normal. I hope I am wrong, but I suspect this opening may unfortunately result in significant sand ingress into the lower system, rather than opposite and more desirable scouring out. Once the water clears and conditions settle, we will have a better understanding how the lower system fared, and the chances of the openings longevity. Fingers crossed however for a good outcome.

Off the rocks, the big seas will certainly prove beneficial over the coming weeks, with hopefully many of the sanded up locations now scoured out. No doubt drummer enthusiasts are excited for some great opportunities now the swells have begun to abate. Judging by results seen to date, we could potentially be in for one of the better drummer seasons in some time. Cunjevoi and large prawns will be the baits of choice. Bream and blackfish should also be most active from now on. On the tailor front, while results locally have been rather spasmodic, reports from down the coast suggest a much better grade of fish could be in our parts any time. Hopefully this indeed eventuates.

On the beaches, the landscape will have changed significantly with considerable beach erosion and the flattening of pretty well all formations. While the beaches may look featureless and somewhat barren after a big swell, just remember you don’t always need prominent formations to do well. Quite often only a small variance in an otherwise featureless beach fires far better than a beach with a myriad of options. Bream, tailor and late season whiting will certainly be viable targets, and fingers crossed mulloway numbers improve from the rather barren results of the past few months.

In the estuary, bream reports have been outstanding, both in numbers and quality. Best locations have been the break walls and Limeburners, with mullet gut, mullet fillets and pilchard cubes being the pick of baits. Those throwing soft vibes or plastics have also been doing very on the lure front. Blackfish however have been inconsistent, with some nice fish one day and few the next. Greenweed if you can find any, cabbage and weed flies have all been successful. On the mulloway front, there are few fish around the break walls and also up river although not in the numbers we are accustomed to seeing at this time of year. Hopefully this recent stir may see some more activity. To the south, no doubt Lake Cathie will being to see a bit of interest once the water begins to clear. Generally an opening will see fish drawn to the lower reaches from both the ocean and the upper reaches, but given the events of the past six months it is anyone’s guess as to how it will fish in the short term.

Offshore, with virtually no safe access for around a week, no doubt there will be plenty of boaties itching to get out. While you are still a chance for a few late season inshore pelagics, the reefs will likely be the focus from now on. Snapper, pearl perch and kingfish will all be viable targets, as to mahi mahi from around the FAD. If the latter is your scene, I’d suggest getting out sooner rather than later, as NSW DPI have begun removing their FAD’s for winter maintenance.

May 19, 2020

While the weather has generally been terrific over recent weeks, it seems our first real east coast low of the season may be on the way over the coming week. Time will tell in this regard, as the historical accuracy levels in predicting such events is, to put it bluntly, consistently inaccurate. If it does indeed eventuate, while this may create a few short term challenges, it should fire our winter angling season right up.

In the estuaries, bream have been terrific as is expected at this time of year. Both break walls have given up some solid fish to around a kilo, as has Limeburners and many locations up river. Mullet fillets, gut baits and yabbies have all been successful from a bait perspective, while soft vibes fished in the deeper sections is doing the trick again on the lure front. On the blackfish front, results have been a little up and down, although there some nice fish about. With greenweed still being scarce, both cabbage and weed flies have been the weapons of choice. Flathead numbers continue to be quite good for this time of year, with Limeburners and around Hibbard giving up a number of good fish. There have also been plenty of good sized garfish in the lower reaches, which is great fun for all, especially kids. For mulloway enthusiasts, the tides are now excellent and I would expect a high level of interest around the break walls over the evening high tides during the next few nights.

Off the beaches, bream numbers have picked up considerably with some terrific reports. To date, the beaches around the Camden Haven seem to be the pick of locations, although Lighthouse and North beach are both certainly worth a look. A few tailor are also about, albeit a little inconsistently. Still a few whiting on Lighthouse with worms the gun bait, while we are just entering a great tide phase for mulloway. Hopefully results improve from recent times.

Off the rocks, drummer numbers have been excellent, particularly for so early in the season. Last weekend saw terrific results from many headlands ranging from Hat Head to Seal rocks, including a few often neglected or overlooked ledges around Port. Both large prawns and cunjevoi were successful offerings. If the big seas predicted for the next few days eventuate, look for even better fishing over the ensuing weeks. Also off the rocks, a few reasonable tailor are about, along with plenty of bream and blackfish. Some nice mulloway are also about, with both lures and baits seeing success. Long tail tuna numbers however have thinned, although you are still a chance for a late season fish for a few weeks yet.

Offshore, the reefs are fishing very well for all of our staple species. Snapper have been excellent for so early in our winter season, with some cracking fish taken on both lures and baits. Pearl perch have also been consistent with good numbers off Plomer, together with a sprinkling of teraglin and kingfish. The FAD is also worth a visit, with plenty of mahi mahi hanging about, albeit only ranging from juvenile to about 800mm.

May 12, 2020

Despite the noticeable dip in the mercury this week, angling conditions have been pretty close to ideal over recent times. Simply a great time of year to take advantage of the wonderful array of angling options available to us here on the Mid North Coast.

In the estuaries, the recent full moon and big tides have seen results a little mixed which is to be expected. On the positive side, a few nice mulloway were taken off both break walls, with both lures and live baits successful offerings. Further up river, some nice school sized fish have also been active. Bream and blackfish however have been a little inconsistent in comparison to the past couple of weeks, although look for the action on both these species to quickly pick back up. On the flathead front, some big fish have been active around Pelican Island of late, while the waters between Settlement Point and Rawdon Island have held plenty of fish ideally sized if you are seeking a feed. On the crabbing front, muddies are still very active in most parts upstream of Hibbard, while the odd big blue swimmer is still around in the lower reaches.

Off the beaches, there have been some reasonable bream on offer with Lighthouse holding the better grade of fish. North beach has numbers, but there are plenty of throw backs in amongst the keepers. Tailor are also about on most beaches, with the better results being achieved late afternoons. Whiting have been reasonable, with some fish still around Lake Cathie, and on Shelley’s in town. Still no consistency on the mulloway front, however the best few months are now coming up.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers and quality are reasonable, with Big Hill and Hat Head both holding good fish, as to the Lighthouse here at Port. Point Plomer and surrounds have also begun to produce some nice bream, and this should further improve over coming weeks. We are also hearing increasing stories on the drummer front, with quite a few fish being encountered both locally as well as south of Port. Prawns and cunjevoi have both worked well. Plenty of blackfish off the rocks as well at the moment, with around either Shelley’s and Lighthouse worth a look. There have also been a few nice mulloway about the stones, with positive encounters coming from Plomer, Bonny Hills and Diamond head over the past week.

On the offshore front, some terrific snapper are on offer both off Plomer as well in front of Port. Those bottom fishing off Plomer have also been finding a few terrific pearl perch, as well as reasonable teraglin and the odd kingfish. No real action on the mackerel front, however you will still be a chance for a few weeks yet. Quite often the best fish of the year don’t show up till around June, so persevering could prove rewarding if mackerel is your scene. For those with the vessels and gear to fish the real deep stuff, good results have been achieved on blue eye, bar cod and a few other deep water ooglies.

April 5, 2020

While the recent cool change has not pleased everybody, the keen anglers among us just love this time of year. The mullet have commenced their travels up along our coastline, which generally heralds the commencement of some terrific coastal angling over the coming months. Time to dust off the rods, find the warmer attire and enjoy the action if you are not already doing so.

In the estuaries, we have finally begun to see an improvement on the mulloway front after a relatively quiet few months. Both break walls have produced solid fish on both live baits and lures, whilst up river has also yielded some nice school sized specimens. The evening tides for the next few nights should be well worth focusing on. On the bream front, there have been some terrific fish about the lower reaches, although the bright moon may see them a little shy during evening sessions for a few nights at least. Mullet strips and gut baits have been working very well. For blackfish enthusiasts, results have been a little varied with a few fish one day and little the next. Flathead however have been most consistent with soft vibes working exceptionally well. The stretch from Rawdon Island down to Hibbard has been well worth a look. For crabbing enthusiasts, results have been terrific with bag limit catches common from the Hastings and Maria arms.

Off the beaches, the pulse of swell over the last few days have made fishing the open stretches of sand a little more awkward, although the latter part of this week, and the weekend look promising. On the tailor front, look for more consistent results in evening sessions with the full moon now about. Lighthouse and North beach should both be worth a look. Mulloway are also a big possibility with some key factors now coinciding. Good tides, full moon, mullet travelling and tailor about are all great indicators that these apex predators will be on the hunt. For day time anglers, bream are also around in reasonable numbers along with some solid late season whiting.

Off the rocks, the recent swells have limited options but there are very encouraging signs for so early in the season. Blackfish have been excellent from most headlands, together with consistent drummer encounters from the more washed out locations. Bream have been improving, and most headlands are holding tailor albeit a little inconsistently. We have also heard a few reports of mulloway with some nice fish on offer. Divers have also reported seeing significant schools around Plomer, so it would appear a sharp improvement is imminent.

Offshore, this weekend looks a little more promising as the recent swell and winds begin to subside. No doubt the reefs will be keenly prospected, as there have been some terrific snapper about, along with a few pearl perch and kingfish. For mackerel enthusiasts, the water in close has warmed right up again so chasing either a Spanish or spotty could well prove rewarding. No doubt there will also be a few long tail and mac tuna in close to keep you amused in between bites.

April 28, 2020

After enjoying what has been the most consecutive weeks of sublime weather in recent memory, mother nature is about to give us our annual Autumn reality check, with the first real cool and windy south westerly change of the year due this week. While some will no doubt store the fishing gear and simply reach for another layer of clothing, the keen anglers among us know we are now entering the best time of year on the piscatorial calendar.

On the beaches, the mullet are now travelling with hopefully a few lucky enough to reach their destination. Usually this signifies the commencement of the best action of the season for other targeted species. Hopefully this will apply to the mulloway who have been elusive for some time now. On the positive side however, tailor numbers have been excellent, with plenty of fish on both North beach and Lighthouse. Bream and whiting also remain consistent, while North beach has also held a few nice flathead on the southern end.

Off the rocks, tailor remain consistent however dawn or dusk is a must. Blackfish also remain excellent, with virtually any ledge worth a go, whilst bream numbers and quality have also begun to pick up. On the drummer front, reports are most encouraging for this time of year, with quite a few ledges around Plomer and Big Hill already worth a look, as long you locate the ledges that are reasonably free of sand. Hopefully we could be in for a cracker pig season once the water begins to cool. From a land based game perspective, longtail tuna remain viable targets from the favoured ledges and should remain so for a few weeks yet at least.

In the estuary, bream numbers remain terrific, with the breakwalls producing consistent hauls of fish. Live yabbies, gut baits and fresh mullet have been the pick of the baits. Flathead numbers remain reasonable, with the better results coming from areas downstream of the Dennis Bridge. In the Hastings, blackfish are improving with great results one day yet average the next. Once the water cools a further degree or two, look for a little more consistency. With greenweed scarce at this early stage of the season, best results have been achieved on cabbage, however those persisting with artificial weed are beginning to see good results as well. On the mulloway front, now is the time of year to chase the larger models from the lower reaches. Once the mullet assemble en masse, you can bet a few decent fish will be shadowing them.

On the offshore scene, results over the past week have again been mixed despite ideal conditions. The close in mackerel action has slowed, with cooler water and a lack of current seeing bites hard to come by. The pending strong offshore wind change however may see their activity resume. On the reefs, some nice snapper have been taken off Lighthouse beach and Lake Cathie on plastics, while a little wider a few terrific pearl perch and kingfish have been on offer. With the lack of current last week, a few took the opportunity fish the deeper waters, with great results on Blue eye, long fin perch and nannygai among other species.

April 21, 2020

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen more locals wetting a line than I can ever recall. No doubt the Covid 19 restrictions have had a lot to do with this, given recreational angling, or passive exercise as it is now categorised, is one of the few allowable pastimes in current times. Another factor has been the sensational weather of late. It has been a long time since we have enjoyed such a sustained period of sublime conditions. On top of these aspects, this is also a premier time of year on the angling front, with terrific results being achieved on many species and from most locations. Given these, it is no surprise the participation rate is so high.

In the estuary, the lower reaches have really come to life with plenty of mullet assembling ready to head to sea. Anzac Day is traditionally renowned as when the mullet begin to run, but this of course varies each year depending upon conditions. This annual occurrence is generally not missed by the predators, with mulloway action certainly on the cards over the coming weeks. No prizes for guessing what the gun bait will be. Also in the estuaries, bream and tarwhine have been excellent around the break walls, and should only improve from this point onwards. Blackfish action to has been consistent, with the break walls your best bets. To date, cabbage has been the bait of choice, although those using the artificial weed have also enjoyed success. Flathead numbers have been reasonable in the Hasting, with around Settlement Point and the Hibbard area faring best. A few nice whiting also in Limeburners and around Pelican Island, with surface lures still working quite well.

On the beaches, Tailor numbers are up with North beach producing a few bag limit catches of fish to around a kilo. Lighthouse has also held its fair share, with metal lures seeing the better results. Bream numbers have also been solid from most locations, as to whiting. Mulloway however remain rather elusive apart from a few isolated reports from throughout the Camden haven and around Crescent Head.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers and quality are quite solid although by and large, the better action has been from south of Port. Bream numbers locally are on the improve and should be well worth targeting over the coming week or so. Blackfish and drummer numbers are also encouraging, with early season results on both species above average. On the land based game scene, plenty of longtail tuna are still being encountered from Hat head, Point Perpendicular, Bonny Hills as well around the Lighthouse, and should remain a viable target for some weeks yet. There are also still plenty of bonito about for those who want some great bait or light line sport.

Offshore, while the water colour and temperature in close has been less than desirable for inshore pelagics, those fishing the reefs have been doing very well indeed. Snapper action has been terrific close in on both baits and lures, while wider out, pearl perch, teraglin and kingfish have all been plentiful. On the game fishing front, we have also had several reports of yellowfin tuna wider out and wahoo not far north, while the FAD has held plenty of mahi mahi, albeit mainly juvenile. Look for the mackerel action to pick up again when we get our next period of sustained southerly or offshore winds.

April 14, 2020

On the beaches, there are good numbers of bream on most stretches of sand, albeit in mixed size. While the odd few good fish have been taken, they have been significantly outnumbered by juveniles. From a long term perspective, this is not a bad sign at all. Along with the bream, some nice whiting are still about, with the southern end of Lighthouse still fishing well. A few tailor also remain active, although they to are variable in size.

In the estuaries, bream have been excellent particularly from around the break walls after dark. While there are plenty of juvenile models, some nice fish are mixed in. Best baits for the better fish have been either mullet or slimey mackerel strips, whilst those fishing with yabbies have also been finding a few reasonable tarwhine. On the blackfish front, both break walls are well worth a look on either cabbage or green weed flies. Further up river, flathead remain consistent from most parts with whitebait or most lure profiles working well. Blackmans Point and around Pelican Island are also worth a look for whiting on either yabbies or worms. Mulloway however remain a little quiet, however with more and more mullet beginning to congregate in the lower reaches, you can bet the mulloway won’t be too far away.

Off the rocks, drummer reports continue to be encouraging for so early in the season with some nice fish well over 2 kilos on most headlands. These are encouraging signs for the season ahead. Tailor numbers also remain reasonable, with those throwing smaller metal lures also encountering good numbers of bonito and the odd mac tuna. Bream numbers are solid and improving, and should further pick up over the coming weeks. On the land based game front, still plenty of long tail tuna in varying numbers from most renowned locations.

Offshore reports have varied with some enjoying good days, and others having to work hard for a feed. On the pelagic front, Barries Bay is still holding cobia, mackerel and longtail tuna albeit inconsistently, whilst a few mackerel are still on offer close in off Bonny Hills. On the reefs, some terrific snapper are about highlighted by Adam Williams’ 10.850kg fish taken last weekend. Have also had a couple of reports of bag limits of pearl perch which is always most welcome.

April 7, 2020

Easter has always been a time of year closely associated with angling, whether this link be via religious belief or simply the fact that the fishing and weather are generally fantastic at this time of year. 2020 will be no exception, although the social distancing guidelines in place during these Covid19 times need to be strictly adhered to at all times. Regretfully, this has not been the case over the past couple of weeks, not just locally but right throughout the country. As a result, fishing and other outdoor activities have been banned in other states, for the simple reason to protect people from their own stupidity. Other areas of NSW have also declared local beaches off limits for the same reasons, as well as to discourage people from unnecessary holidaying. As such, if you want to retain the angling and exercise rights we currently have, please follow the guidelines currently in place. These are extensively advertised so ignorance is not an excuse, and realistically allow a high level of freedom when considering the potential impact this virus can have. If we don’t, and further restrictions are implemented, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Off the rocks, long tail tuna are about in solid numbers with reports of both successful and unsuccessful encounters from most locations from Hat Head to south of Forster. Look for this action to continue if not improve over the coming weeks, especially when offshore winds become more common. Also off the rocks, tailor and bonito remain in good numbers, whilst those floating a bit of cabbage report some excellent blackfish and the odd drummer. Bream should also pick up now the moon has begun to wane.

On the beaches, results have been terrific from most stretches of sand. North beach produced bream, whiting and tailor in reasonable numbers, although a lot of the bream were only juveniles. Lighthouse has held bream and whiting, with the latter particularly common from the southern end. The beaches around Lake Cathie have also yielded improved numbers of tailor, as has Grants beach at North Haven. Mulloway however remain elusive on the whole, apart from a few isolated catches.

In the estuary, the break walls are holding good numbers of blackfish and bream, with the latter likely to improve as this full moon dims. Flathead remain consistent in most parts, with Limeburners and around Pelican Island fishing well on both lures and whitebait. The same locations are also holding some terrific whiting, with yabbies or worms the go. Plenty of mud crabs also up river although keep an eye on your traps for obvious reasons.

Offshore, there are fantastic numbers of pelagics on offer from the close in grounds, although as is usually the case, results will vary in line with water temperature and colour. Spanish and spotted mackerel, cobia and long tail tuna have all been encountered locally. On the reefs, snapper numbers remain terrific for this time of year, along a few other mixed reef species.

April 1, 2020

At the time of writing, the state, and nation for that matter, is coming to grips with the effects of Covid19 and subsequent changes to the way we need to live our lives during this crisis. After a turbulent last few days where various government departments were giving mixed interpretations regarding the legalities of recreational angling, we at last have some clarity on the issue. NSW Police, in conjunction with the state government have as of Wednesday 1/4/2020 classified recreational angling as a passive exercise, and therefore as long as social distancing and public gathering guidelines are complied with, it can continue, at least for the time being. Whilst this is great news, anglers are urged to use common sense given the overall issues involved, as this privilege could easily be removed if the guidelines are not adhered to. Anglers are also requested to use discretion with their angling practices, to try and avoid any unnecessary interaction with already strained rescue services and the like.

In the estuaries, despite a further push of colour coming into the Hastings, some terrific action has been enjoyed. Bream have been consistent off the break walls and in Limeburners, as to blackfish. Whiting have been active around Pelican Island and Blackmans Point, along with some terrific flathead close to a metre. A few solid school mulloway have also been encountered, predominately from the upper reaches once again. For crabbing enthusiasts, muddie numbers remain terrific from most parts although blue swimmers are now few and far between as is generally the case once a fair bit colour comes down the system.

Off the beaches, tailor numbers and quality have certainly picked up with some nice fish over a kilo taken from the southern end of Lighthouse as well as beaches throughout the Camden Haven area. Whiting have also been consistent from Lighthouse and Shelley’s in town, while most stretches of sand continue to produce some nice bream. On the mulloway front, we have heard of a few nice fish coming from south beach at Dunbogan, however local results remain disappointing.

Off the rocks, tailor and bonito remain solid with Point Plomer to the north and Lighthouse locally continuing to be the pick of locations. Also in the washes, drummer and blackfish numbers remain above expectations for this time of year. On the land based game front, longtail tuna have arrived in numbers, with fish caught from many locations ranging from Hat Head south to Forster. Live baits and large metals or poppers have all seen success.

On the offshore scene, Barries Bay has again been spasmodic on the mackerel front over the past week, with variable water quality contributing to these mixed results. Having said this however, a few spanish and big spotted mackerel have been encountered along with the odd cobia. Wider out, some terrific blue marlin remain about along with a sprinkling of mahi mahi. Little to report from a bottom fishing perspective given the current, although there have been some terrific snapper closer in.

March 24, 2020

With the world currently in turmoil courtesy of Covid 19, we now are seeing social restrictions in place not seen since the second world war. Let’s just hope these restrictions are the beginning of controlling and eradicating this threat sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we trust everybody will do their bit to stay safe via social distancing and self isolation as appropriate. And on the subject of these, what better way to comply than finding your own spot on the water and enjoying some of the great angling on offer throughout the mid north coast.

In the estuary, blackfish have been fantastic with the south wall well worth visiting, with both cabbage and artificial weed both working well. A few nice bream are also on offer, particularly for those fishing the walls after dark. Flathead have also been terrific, with good numbers of fish taken on both lures and baits around Rawdon Island and in the lower section of the Maria. Whiting have also been consistent around Blackmans Point, and also in Limeburners. Worms and yabbies have both been readily accepted. For mulloway enthusiasts, there are still quite a few school sized fish in the system, and with increased numbers of mullet assembling in the lower reaches, a few larger models may just begin to reappear in the coming weeks. On the crabbing front, the upper reaches remain alive with plenty of muddies on offer, although keep an eye on your traps as the past week has seen plenty mysteriously vanish overnight.

On the beaches, there are some terrific bream around, with both North beach and Lighthouse producing well during early morning and evening sessions. Whiting have also been first class, with beach worms and pipis doing the trick on both species. On the tailor front, numbers are certainly picking up as we progress into autumn and the water clarity slowly improves. Pilchards, lures and even whitebait have all proven effective. Mulloway however remain elusive although we have heard of a few nice fish being taken from South Beach near Diamond Head.

Off the rocks, tailor and bonito have both been common, with the increased numbers of baitfish the catalyst for their improved presence. Also in the washes, blackfish, bream and drummer have been well above average with their numbers more in line with what we expect in the middle of winter. On the land based game scene, a few longtail tuna have been encountered both north and south, although the enthusiasts are keeping the details closely guarded.

Offshore reports have again been dominated by the mackerel action both in Barries Bay and of course the waters north. To date the results remain spasmodic, with the variable water colour and temperature seeing results differ markedly from tide phase to tide phase. Sharks also remain an issue particularly in Barries Bay. Wider out, there are some cracking blue marlin about for the game fishing enthusiasts, while the strong currents have seen challenging conditions for those chasing bottom fish off the reefs.

March 17, 2020

In the estuary, blackfish numbers have been terrific with the break walls and lower reaches producing nice fish on greenweed, cabbage, and weed flies. Flathead numbers remain consistent with both the break walls and Limeburners providing some nice fish on both baits and lures. Bream numbers remain above average courtesy of the lingering colour in the system, although daylight catches are dominated by undersized specimens, with the vast majority of keepers being taken at night. On the whiting front, results have picked up again with some solid fish taken from Limeburners and around Pelican Island. Yabbies and worms have been the gun baits. No real news on the mulloway front apart from the odd school sized fish up river. For crabbing enthusiasts, there are still plenty of muddies throughout the system, with the quality and condition of the crabs excellent.

On the beaches, bream and whiting reports have been excellent which is not unusual in the weeks following a fresh. Both Lighthouse and North beach have been consistent for both species, whilst good reports have also come in from Dunbogan and Plomer. Tailor have again been sporadic although a few nice fish have come lighthouse, predominately on metals. On the mulloway front, numbers are still poor overall and will likely stay that way for another month or two yet.

Off the rocks, tailor and bonito numbers have picked up, particularly during dawn sessions. Small chrome or white slugs have been the go for bonito, while larger metals or pilchards have been the go for tailor. Drummer reports remain excellent for this time of year with fish seemingly active on most headlands. Cunjevoi and large prawns have been working well. Plenty of blackfish also active around the headlands, with cabbage as usual the go. Unfortunately this bait presentation is also to the liking of drummer, with most encounters on the finesse gear not ending well for the anglers.

Offshore, with the exception of last Saturday morning, conditions have not been at all favourable, with plenty of wind, swell and rain. Those fishing the reefs report some terrific snapper are still about, with fish up to 6 kilos taken mainly on plastics. A few pearl perch and other mixed reef species were also on offer. On the pelagic front, Barries Bay has held a few spotted and Spanish mackerel despite poor water colour, however with no real consistency on either species. Sharks however have also been in the bay in big numbers, with a very high attrition rate on hooked fish. This is a classic example of learned behaviour in our marine environment, with the sharks knowing an easy meal is to be had once a tethered fish nears the boat. Don’t expect this problem to go away time soon.

March 10, 2020

While some may see the recent weather as being somewhat dreary, from an angling perspective this is just what we want to see in the lead up to our autumn fishing season. Good rainfall, southerly winds and the occasional bit of swell all bode well for the months ahead.

On the beaches, despite a bit swell and southerly breeze some terrific action has been enjoyed. North Beach has been producing good numbers of bream and whiting during daylight hours along with a few tailor during evening sessions. A similar story on Lighthouse. Mulloway however remain elusive despite optimum tides and lunar phases. While this lack of action has led to concern regarding their numbers from some, history has shown results on these fish is cyclic, with good and poor periods often within a 7 to 10 year period. No doubt they will be back again at some point soon.

Off the rocks, blackfish and drummer numbers have been excellent with results more in line with what we expect in late autumn or winter. No one is complaining though. Plomer and Point Perpendicular have both been fishing well. Tailor have also been reasonable although generally the fish are only in the chopper class, while a few nice bream have been taken at first light. No real news on the land based game front, however the enthusiasts are a most secretive bunch who go to great lengths to keep results to themselves. Any time from now on will be worth a look though.

In the estuary, the benefits of the recent fresh are now being enjoyed with some terrific action throughout the Hastings. Blackfish numbers have been consistent off the break walls with quite a few bag limit catches reported. Cabbage has been the standout bait. A few nice bream have also been taken after dark despite the full moon. Up river, the bream are also active, with both surface and diving lures seeing good success. Flathead also remain consistent from most parts, whilst Limeburners and around Pelican Island have produced some terrific whiting over the past week. Mulloway however remain somewhat elusive although a few school sized fish continue to be encountered around the Highway bridges and up the deeper sections of the Maria. Still plenty of very active mud crabs in most parts for those after a feed of these tasty crustaceans.

Offshore, mackerel fever has once again taken hold with Barries Bay as usual attracting plenty of attention. To date, results have been a little spasmodic however there are both Spanish and spotted mackerel, as well as cobia present in varying numbers. With continued southerly winds forecast for the next week, the warm currents should stay in close and hopefully bring a few more fish with them. Wider out, the FAD has been a little hit and miss although the mahi mahi that have been encountered have generally been of good size. Those fishing the reefs report a few snapper and pearl perch off Plomer, together with the occasional kingfish.

February 25, 2020

The local angling scene has been fishing very well over the past week with the benefits of the recent fresh now beginning to show.

In the estuary, bream numbers remain terrific in the lower reaches with those fishing the evening high tide scoring some nice fish. Now the system has begun to clear, the bream are again feeding aggressively further up river on both lures and baits. Whiting reports have also improved in line with the improved clarity, with encouraging reports from Limeburners and around Pelican Island. Flathead have also been active in both of these locations. On the blackfish front, the break walls have been producing some nice fish to over a kilo on cabbage, although results have varied considerably from day to day. Mulloway however remain below expectations, with the general consensus being plenty of fish are still up river despite the recent fresh. On the crabbing front, muddies remain terrific in most parts, however blue swimmers have quietened right down as usually happens when the river has colour.

Of the beaches, there have been good numbers of whiting with reports from around Point Plomer, Lighthouse and near Middle Rock. Bream numbers have also been above average, with the recent fresh seeming to push quite a few fish out of our estuaries and onto the beaches. A bit of good news to on the tailor front, with sporadic catches taken from Lighthouse and South beach at Dunbogan. Look for this to improve markedly as the water clarity improves.

Off the rocks, the land based game season is about to begin with just a couple of offshore blows needed to get the water just right. With Spanish mackerel and cobia now here, you can bet the longtail tuna are not far away. No doubt there will be some serious prospecting undertaken by the enthusiasts from now on. Also off the rocks, some terrific early season drummer are about, along with good numbers of bream and blackfish. Bodes well for a good autumn season ahead.

On the offshore front, despite a bit of variable water colour and current in close, the highly anticipated pelagics have shown up. Barries Bay, as always, is a hive of activity, with a few Spanish mackerel, spotted mackerel, cobia and mac tuna caught over the last week. Look for this action to pick up over the coming weeks, especially if we get we get a bit of a blow from the south, and the clean warm currents again push in close. Wider out, the currents have been strong which has limited the action for those fishing the reefs. Despite this, a few snapper and pearl perch have been about. For billfish enthusiasts, small black marlin are around in reasonable numbers.

February 18, 2020

After the much welcome, and long overdue minor flood of last week, conditions are now beginning to return to normal and our angling prospects for the coming weeks look terrific.

In the estuary, with a fair amount of colour in the Hastings, as you would suspect most of the action of late has centred around the lower reaches. As usual during flood conditions, mulloway were heavily targeted from the break walls however on whole results were underwhelming. While a few school sized fish were indeed landed, predominately on hard bodied lures, the better fish were few and far between. Of the few larger models encountered, the treacherous north easterly swell made landing them virtuously impossible. Bream however were terrific, with bag limit catches common from many locations downstream of Rawdon Island. Mullet strips were particularly successful. During the heavy seas, a few pan sized snapper were also caught off the North Wall which is always a welcome bonus for land based anglers. Now that a bit of clarity has begun to push back in to the system, blackfish have been about off the south wall, while Settlement Point and Pelican Island are well worth prospecting for flathead. On the crabbing front, while the fresh may push a few blue swimmers out of the system, mud crab numbers have been terrific around Blackmans Point and the Hibbard area.

Of the beaches, there is quite a bit of erosion courtesy of the recent swells, with North Beach particularly impacted. Mother nature however will likely correct this in the short term. Despite conditions being somewhat challenging, bream and whiting numbers have been excellent off both Lighthouse and North Beach. Beach worms have been the gun bait. Hopefully when the water clarity improves, we may see a few tailor begin to reappear.

Off the rocks, during the heavy seas, a few nice bream and blackfish were on offer from the protected areas of Shelley’s and Miners. Cunjevoi, as is often the case, was particularly effective during the rough seas. Those venturing south of town have also been finding a few drummer and the odd snapper. On the land based game scene, the dirty water off most of the mid north coast will likely see a late start to the season. We have however had reports of fish further up the coast, so fingers crossed conditions conspire to see the some warm and clean water push right in over the coming weeks.

Offshore, results have been mixed with the current roaring one day and completely stopped the next. Close in, snapper remain terrific with the reefs off Shelley’s in around 30 to 40 meters well worth a look on either baits or plastics. A few pearl perch and other mixed reef species have also been about. Wider out, some warm water has come down from the north with the odd billfish encountered last weekend. No doubt the mackerel enthusiasts are dusting off their gear in anticipation of these warm currents pushing in over the coming weeks.

February 3, 2020

Further to last weeks comments regarding the possibility of decent rainfall this month, updated forecast models for most of the state are very positive indeed for the coming week. While this may temporarily curtail the occasional angling session, fingers remain crossed these predicted widespread rains indeed eventuate.

On the beaches, although the water remains rather cool some reasonable action has been on offer. North beach continues to produce a few really nice bream, whilst Lighthouse and Shelley’s in town have consistently yielded whiting. Pipis have been the premier offering for the bream while beachworms as usual have been the go for whiting. Once again, tailor numbers remain spasmodic with the better reports still from south of Port. Mulloway again are proving elusive and will likely do so until our estuaries receive a decent flood.

Off the rocks, results have been more akin to winter rather than this time of year courtesy of the cool water temperatures. As such, best results have been on bream, drummer and blackfish, with the odd nice snapper thrown in. Hopefully these nor easters may begin to back down shortly and a few warm currents begin to flow down from the north and push in on our prominent headlands. No doubt the land based game enthusiasts will be dusting of the gear in preparation for this.

In the estuary, results have been a little mixed over the past week. The break walls are still producing a few reasonable bream with the added colour no doubt assisting in this regard. Flathead numbers also remain reasonable off the break walls, however mulloway encounters have again been few and far between. Further up river, bream are still very active around Rawdon Island, with surface lures working well. Flathead also remain consistent from most parts, with either whitebait or lures the offerings of choice. A few school mulloway have also been about the upper reaches, while a lucky client of Castaway Estuary Charters managed to land a cracking cobia well over a metre. On the whiting front, there are still some terrific fish on offer, with good reports from several locations. Worms and yabbies seem to be edging the surface lures with this bit of colour in the water. For crabbing enthusiasts, blue swimmer numbers remain excellent from most spots downstream of Rawdon Island, while those venturing way upstream have been finding a few nice muddies.

Offshore, we still have a large tract of cool water off our coastline which is a little unusual for this time of year. Whilst this is not doing the pelagic action any favours, reef fishing however has been terrific. Snapper numbers have been well above average, with the reefs off Shelley’s in 30 to 40m as consistent as anywhere with some nice fish to over 5 kilos on offer. Fresh slimey mackerel and bonito fillets have been particularly effective, as to of course, soft plastics. Wider out, pearl perch numbers to have been excellent, with a few teraglin and the odd kingfish thrown in.

January 28, 2020

For the first time in quite a while, last week saw a small fresh come down the Hastings which was a very welcome sight indeed. In reality however, this fresh was minimal and has not has not any significant location impact on the angling action, which can often the case when the river changes colour. On the plus side however, angling in general remains first class, and longer term forecasts suggest a bit of seriously wet stuff may be in store for the coming month. Fingers crossed!

In the estuary, despite last weeks small fresh, flathead and whiting numbers remain solid, and remain the best bets as they have been all season. Best flattie bait at present is whitebait, with worms or yabbies doing the trick with whiting. Lures of course will also achieve great results with both species. On the blackfish front, Limeburners in the Hastings has been consistently productive, whilst the break walls have also seen some reasonable action on cabbage. Those fishing the break walls after dark have also been finding some nice bream on mullet fillets, while up river surface lures have been a very productive approach. On the mulloway front, unfortunately the fresh was not significant enough to see any improvement in the lower reaches, however there are still plenty of fish up river. Live baits, soft vibes and quality hard bodies lures have all seen success on fish ranging from juvenile to around 10 kilos. On the crabbing front, the added colour in the Hastings has seen muddie numbers pick up a little which is pleasing. Also pleasing is the fact the colour has not put the swimmers off at all, with plenty of solid crabs still active in most parts downstream of Rawdon Island.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers have been just reasonable from around the Lighthouse, although those spinning with small metals have been scoring a few bonito. Blackfish are worth chasing by floating a bit of cabbage, with this method also likely to attract the attention of the occasional drummer. Best results have been reported from south of Port.

Off the beaches, North beach continues to produce some terrific bream, with daylight sessions using pipis and worms seeing the better results. A few whiting have also been offer from both North beach and Lighthouse. Tailor however remain spasmodic with a few isolated schools but no real consistency, while mulloway remain disappointingly elusive.

Offshore, the past week has seen quite cool water off our coastline and very little current in the main. While not ideal for the pelagic enthusiasts, the reefs however have been very productive. Pearl perch numbers have been excellent, particularly on the wider reefs between 60 and 90 metres. Closer in, terrific snapper have been on offer with both pilchards and plastics accounting for quality reds to around 6 kilos. Once the warm currents return in close, look for mahi mahi and small black marlin action to pick right up, and hopefully, the first real mackerel showing of the season.

January 22, 2020

The past few weeks have been terrific with some great action enjoyed by anglers young and old.

In the estuary, great to see a little colour come down courtesy of last weekends rain, although still far less than what we really need. Whiting numbers in the Hastings remain consistent with the lower section of the Maria and in Limeburners both fishing well. Both surface lures and either yabbies or beach worms have proven effective. On the flathead front, pretty well all locations between Wauchope and the break walls have again been producing fish, as to both break walls. Further upstream, bream and bass are still receptive to surface lures despite the added colour. We are also still hearing of a few mulloway encounters from the upper reaches although the fresh would not appear significant enough to improve results from the lower sections around the break walls on this occasion. Good news though for blackfish enthusiasts, with the break walls and Limeburners holding plenty of actively feeding fish.

On the beaches, bream numbers and quality have been above average, with North beach in particular producing some solid fish on both worms and pipis. Along with the bream, some nice whiting have also been on offer on both the aforementioned baits. On the tailor front, while results remain spasmodic, there are a few fish around. Just look for the birds feeding on baitfish and you can bet a few tailor will not be far away.

Off the rocks, tailor have improved a little although you will need to rise early or you will miss what has been somewhat of a short bite. Best results locally have been achieved around the Lighthouse. We have also had a few reports of bonito being taken by those spinning early, although not as yet on a consistent basis. Still plenty of blackfish around Plomer and Lighthouse, along with the occasional bream and drummer.

Offshore, the variable currents have produced variable results as is often the case. On the reefs, snapper and pearl perch remain reasonable with the reefs off the Lighthouse worth prospecting. The FAD is also worth a look for mahi mahi, however reports are the better fish have been holding quite deep. Also on the pelagic front, a few marlin are about for the game fishing enthusiasts, while reports from not far north are encouraging on the mackerel front.

January 14, 2020

This last week has seen a significant jump in the humidity on the Mid North Coast. Whilst this may be an unpleasant change from the dry heat of resent months, at least it signifies moisture in the air with good rainfall now a possibility. Fingers crossed the forecasts for the next few days prove accurate.

Offshore, the Golden Lure has once again been successfully staged, with the final day of competition finishing today. While conditions have at times been challenging and the fish often proving rather elusive, some great catches were achieved. Congratulations to the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club for once again hosting a terrific event that showcases the game fishing available on the mid north coast.

On the bottom fishing front, the variable currents and water temperatures in close have made for up and down results. One day the water is still and a cool 18 degrees, the next the current is flying and the water a beautiful blue and 24 degrees. Despite this, a few reasonable snapper and pearl perch have been on offer, together with the odd kingfish around trag rock.

Off the beaches, bream and whiting have been on most beaches, along with plenty of pesky dart. Worms and pipis have been the go. A few tailor have also been around although again in sporadic numbers and locations.

Off the rocks, bream and blackfish have both been reasonable from around Plomer, along with consistent numbers of bream. Tailor however have been rather fickle although the Lighthouse has held a few fish consistently at first light. Still a few drummer around Lighthouse and Diamond Head for those fishing the washes with either prawns, cunjevoi or cabbage.

In the estuaries, whiting and flathead both remain excellent as is usually the case at this time year. Flathead are being taken from all parts of the Hastings on both bait and lures, while Limeburners, Blackmans Point and around Pelican Island have yielded the better results on whiting. For the whiting, worms and yabbies are your best bet from a bait perspective, while for lure enthusiasts, surface presentations are well worth the effort. Also in the estuaries, good bream have been taken on surface lures from the very upper reaches of the salt, with some cracking bass mixed in. The break walls have also produced a few nice bream, predominately after dark. On the mulloway front, while the lower reaches have largely devoid of action, a few solid school fish have been taken up the Maria and around the Rawdon Island area.

January 7, 2020

As is always the case at this time of year, the buzz around the angling fraternity focuses on the Golden Lure. This year marks the 36th anniversary of this terrific event, with a fantastic schedule ahead so fingers crossed the weather gods get the winds to back off this weekend.

As in recent years, the tournament is based from the Port Marina, with the public always welcome to come along and see what transpires. Don’t forget to, there is a terrific juniors on shore competition to be held on Wednesday the 15th of January. The competition is open to all kids aged 6 to 15, costs only $5.00 and has heaps of prizes and give aways. Entry forms can be obtained from either Ned Kelly’s Bait n Tackle, or from the tournament headquarters at the Marina.

And good news to on the game fishing front with warm water and plenty of action now on offer. Black marlin have arrived in close almost on cue, while some solid blues are wider out together with a sprinkling of yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi. For those content to fish the bottom, the local charter boats have been scoring some nice snapper and pearl perch, together with plenty of flathead and the odd solid kingfish.

In the estuary, action has been consistent over the past week with just about every available piece of foreshore occupied by both locals and visitors alike. Star attractions have again been the summer staples of flathead and whiting, with some great results achieved on both. Plenty of flathead have been taken from the south wall on pilchards, while soft lures have been particularly effective further upstream. On the whiting front, best results have come from around Blackmans Point and Pelican Island, with both surface lures and yabbies working well. A few nice bream have also been taken from the break walls after dark on mullet strips and pilchard pieces, while upriver, surface lures have been very effective. On the mulloway front, a few school sized fish have been taken from around Rawdon Island and the Highway bridges, however with a full moon tonight, don’t be surprised a decent fish or two show up around the break walls. For crabbing enthusiasts, still plenty of blue swimmers in the lower reaches.

Off the beaches, tailor remain spasmodic with some afternoons seeing plenty of chopper grade fish taking metals or pilchards, and the next completely devoid of any signs. Bream and whiting however have been a little more consistent, with the northern ends of both Lighthouse and North beach worth a look using worms on a run up tide.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers are reasonable with the odd solid fish taken by those rising at daylight. Blackfish are a good proposition with Lighthouse and Point Perpendicular both producing a few reasonable bags, whilst a few good bream have been taken during the darker hours. We are also still hearing reports of drummer, with the Lighthouse and Diamond Head both worth prospecting.

December 31, 2019

Another year has flown by, and let’s hope 2020 brings with it many memorable angling moments. Let’s also hope early 2020 delivers on the promise of much needed rainfall, which is urgently required to not only ease the current drought and bushfire crises affecting much of the country, but to also breathe life into our ailing waterways.

In the estuary, action has been consistent over the past week with just about every available piece of foreshore occupied by both locals and visitors alike. Star attractions have been the summer staples flathead and whiting with some good results achieved on both. Flathead numbers have been solid with fish on offer from most points from the break walls up to Wauchope. Lures have been by far the premier form of attack. On the whiting front, good reports have come from Blackmans Point and Limeburners in particular, with surface lures proving very effective. If bait fishing is your preferred style, beach worms and yabbies are the go. On the bream scene, the break walls have given up some nice fish to over a kilo after dark, while the upper reaches of the Maria and Hastings have fished well on all manner of lures. For mulloway enthusiasts, while the break walls have been a little quiet over recent times, a few nice fish have been taken between Rawdon Island and Wauchope. We have also had numerous reports of kingfish encounters in the lower reaches around the break walls and Westport area. Most encounters have ended unsuccessfully however a few fish ranging from undersize up to around 8 kilos have been successfully landed.

Off the beaches, the fishing has been a little up and down as can often be case at this time of year with nor easters, cool water and a bit of red weed making things challenging. Despite this, Lighthouse has held a few bream and whiting, as to Shelley’s in town. The northern end of North Beach has also produced whiting, while South beach at Dunbogan has seen a few brief tailor showings.

Off the rocks, Plomer has produced a few bream blackfish and the occasional tailor. Locally, Lighthouse is still holding a few reasonable drummer along with blackfish. Tailor however have been a little hit and miss with early morning sessions before the winds get up mandatory for tailor enthusiasts.

Offshore, we are again in the grip of relentless nor easters which has seen few opportunities to head out of late. Those who have managed to take advantage of the brief weather windows have generally done well. The reefs are producing a sprinkling of reasonable snapper together with a few pearl perch and kingfish. The flathead grounds have also been quite consistent. On the pelagic front, while results remain somewhat spasmodic, a few billfish are about with confirmed blue and black marlin encounters during recent times. Mahi mahi remain consistent with the FAD attracting fish and boats in equal numbers.

December 17, 2019

It’s that time of year again with Santa due to show up in only a few sleeps time, hopefully bringing lots of toys of a piscatorial nature for us to try out over the Xmas break. And whilst we generally hope for great weather at this time of year, wouldn’t it be great if Santa could also deliver a bit of decent rainfall to the state.

In the estuaries, flathead remain consistent as they have been all season, with both baits and lures working well in most areas between Rawdon Island and Settlement Point. Whiting too are on the bite, with some top quality fish about. Best results have been from Limeburners and the back channel, with surface lures now producing great action. On the mulloway front, whilst the break walls have been a little quiet, fish to around 10 kilos have been caught around Wauchope and the Hibbard area. Live baits and lures have both been successful. The south break wall has also been worth a look for bream and blackfish, although catches of both species are a little hit and miss. For crabbing enthusiasts, blue swimmers remain very active in most parts downstream of Rawdon Island, whilst the better muddie reports have been from way up river in all tributaries of the Hastings.

On the beaches, the recent southerly change has warmed the water up and cleared, at least temporarily, most of the red weed. As such, whiting and bream have been reasonable off both lighthouse and North Beach, with worms the gun bait. Both beaches are also holding a few tailor albeit primarily small fish.

Off the rocks, there a still a few drummer around for those willing to put in the time seeking the few remaining washed out gutters. Diamond Head would be worth a look now access is allowed following the recent fires. Closer to home, the Lighthouse is holding a few chopper tailor, whilst Plomer is worth prospecting for bream and blackfish.

On the offshore scene, things are looking up with some warmer water now beginning to filter down from the north. On the pelagic front, the FAD has begun to produce a consistent supply of mahi mahi, with the odd model over 10 kilos. Wider out, a few yellowfin tuna are about, together with the occasional billfish. Hopefully this will improve over the coming weeks. Closer in, snapper numbers are above average with some nice fish taken in front of Port on both baits and lures. A few kingfish and pearl perch have also been on offer.

December 10, 2019

In the estuaries, flathead continue to star however whiting numbers continue to improve as the waters warm. Best results on the lizards are still coming from further up the Hastings, with whitebait, prawns and lures of every type all proving successful. The lower reaches have also produced a run of large females as is usually the case at this time of year. On the whiting front, beach worms and yabbies remain the pick of the baits, although surface lures are now beginning to come into their own. On the bream scene, the break walls are still producing a few nice fish after dark, although the more consistent results have been achieved further up river on lures. Blackfish remain a little hit and miss off the break walls and around Settlement Point and are simply a day to day proposition, with a feed rather than a bagful the best realistic result. On the crab front, blue swimmer numbers and quality remain excellent from most locations between the back channel and Rawdon Island.

On the beaches, we are beginning to see more and more red weed in several locations which is not at all desirable. Fingers crossed is doesn’t reach the extent seen last Xmas although time will tell. From the limited reports, Lighthouse continues to produce a few reasonable bream and whiting, along with plenty of small dart in between. Tailor remain spasmodic with around Middle Rock seemingly as consistent as anywhere.

Off the rocks, the odd tailor has shown up with Lighthouse and Blueface locally producing a few reasonable fish, whilst Diamond Head and Crowdy Head have fared a little better. At present, the bite is brief with a pre dawn start a must. Pilchards and metal lures have both proven successful. On the drummer front, there is still the odd fish about although most are in the sub 2 kilo bracket. Cunjevoi and prawns as usual have been achieving the better results.

Offshore reports have been quite good as far as bottom fishing is concerned, with snapper to around 5 kilos on offer, whilst pearl perch, pigfish, big flatties and teraglin have featured in most boxes. Best results on the reds have been achieved by those throwing soft plastics, or anchoring, burlying and using either live bait or pilchards. On the pelagic front, a few terrific mahi mahi to around 8 kilos have been encountered around the FAD and wider trap buoys, with live slimeys the bait of choice. Marlin numbers however have been slow although this can change any time depending upon the currents.

December 3, 2019

Whilst the arrival of summer is generally great news for many, the start of our warmest season of the year carries plenty of concern this time round given the effects of the current drought. Fingers crossed we get some long overdue significant rainfall in the not too distant future.

In the estuary, flathead numbers remain consistent, with fish again taken from most areas between the break walls and Beechwood. Pick of the baits have been either whitebait, yabbies or prawns, whilst all manner of lures have proven effective. Whiting numbers and quality are also on the improve, particularly around Blackmans Point and up the Maria. From a bait perspective, live worms and yabbies are the morsels of choice, whilst for lure enthusiasts, poppers and surface walkers will begin to come into their own as the waters warm and prawns become more active. Bream numbers have been a little patchy, although we have a few reports of nice fish from the south break wall after dark, with both mullet and squid strips working well. On the mulloway front, best reports have come from up river, with a few nice fish taken on both lures and live baits between Rawdon Island and Hibbard. For those keen on a great feed of crustaceans, blue swimmer crab numbers remain terrific in most parts downstream of Rawdon Island.

Off the beaches, a few isolated chopper tailor have begun to show up although not in large numbers as yet. Around Middle Rock seems to as consistent as anywhere. Bream numbers, whilst not thick, have included some reasonable fish to around a kilo which is a little unusual for this time of year, but certainly welcome. A few nice whiting are also on the chew with beachworms by far the bait of choice. Not so good however has been increasing reports of red weed showing up again in several locations. After last summers inundation of the local area, fingers crossed we do not see the same levels this year.

Off the rocks, the odd tailor has shown up around the Lighthouse, although most fish remain only in the chopper class. To the north, a few bream and blackfish have been taken by those putting in the time around Plomer, whilst diehard drummer enthusiasts report there are just enough pigs around to keep you interested. If we get a serious bit of swell anytime soon, a late season run is not out of the question.

Offshore, fishing has been quite consistent when conditions allow. Snapper have been reasonable with some nice fish being taken on both baits and lures. The reefs in around 40 to 50m off Port and Plomer seem to be fishing well, with a few pearl perch and pigfish also on offer. Wider off Plomer, some nice kingfish are about with live slimeys being the bait of choice. On the pelagic scene, a few mahi mahi are about and should improve noticeably over the next couple of weeks. No doubt the FAD will be well patronised.

November 29, 2019

We are now beginning to see blustery nor east winds more often than not which is standard fare for this time of year. If only they would generate a bit of significant rainfall, not only to assist reverse low water levels and fire the fishing scene right up, but more importantly ease the bushfire crisis currently affecting many locations throughout the mid north coast.

In the estuaries, flathead and whiting have been consistent and should prove the staple targets over the coming months. Flathead have again been coming from pretty well all locations on both lures and bait, although the upper reaches have significantly out fished the lower estuary over the past week. A few nice bream have also been on offer around Rawdon Island, with yabbies fished after dark working well. On the whiting front, Limeburners and the bottom section of the Maria have both proven productive, with worms or yabbies achieving the better results. Lake Cathie too has also been fishing well for both whiting and flatties despite the low water level. On the blackfish front, the south wall has been producing a few reasonable fish on green weed, although results have varied from day to day. For mulloway enthusiasts, results have slowed in the lower estuary although the odd reasonable fish is still about. Large soft lures continue to be the more productive method.

On the beaches, mulloway numbers have improved considerably over the past few weeks, exactly opposite to the downturn in the lower estuary. No prizes for guessing where the fish have come from. Both North Beach and Lighthouse have produced fish, with beach worms the bait of choice. For day time anglers, both beaches are holding a few bream and whiting, although tailor numbers remain sparse. The odd salmon however is about to gladly inhale your lure or pilchard.

Off the rocks, the occasional reasonable tailor is still on offer although by and large catches are spasmodic as has been the case for the past few months. Night time anglers continue to pick up a few nice bream, with Big Hill and Racecourse both producing fish. The odd drummer is still around for those willing to put in the time, however the nor easters have seen many of the better ledges begin to sand up as is usually the case at this time of year. Still plenty of good blackfish around for those keen on floating a bit of cabbage, with Point Perpendicular and Diamond Head producing the more consistent results.

Offshore angling over the past week has again been limited courtesy of the wind, which seems to save its worst for the weekends. Those who have managed the occasional early morning trip report reasonable numbers of snapper remain off both Plomer and Lighthouse, along with a few pearl perch, long finned perch and other mixed reef species. Hopefully the next push of warm current down from the north will fire up the kingfish once again, as well as the mahi mahi around the FAD.

November 26, 2019

After a fairly torrid few weeks on the bushfire front, we are finally beginning to see some respite locally, due to the fantastic efforts of countless firefighters together with some isolated rainfall from a few very welcome storms. Fingers crossed for plenty more on the rainfall front in the near future.

In the estuaries, flathead and whiting continue to be the best bet with the Hastings and tributaries producing some good bags of quality fish. Best catches of flatties have come from around the Highway bridges, whilst Settlement Point, Limeburners and Blackmans Point are all worth a throw for whiting on worms or yabbies. Bream however remain a little quiet, although the upper reaches have seen a reasonable degree of action for lure enthusiasts. On the blackfish front, the break walls in Port have been only fair however North Haven wall has been fishing well, as too along Settlement Point Road. For crabbing enthusiasts, although muddies have been a little scarce, blue swimmer numbers and quality remain excellent with anywhere from Rawdon Island down the back channel worth a look.

On the beaches, conditions have again been challenging however there are a few fish around if you put in the time. Lighthouse has been producing some nice whiting particularly from the northern end, as has Shelley’s in town. Beach worms have been the gun bait. We have also had a few positive reports on tailor from around Lake Cathie, although there are plenty of throw backs in among the better fish.

Off the rocks, there is also a sprinkling of tailor from most headlands although the quality is not great. Bream however, have been quite good with fish to around a kilo caught around Lighthouse and up at Plomer. A few solid blackfish have also been on offer around Shelleys and Miners, however a bit of rough water is a must. The next few weeks may also be well worth a throw for a late season drummer, as divers report there are plenty of fish still inhabiting our shoreline.

Offshore , there have been some terrific snapper about which is great news for this time of year. If only we could get the winds to be a little more civilised to allow a few more opportunities to chase them. Best reports have been from off Plomer in around 50m, however the close in reefs off Lighthouse have also been worth a look with lures. The reefs have also been producing a few pearl perch and pigfish, both top shelf in the culinary stakes. Wider out the FAD is holding a few mahi mahi, however inconsistently to date. As a bit of growth develops, and the water temperature picks up, no doubt results will improve considerably.

November 19, 2019

This week has been rather slow on the angling front with overall participation understandably down given the recent bush fires and the smoky aftermath. Hopefully the mid north coast, and entire state for the matter will get a little much needed rain soon, and conditions begin to ease in the short term.

In the estuary, our summer staples being whiting and flathead have been quite active. Good reports on whiting have come from Limeburners and Blackmans Point in particular, with both worms and yabbies working well. While the whiting can be taken at most times and during all tide phases, the better fish have generally been more active after dark. On the flathead front, lures continue to account for the vast majority of fish, with consistent reports pretty well from all points east of Wauchope. For blackfish enthusiasts, the break walls are still worth a look with cabbage, whilst Settlement Point and Limeburners have also seen fish feeding on green weed. On the crabbing front, while the muddies have been a little quiet, blue swimmer reports are solid from most locations downstream of Rawdon Island.

Off the beaches, a few nice whiting have been showing up with good reports from Lighthouse, North Beach and Shelley’s. Worms have been the gun bait, with a few nice bream also mixed in with the whiting. Tailor reports however remain sporadic at best, with a few showing up here and there but no real consistency. Around Middle Rock and South Beach at Dunbogan would appear your best options on this front.

Off the rocks, you have had to work for results which is generally the case at this time of year. Lighthouse remains worth a look for a few late season drummer, as does Diamond Head. Plomer has held a few bream and blackfish but not in big numbers. Hopefully when the water warms a little more we might see a few chopper tailor show up towards Xmas as they usually do.

Offshore, despite conditions still being largely average, some reasonable fish are on offer. The FAD has been worth a look with some nice mahi mahi approaching 10 kilos on offer, with both small skirts are live baits proving effective. Wider out, the odd striped marlin is about for the game fishing enthusiasts. Of the reefs, snapper, pig fish, pearl perch and morwong have all been biting consistently, with the reefs both north and south of Port fishing equally well. The flathead grounds in around 55m east of the bar are also worth a look if you are simply after a tasty feed. Finally, don’t forget the Marine Rescue PM night has been rescheduled for Saturday 6.30pm at Westport Club. Always a good night and well worth attending.

Report 12/11/19

As you would expect given the catastrophic bushfires over the past week, angling has taken a bit of a back seat for the time being. On behalf of the local angling fraternity, our hats off and sincere thanks to everyone involved in fighting the seemingly endless fires, and fingers crossed for some long overdue rain which is urgently needed.

In the estuary, flathead continue to be primary target with consistent results from throughout the Hastings. Lures have been by far the most productive form of attack, with quality hard body divers around 95mm in length, and 70 or 80mm soft vibes both working extremely well. On the bait front, whitebait is by far the offering of choice. On the whiting front, Blackmans Point has been fishing well, primarily on beach worms and to a lesser extent, yabbies. For mulloway enthusiasts, the deeper sections up river are still worth a look for school sized fish, with either lures or live herring working well. On the blackfish front, while the break walls have been a little quiet, some reasonable fish have been on offer around Settlement Point. Green weed has been doing all the damage. For the crabbing enthusiasts, there are still plenty of solid blue swimmers throughout the Hastings, with good reports from many locations from Rawdon Island down to the back channel. Muddies however have been a little shy with the better reports from well up river.

On the beaches, things are beginning to look up after what has been somewhat of a quiet period. Both North beach and Lighthouse have both been producing some nice whiting and a few reasonable late season bream. Live worms have been achieving the better results. School mulloway numbers were also quite reasonable during the recent full moon period, with both beaches giving up some nice fish to around 10 kilos. On the tailor front, only marginal results from Lighthouse and the beaches south, although the odd solid salmon is still hanging about to add a bit of sport if nothing else.

Off the rocks, things have been a little quiet, however those chasing blackfish on cabbage still report some nice bronzies and the occasional drummer still inhabiting the washes around Port. On the drummer front, reports from around Lighthouse have been encouraging. No real reports of tailor as yet, however it shouldn’t be too long before we get an improvement, at least in quantity if not quality.

Outside reports have once again been limited once courtesy of the constant winds and cool water temperatures. Those lucky to get the occasional morning session in have been scoring a few nice snapper and other mixed reef fish, with the reefs in between 50 and 70 meters off the lighthouse worth visiting. To the north, trag rock has been producing a few kingfish to around 10 kilos with live baits working best. Hopefully conditions should soon begin to slowly revert to our normal summer patterns and the offshore brigade can get out a little more often.

Report 5/11/19

This time of year is always renowned for more than a bit of breeze, and 2019 is proving no exception. Solid nor easters for days on end, occasionally broken up by blustery southerlies, and little respite in between. Expect more of the same for a couple of weeks yet until more settled summer conditions arrive.

In the estuaries, flathead and whiting remain the dominate species as is usually the case at this time of year. As per recent weeks, flathead can be found pretty well throughout the entire system with both lures and whitebait providing the better results. Best reports on whiting have come from around Pelican Island and Blackmans Point, with worms and yabbies seeing the better results. Whilst baits have been the more effective method to date this season, look for surface lures to start producing the goods in the next couple of weeks as the water warms and prawns become more active. Also in the Hastings, school mulloway numbers remain solid, particularly up towards Wauchope. Lures have been the by far the most effective form of attack, with large plastics and soft vibes particularly successful. In the lower reaches, results have slowed a little however the break walls could be well worth a look leading up to next weeks full moon. On the blackfish front, there are still a few nice fish cruising the break walls, however the bite has been rather inconsistent with a few fish one day and very little the next. On the crabbing front, blue swimmers have been terrific with good numbers pretty well all the way from Pelican Island to Rawdon Island. The latter and up the Maria are also worth a look for muddies as well.

On the beaches, the constant winds have made conditions challenging at best. Despite this, there are still a few bream around on the northern end of Lighthouse. We have also had a couple of encouraging tailor reports from around Lake Cathie and North Haven. This is good news, especially with great tides and lunar conditions for mulloway over the next few evenings.

Off the rocks, there are still a few drummer about despite the seasonal build up of sand. Lighthouse and Miners have both given up some nice fish over the past week, with both cunjevoi and crabs successful offerings. To the north, Plomer and Big Hill have both yielded a few bream and blackfish, while some reasonable tailor have been taken south around Diamond Head.

On the offshore front, anglers are becoming frustrated by the constant winds, with only brief windows of opportunity to get out of late. The nor east winds have also seen the water temperature drop to a most unpleasant 16 degrees. Hopefully by the time the winds settle, the current will have brought down plenty of warm blue water, and some great action with it.

Report 29/10/19

We are now beginning to see blustery nor east winds more often than not which is standard fare for this time of year. If only they would generate a bit of significant rainfall, not only to assist reverse low water levels and fire the fishing scene right up, but more importantly ease the bushfire crisis currently affecting many locations throughout the mid north coast.

In the estuaries, flathead and whiting have been consistent and should prove the staple targets over the coming months. Flathead have again been coming from pretty well all locations on both lures and bait, although the upper reaches have significantly out fished the lower estuary over the past week. A few nice bream have also been on offer around Rawdon Island, with yabbies fished after dark working well. On the whiting front, Limeburners and the bottom section of the Maria have both proven productive, with worms or yabbies achieving the better results. Lake Cathie too has also been fishing well for both whiting and flatties despite the low water level. On the blackfish front, the south wall has been producing a few reasonable fish on green weed, although results have varied from day to day. For mulloway enthusiasts, results have slowed in the lower estuary although the odd reasonable fish is still about. Large soft lures continue to be the more productive method.

On the beaches, mulloway numbers have improved considerably over the past few weeks, exactly opposite to the downturn in the lower estuary. No prizes for guessing where the fish have come from. Both North Beach and Lighthouse have produced fish, with beach worms the bait of choice. For day time anglers, both beaches are holding a few bream and whiting, although tailor numbers remain sparse. The odd salmon however is about to gladly inhale your lure or pilchard.

Off the rocks, the occasional reasonable tailor is still on offer although by and large catches are spasmodic as has been the case for the past few months. Night time anglers continue to pick up a few nice bream, with Big Hill and Racecourse both producing fish. The odd drummer is still around for those willing to put in the time, however the nor easters have seen many of the better ledges begin to sand up as is usually the case at this time of year. Still plenty of good blackfish around for those keen on floating a bit of cabbage, with Point Perpendicular and Diamond Head producing the more consistent results.

Offshore angling over the past week has again been limited courtesy of the wind, which seems to save its worst for the weekends. Those who have managed the occasional early morning trip report reasonable numbers of snapper remain off both Plomer and Lighthouse, along with a few pearl perch, long finned perch and other mixed reef species. Hopefully the next push of warm current down from the north will fire up the kingfish once again, as well as the mahi mahi around the FAD.

Report 22/10/19

While this time of year is not generally renowned for producing spectacular results, there has certainly been enough angling action to keep anglers interested no matter whether your passion lies offshore, on the beaches or rocks, or within our estuarine systems.

In the estuary, flathead continue to dominate however whiting numbers are improving each week. Best bait for whiting remains either beach worms or yabbies, with Blackmans Point, Limeburners, the Maria and the Back Channel all well worth a look locally, whilst those travelling south to Lake Cathie have also been scoring some nice fish despite the system being closed. Look for the whiting to be responsive to surface lures from this point onwards, as the water warms and prawn activity increases. Flathead are spread pretty well all throughout the entire Hastings estuary with areas upstream in both the Hastings and Maria rivers still fishing best, however numbers closer to Port have been quite good with fish taken from the back channel, Hibbard and Limeburners. Best bait continues to be whitebait, however lures of all types have also been scoring heaps of quality fish. On the blackfish front, results have been inconsistent however the break walls are still worth a look on either greenweed, cabbage or weed flies. For bream enthusiasts, best reports are from around Rawdon Island, with some nice fish approaching a kilo taken on both lures and baits. Good news to on the crabbing front, with both blue swimmers and muddies active in the Hastings. In the absence of any freshes of late, look for the blue swimmers a little further upstream than usual. Those using witches hats report getting a healthy mix of both species in the same locations.

Off the beaches, we are still hearing reports of red weed north of Port however south remains largely clean. The next onset of nor easters late this week may however change that. Best reports of late have been on the bream front, with Lighthouse continuing to fish well. A few salmon and whiting have also been taken from in front Lake Cathie, together with just the occasional school mulloway.

On the rocks, the odd drummer is still on offer primarily from Diamond Head and Point Perpendicular. Whilst the numbers may not be great, there have been a few quality fish to around 3 kilos taken over recent weeks. Bream numbers remain reasonable especially around plomer and Crescent head with night time sessions the go, whilst a few blackfish and groper are still being extracted from Bonny Hills and Point Perpendicular.

On the offshore scene, in between the winds and rough seas, snapper numbers remain solid, particularly from the reefs in under 50 meters of water. Along with the snapper, pearl perch have been in good numbers while a little wider, the odd sampson fish, teraglin and kingfish to around 10 kilos have been encountered. On the mahi mahi front, fish are around the FAD however remain subdued. Hopefully a bit of warmer water will see them fire up.

Report 15/10/19

As has been the case for a few weeks now, the Mid North Coast is currently going through the change of seasons. Winds from most points of the compass together with the mercury varying from quite cool to rather warm has been the staple diet of late. The only thing missing thus far has been the occasional cracking afternoon storm, although you can bet one or two wont be to far away.

In the estuary, flathead remain the star attraction with quality fish on offer from most parts. The better catches have been acquired from areas upstream, with the Maria and around Rawdon Island again fishing quite well. Whilst lures have proven particularly effective, on the bait front whitebait has been achieving top results. A few bream are also on offer around Rawdon Island during the day, although by and large the results have been a little below that of recent weeks. A much needed fresh would do wonders on this front. Also in the estuary, whiting numbers are steadily improving and should really begin to pick up from this part of the season onwards. Limeburners and around Pelican Island are both worth a look with either worms or yabbies. Still a few blackfish about for those putting in the time, with fresh cabbage achieving the better results. On the mulloway front, results have slowed around the break walls however a few nice school fish remain active around the highway bridges and deeper holes up river.

Off the beaches, the news is not great with red weed now showing up in several locations. Hat Head is reported to have quite thick pockets in places, whilst North beach has also seen quite a bit come in during the week. This is horribly similar to last years pattern, and in the absence of significant flooding in the short term, it looks like being a scourge again this summer. Time will tell in this regard. In the interim, Lighthouse has held a few reasonable bream, whilst some nice whiting were on offer in front of Lake Cathie.

Off the rocks, still the occasional drummer on offer however you will need to locate the few remaining washed out gutters, and berley hard for them. A few bream are also on offer, and should be even better once the current full moon phase begins to wane. Blackfish numbers remain reasonable, with Diamond Head and Point Perpendicular the pick of locations.

Offshore, Geoff from Fish Port Macquarie Charters reports results have been a little mixed, primarily due to a lack of current and some cool water. Despite this, snapper remain in reasonable numbers in the 40-50m depth bracket off both Port and Plomer, whilst some nice kingfish have been sporadically active a little wider. We have also has a few reports of mahimahi already hanging around the NSW Fisheries FAD, although they are yet to be aggressively feeding. Perhaps the next push of warm water down from the north will see them fire up.

Report 8/10/19

Whilst the weather has been a little erratic during this holiday period, results have again been terrific and certainly above expectations for this time of year.

In the estuary, as is usual at this time of year flathead are now the primary target, with good fish on offer from all parts of the system. The lower section of the Maria, and around Rawdon Island in particular are fishing quite well, although around Pelican Island and the coal wall are both worth a look. A few bream are still on offer in Limeburners and along the coal wall, predominately after dark on either yabbies or gut baits. Those utilising lures are doing well further upstream towards Wauchope and Telegraph Point. Increasing numbers of whiting are also beginning to show in the Hastings with Limeburners and around Blackmans Point now producing some nice fish. Live worms and yabbies have been the pick of baits. Lake Cathie is also producing some solid whiting as well as flathead despite the low water level.

Off the beaches, those fishing daylight hours have been snaring a few bream and the odd whiting off Lighthouse, with worms the pick of baits. North Beach also seen a few bream, as to front beach at Crescent Head. On the mulloway front, we are beginning see a gradual improvement which is unusual for point in the season. North Beach and around lake Cathie seem to be the more consistent locations of late.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers have been sporadic as has been case for the past few months. The most consistent reports have been from Diamond Head with the best action at dawn and the bite brief. A few bream are also on offer around Plomer although by and large the average size and condition has begun to diminish as you expect at this time of year. Blackfish numbers remain reasonable, whilst the odd drummer and groper are still on offer from the few unsanded gutters.

Offshore, the reefs are still fishing very well indeed with both Fish Port Macquarie and Ocean Star Charters scoring great mixed bags throughout the past week. Snapper, pearl perch, pigfish and morwong have all been around in good numbers. On the snapper front, some terrific reds are still being found on most close in reefs. Best results have been achieved by either drifting with lures, or bait fishing at anchor in combination with a good burley trail. Also on offer have been some terrific kingfish a little wider out, with both jigs and live baits proving effective.

Finally, just a reminder that a massive charity auction is being held this Saturday 12/10/2019 commencing 12.00pm at the Settlers Inn to assist local angler Michael O’Brien who unfortunately suffered severe spinal damage in a boating accident earlier this year. There are over 150 items up for auction including fishing gear, sporting memorabilia, trade services and a host of other items with something for everybody. This is a very worthy cause and promises to be a great day.

Report 24/9/19

It’s been pretty much groundhog day on the weather front once again. Winds alternating between southerlies and nor’easters every day or so, and only enough rain to make one consider mowing the lawn without providing any real benefit. Expect more of the same over the coming weeks along with the odd storm which usually accompanies the change of seasons.

In the estuary, blackfish numbers remain reasonable, although in the main the quality is down a little from that enjoyed a month or so ago. The south wall and the coal wall remain your best bets with greenweed and cabbage both seeing success. Further up river, flathead remain terrific from most parts, and should only become more active as the water warms. 95mm suspending hard bodied lures have been particularly successful, as to the ever popular soft vibes. Whiting numbers have also picked up, with Limeburners and Blackmans Point worth a look on either yabbies or worms. Lake Cathie has also produced some terrific whiting of late despite being closed for such an extended period. On the bream front, results have been reasonable with the break walls worth a look after dark, alternately try around Rawdon Island during the day on lures. A few nice mulloway have also been on offer upriver, with both baits and lures successful.

On the beaches, despite this time of year not generally being rated highly, some reasonable action has been enjoyed. The stretches of sand around Lake Cathie have produced reasonable numbers of school mulloway to around 10 kilos as well as some nice bream. North Beach has also given up a few bream and whiting, with the northern section near Queens well worth visiting. Tailor however have been a little disappointing although the beaches around the Camden Haven area seem to be holding a few fish, with both pilchards and metal slugs doing the job.

On the rocks, there is still the odd drummer hanging around although we are beginning to see quite a bit of sand being pushed back into the gutters and ledges. With the water temperature still quite cool, you should be able to chase a feed of pigs for a few more weeks yet as long you locate the few remaining washed out locations. Also off the stones, a few bream and school mulloway have been on offer from Plomer and Big Hill, whilst to the south, Diamond Head has produced a few reasonable tailor at first light.

On the offshore scene, the early forecasts for this weekend are varying between 20-knot southerlies and 20-knot nor’easters so who knows what we will end up with. Hopefully there is a settled window in there somewhere. From the limited reports of late, snapper numbers remain excellent with quality reds on most reefs, together with a sprinkling of pearl perch and other reef species.

Suggested reading: Snapper on your sounder

The reefs off Port and Plomer between 65-80m will also be worth a look for kingfish if the winds and current cooperate.

Proudly brought to you by:

Jason and Virginia Isaac

Ned Kelly’s Bait and Tackle
(02) 6583 8318
42 Gordon St, Port Macquarie

jas.ned@bigpond.com