December 24, 2021
Well here we are again with Santa warming up his sleigh. Let’s hope there are plenty of piscatorial pressies under the tree, and fingers crossed for some good weather and red hot summer angling action over the holiday period.
In the estuary, flathead have been terrific with good numbers taking both lures and baits. Best results have been from around the Hibbard area, although the break walls are also holding plenty of fish. Whiting have been improving in Limeburners and around Pelican Island, while those fishing the weed beds in Limeburners have also been scoring a few nice blackfish on yabbies. Bream have been reasonable with both break walls producing some nice fish around a kilo, with mullet strips working well.
On the crustacean front, we are just entering another prawning dark and no doubt Lake Cathie will be a hive of activity over the next few weeks. Whether the results seen over recent months are repeated remains to be seen, but I have no doubt the rewards will be there for those who put in the effort. On the crabbing front, some nice muddies have been active over the past few weeks, although so to have been the trap thieves. Unfortunately this is just a sad reflection of todays society, where the minority feel it is their right to simply take what is not theirs. The big shame is those who rightfully adhere to correct marking procedures are the ones who lose out, with others forced to risk running foul of NSW Fisheries just to keep their gear from being knocked off. It’s sad it has now come to this just to chase a few crabs.
On the beaches, North Beach fished well leading up to the recent full moon for mulloway on both worms and whole squid. Lighthouse has also produced a few bream from the centre section, while the northern end has yielded a few nice whiting. Tailor have been a little hit and miss, however with improved water clarity, a few choppers should start being viable targets.
Off the rocks, results still remain subdued as is usual for this time of year. Lighthouse however is worth a look for tailor at dawn, Shelley’s has produced a few bream and blackfish, while Plomer has been home to some reasonable school mulloway. Further south, Diamond Head is still worth prospecting for drummer despite the time of year.
Offshore, despite the nor easters limiting opportunities, conditions have improved with some nice warm and clean water now pushing down from the north. Both charter boats have been scoring terrific snapper and other reef fish, although no two days have produced the same results. Wider out, a few mahi mahi are about so the FAD will be worth prospecting, whilst the game fishing enthusiasts are beginning to chase marlin in earnest. With the Golden lure not far away now, hopefully plenty of fish will turn up over the coming weeks.
December 14, 2021
Well here we are again with the school holidays now upon us and Christmas just around the corner. Fingers crossed for a bit of good summer weather ahead, as the local summer angling scene is shaping up very well indeed.
In the estuaries, whilst there is still a fair amount of colour up river courtesy of all the recent rainfall, the lower reaches are now beginning to gradually clear. The lower section of the Hastings continues to fish very well for both bream and flathead as is usually the case when the river has some colour, but surprising there has been plenty of solid whiting activity over the past week. Flathead have been active between the break walls and Blackmans Point, whilst bream have been terrific off both walls and up Limeburners. Whiting have been in good numbers downstream from Limeburners, with good reports from off the coal wall and the Lady Nelson Wharf. Live worms have been doing all the damage, but look for surface lures to come into their own after the up coming full moon. There have also been a few mulloway about, with the odd fish to around 20 kilos taken from the break walls.
On the crustacean front, there are improved reports of mud crabs, primarily upstream from the Highway bridges which is pleasing to see. For prawning enthusiasts, no doubt Lake Cathie will again see a high level of participation once the upcoming full moon passes, and assuming of course the system doesn’t mysteriously open under the cover of darkness as was attempted just recently. Whilst I would be surprised to see a repeat of the volumes on offer as in recent months, I’m sure there will be ample reward for those putting in the effort.
On the beaches, whiting numbers are improving, with Lighthouse in particular fishing well on the run up tide. In with the whiting are a few nice bream, with worms and pipis accounting for the better catches. North Beach has also held some terrific bream, mainly on the southern end. For mulloway enthusiasts, there are certainly a few fish on both beaches, and the tides this weekend are prime.
Off the rocks, results remain subdued as is usual for this time of year. Best reports are from around Point Perpendicular which has produced a few blackfish and drummer. The Lighthouse as always is worth a look for tailor at first light.
Offshore, at last we are beginning to see improved water temperature and colour after a very ordinary few months, and not surprisingly results have picked up. Snapper have been around in reasonable numbers for this time of year, with some nice fish off Shelley’s, south of the Lighthouse and off Plomer. A few most welcome pearl perch and pig fish have also been encountered, along with some solid kingfish to around 10 kilos on the wider grounds. A few mahi mahi have also shown up, so the FAD could well be worth prospecting with either livies or lures.
December 7, 2021
Despite the calendar now suggesting we are well into summer, cool and overcast days together with plenty of rain have been the norm now for quite some time. Although this is certainly a vast improvement from dry and drought creating conditions, it would be nice to see an extended bit of sunshine for a change.
In the estuaries, the lower reaches are now beginning to clear following the recent fresh, and fishing has certainly picked up in general. Bream have been first class for this time of year, with good reports from most locations downstream of Rawdon Island. Mullet strips have been the standout bait. Whiting have also picked up noticeably, with good reports from around Pelican Island and Limeburners. Worms and yabbies have both seen good success, however look for surface lures to again work well now some clarity has returned. Flathead activity has also been excellent, with plenty of good fish in most locations. Whitebait has been the standout bait, however all manner of lures have also seen good results.
On the crustacean front, whilst the best part of the latest moon phase is now behind us, Lake Cathie still producing quality prawns. Just be mindful the water has risen significantly over the past few weeks, and tracks recently taken may now be a tad deep. Some positive news on the crabbing front, with a few nice muddies now getting around after a rather quiet couple of months. Looks like the recent fresh has had a positive effect in this regard.
Off the beaches, north beach has been fishing well for bream along with the odd school mulloway. Lighthouse has also held bream and a few nice whiting. Further south, mulloway activity seems a little more consistent, with good reports again from Grants Beach at North Haven and South Beach at Dunbogan. Most fish have been between just legal and about 10 kilos, however the odd much better model has also been about.
Off the rocks, a few drummer and blackfish remain on offer, with Crowdy and Diamond head to the south still worth a look. Cunjevoi and prawns remain the baits of choice. Also off the stones, some nice bream have been taken from Plomer during evening sessions, along with the occasional tailor. Plomer has also held a few nice blackfish, along with the odd drummer which have proven most challenging on standard blackfish gear.
Offshore, at last a few positive reports after an extended period of poor water and conditions. Snapper have been quite reasonable close in off Port, with fish to around 5 kilos taken on both baits and plastics. Wider out kingfish have been terrific, with fish between legal and about 15 kilos taken from a variety of locations ranging from around 60 meters off Plomer, out to around the 140 metre mark. Live baits have been the premier method. Also on offer off the bottom have been a few nice pearl perch, while the FAD could also be worth prospecting for mahi mahi.
December 1, 2021
Although it may not feel like it given the inclement weather of late, but summer has officially arrived once again. Fingers crossed for some welcome sunshine in the not too distant future, and some red hot angling to go with it.
In the estuary, at the time of writing the Hastings is slowly beginning to clear after last weeks fresh, however with plenty of rain forecast for this week and the weekend, we say see more colour come down yet. As such, the bulk of action has been focused on the lower reaches. While the fresh wasn’t significant enough to really fire up the mulloway, a few fish were caught from the north wall on lures. Funnily enough, if the same amount of effort was put in during clean conditions, I reckon you would see the same results, if not better. Also off the walls, a few nice bream were taken, with mullet strips working well. Settlement Point and Limeburners also produced a few flathead, along with some terrific hard fighting trevally.
South at Lake Cathie, the recent rains have seen a significant rise in the water level, albeit still well short of the opening trigger of 1.6m AHD. While some sections of the community are desperately hoping for more rainfall in order to see the lake opened before Xmas, the prawning enthusiasts are privately hoping for another moon phase with the system shut. Whilst this latest dark saw a little more effort required than in the past two months, results were again spectacular as too the quality of the prawns. Most are struggling to remember when we last had such a consistent and sustained run of prawns in the lake, let alone the size currently being enjoyed. For all the doom and gloom espoused since the system closed about 4 months ago, it seems the prawns have certainly thrived, as to the flathead and whiting, which is no real surprise given the amount prawns and whitebait for them to gorge themselves on.
Off the beaches, a few bream and whiting are about with both Lighthouse and North beaches worth a look. For mulloway enthusiasts, best reports have come from Diamond head and Grants Beach, with the tides this weekend ideal for evening sessions, weather permitting.
Off the rocks, results remain only average as is usually the case at this time of year. Best bet is to chase a few tailor at first light from the Lighthouse, alternately Shelley’s is worth a look for blackfish and the odd bream. Those travelling south to either Crowdy or Diamond head are still finding a sporadic showing of late season drummer.
Offshore, conditions have been largely awful over recent weeks, with scarcely an opportunity to head out in any degree of comfort. As such, reports have been few and far between, however on the positive side it seems the waters may be finally beginning to warm and improve in colour. Hopefully this will lead to significant improvement on the pelagic and bottom fishing fronts.
November 23, 2021
It looks like we may be in for a rather damp summer once again, with plenty of rainfall seen right across the state in recent days, and the Bureau of Meteorology officially declaring we are entering another La Ninaweather pattern.
In the estuaries, the recent rains have seen quite a solid fresh come down the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers in the early part of the week. Whilst this will likely see a temporary slow down in the action up river, the lower reaches should benefit considerably from this influx of colour. Bream will no doubt be well worth chasing, pretty well anywhere downstream of Limeburners. Gut baits and mullet strips will both prove effective offerings. Flathead should also be quite active, with whitebait or pilchards likely to see good results. Before the fresh came, whiting numbers were encouraging and a few blackfish were still around the break walls. On the mulloway front, although this latest fresh is unlikely to see congregations of large fish in the lower reaches, chasing a school sized model could well prove rewarding.
South at Lake Cathie, we are now in the middle of another prawn dark, with early indications promising despite the lake rising by a little over 30cm early in the week. Whether the exceptional numbers evident over recent months continues remains to be seen, but the quality seen early in the week was first class. Those who were prepared to put the effort in did not go unrewarded. Just be mindful, the bag limit of prawns is 10 litres per person, which in all honesty is more than ample for most peoples requirements.
On the beaches, the recent full moon phase saw a few school mulloway taken from both North Beach and Lighthouse, as well as North Haven and Dunbogan to the south. Most ranged from just legal up to around 10 kilos, with live worms the bait of choice. Lighthouse has also been producing some bream and whiting although not in great numbers, while a few tailor were present during the early evening around the full moon. The odd salmon is still around on most beaches with pilchards as good as any bait if targeting these hard fighting fish.
Off the rocks, the Lighthouse locally and Plomer to the north continue to give up a sprinkling of tailor along with some bream and the odd school mulloway. A few drummer and blackfish also remain on offer south around Point Perpendicular and Diamond Head.
Offshore, whilst the water colour and temperature remain less than desirable, a few nice reef fish have been encountered on occasions. Both charter boats have been scoring some nice snapper and the odd pearl perch, whilst a few solid reds to over 5 kilos have been taken close in off Shelley’s and Lighthouse Beach. Hopefully the water colour and temperature will improve soon, and when it does, it will most likely be accompanied by 3 knots of current from north, giving us something else to complain about.
November 16, 2021
Once again we have seen a rather unsettled week weather wise, with our standard summer weather patterns yet to really kick in. While these are challenging times on the angling front, results are improving and pointing to a terrific summer season ahead, particularly when the erratic weather patterns begin to settle and the coastal waters warm by a few more degrees.
In the estuary, flathead and whiting are once again the best bets with numbers and quality of both species improving each week. On the flathead front, most sections of the Hastings are worth a look, with good reports coming from around Rawdon Island, Hibbard and Pelican Island in particular. Lures have been by far the most productive approach, with the surface and bent varieties seeing terrific responses in shallow water from the better quality fish. For plate size lizards, soft plastics, vibes and of course whitebait are all proving successful. For whiting enthusiasts, Lake Cathie continues to produce the goods with some great action enjoyed during daylight hours on surface lures. Limeburners is also worth a look for whiting, with both yabbies and beach worms seeing good results. Elsewhere in the Hastings a few school mulloway were taken from the North Wall leading up to the moon, while those throwing larger lures in the upper reaches have also scored some nice fish. Also in the upper reaches, bream have been quite consistent, whilst the bass action has certainly picked up over the past week.
On the beaches, the lead up to the current full moon saw a few tailor and school mulloway from Lighthouse during evening sessions. North beach also produced a few school mulloway, as to the beaches around the Camden Haven. Good to see numbers of this species improving after a relatively quiet last year or so. Beach worms, whole squid and tailor fillets were all successful offerings. Apart from mulloway, a few bream have been active early mornings on North Beach, whilst Lighthouse and Shelley’s have both produced some nice whiting.
Off the rocks, things have been a little on the quiet side, however those chasing blackfish on cabbage still report some nice bronzies and the odd drummer still inhabiting the washes around Point Perpendicular and Diamond Head to the south. Bream numbers have been reasonable, with Plomer and Miners both worth a look. Still a few tailor from the Lighthouse at first light but primarily only average sized choppers as is to be expected at this time of year.
Offshore, as has been the case over recent weeks, results have somewhat subdued, largely due to a vast patch of cold, green water which has been eddying around off our part of the coast for some time now. As such, good patches of activity have been few and far between, with just a few snapper, flathead and the odd pearl perch on occasions. Hopefully a decent push of warm, blue water will come from the north shortly, which should fire the action right back up again.
November 9, 2021
It looks like the brief period of weather stability seen over the past week has come to an end, with opposing winds, storms and decent rainfall forecast for the latter part of this week and the weekend. By all reports it appears we may be entering another La Nina weather cycle, with above average rainfall predicted for the months ahead. As long as we can avoid a repeat of the devastating floods of earlier this year, it certainly beats the alternative.
In the estuary, flathead and whiting remain the dominate species as is usually the case at this time of year. Flathead can again be found pretty well throughout the entire system with a few nice fish on offer together with plenty of juveniles. Whilst annoying at times, this is a great sign for the future. On the whiting front, Lake Cathie is fishing well both day and night, while Blackmans Point and Limeburners are also well worth a look. On the bream front, best results have been achieved by those throwing lures, with the lower section of the Maria and up around Rawdon Island well worth a look. A few school mulloway have also been encountered from these locations, with larger soft plastics fished in the deeper sections around the tide change the key to success. For fresh water enthusiasts, bass numbers have shown a significant improvement, and should further do so as summer nears and insect activity increases.
On the prawning front, reports have tapered at Lake Cathie as you would expect given we now have a building moon, although the run this month was nothing short of sensational. Whether results next dark reach these levels remains to be seen, although the quality and quantities seen in the past 3 months have been as good as most can recall.
On the beaches, we are still seeing a steady trickle of bream which is pleasing for this time of year. Best results have been from North beach, with some fish to around the kilo mark. A few solid school mulloway have also been encountered from North beach, as well as Grants beach at North Haven.
Off the rocks, some solid bream have been taken from around Point Plomer along with the odd tailor and drummer. Point Perpendicular has also fished reasonably for drummer and blackfish, while Diamond Head is worth a look for a groper when the seas are down and before the nor easters begin to fully sand the more productive ledges.
Offshore angling reports remain fa little slow, although we are beginning to see an improvement in water colour and temperature, with some reasonable 18 degree plus water now off our coast. As such, snapper reports have picked up a little, with the odd pearl perch and kingfish also about. Best reports have come from the reefs off Plomer in around 40 to 50 meters. When we get our first real push of warmer water a little further out, chasing mahi mahi around the FAD may well prove worthwhile.
November 2, 2021
At last we are finally seeing a bit of stability weather wise, with the winds somewhat settled and significantly less storm activity than seen over the past few weeks. For this time of year conditions are as good as they get, with no excuses for not wetting a line.
In the estuaries, flathead and whiting remain by far the best bet, with all pointers indicating another great summer season ahead. Flathead continue to bite well from pretty well all locations on both lures and bait, with the area between Settlement Point and Rawdon Island arguably producing the better results. Best whiting results in the Hastings have come from around Blackmans Point and Limeburners. For blackfish enthusiasts, the odd fish remains on offer from around the break walls although not in great numbers, whilst bream are beginning to respond well to surface lures up river.
To the south, despite all the doom and gloom regarding Lake Cathie, this current prawning dark has seen tremendous results, with many long term enthusiasts struggling to remember a time when it was ever better, in terms of both in quality and quantity. Catches have been nothing short of exceptional, with both scoop nets and drag nets proving effective on most nights. Whilst we are now well past the traditionally best time of the lunar cycle this month, I wouldn’t be surprised to see good results for another week or so until the moon begins to build again. Just be mindful however, there is a strict 10 litre bag limit per person, and NSW Fisheries officers will happily relieve anyone exceeding this limit of both their net, as well as a fair chunk of their bank account.
On the beaches, some reasonable bream remain on offer with Lighthouse producing as well as anywhere. Those fishing the darker hours on Grants Beach and South Beach at Dunbogan continue to score a few school mulloway, with worms as usual the bait of choice. A few nice whiting have also been encountered off Shelley’s.
Off the rocks, a few tailor are on offer although by and large catches are spasmodic as is the size, with most bags seeing a mixture of choppers and occasional good fish. Night time anglers continue to pick up a few reasonable bream, with Big Hill and Racecourse both producing fish. The odd drummer is still around for those willing to put in the time, with south of Laurieton seeing the better results.
Offshore, results remain somewhat average which is not to be unexpected given the cold tract of water still hanging around off our part of the coast. Of the limited reports, a few snapper and the odd pearl perch have been on the reefs off Plomer, along with the some late season leatherjackets. Just a reminder the NSW Fisheries FAD is now back in place, with the co ordinates 31 24 567S – 153 04 725E. There are already a few small mahi mahi hanging around, but little action as yet given the cool waters.
October 26, 2021
This week has been virtually a carbon copy from the previous few, with the wind blowing from all directions and the threat of a storm not far away. Not ideal from an angling perspective, but there a few periods of sublime conditions in between to take advantage of.
In the estuary, flathead and whiting are both improving as is usually the case as summer approaches. If whiting are your passion, Lake Cathie is well worth visiting despite being closed, with surface lures really beginning to come into their own. Alternately, around Pelican Island, Limeburners or Blackmans Point in the Hastings are all certainly worth a look. If lures arn’t your scene, beach worms, yabbies or live lake Cathie prawns are all great options. On the flattie front, the break walls and Settlement Point are both giving up some nice fish, as are most areas around Rawdon Island and Blackmans Point. Blackfish numbers also remain reasonable, with the break walls and Limeburners worth a look. The north wall has also held a few nice bream with mullet gut fished after dark seeing good results. On the mulloway front, those throwing lures continue to encounter a school sized fish in several up river locations. On the prawning front, early signs this dark from Lake Cathie are most encouraging. Whether the tremendous results of the last two months are repeated remains to be seen, but no doubt the participation rate will once again be high.
In the fresh water, our summer bass season is firing already with terrific action from most local waterways. To date, best results have been achieved by those throwing spinnerbaits, soft vibes and hard bodied divers, but in the past few days some great results have been enjoyed on surface lures. Look for these to really come into their own as the weather warms and the insects come out in force.
Off the beaches, the odd reasonable bream is still on offer despite some rather cool water, with Lighthouse producing as well as anywhere. Those fishing the shallower sand spits on the northern section have also been scoring a few nice whiting on the run up tide. Mulloway and tailor have both been a little quiet however the odd solid salmon is stall about.
On the rocks, tailor numbers are reasonable at best with early morning sessions from Lighthouse perhaps your best bet. Further south, a few solid groper have been taken from Diamond Head when the swell is down, along with a sprinkling of drummer.
Offshore, fishing has been tough in comparison to the past few months, with little current and cold green water along our coastline on most days. Unfortunately, when these factors combine, the bite often shuts down to extent whereby it is very difficult to entice action, even when reasonable showings of fish are sounded up. The good news however is that this slow period certainly wont last, with the next push of better water down the coast likely to see some great action commence again.
October 21, 2021
It’s that time of year when the weather is all over the place, with a few nice days, the odd storm and winds from most points of the compass. No doubt there will be plenty more of the same to come before our normal summer weather pattern settles in.
In the estuaries, flathead are once again the star attraction and will likely remain so over the coming months. As seems to be the case nowadays, those throwing lures are accounting for the better levels of action, with soft plastics, soft vibes, blades and hard bodied divers all working well. Of course bait fishing remains a viable approach with whitebait being arguably the premier offering, although prawns, pilchards, yabbies and mullet strips will also prove effective. Just remember, keep your bait moving when chasing flathead, as they are an ambush predator, usually waiting on the bottom for food to come to them. If your bait is stationary or anchored to the bottom with a large sinker, flathead encounters will only be incidental at best.
Also in the estuaries, blackfish numbers have been up in the lower reaches, with the break walls and Westport seeing reasonable results over the past week. Those using weed flies have enjoyed particular success. Whiting numbers have also been encouraging from the Hastings, with results sure to pick up as the waters warm. Bream numbers however are down in the lower reaches, although reasonable results continue to be achieved by those throwing lures up river. Some nice school mulloway have also been active throughout the upper reaches, while the tides and moon during the latter part of this week will be ideal for chasing a larger model off the break walls.
Off the beaches, a few school mulloway have been caught on both Lighthouse and North beach during early evening sessions. Beach worms and whole squid have both proven successful. A few salmon have also been about late afternoons, while mornings have produced a few bream and whiting. Tailor however have been largely disappointing.
On the rocks, a few better than average tailor were active leading up to the full moon which is always a bonus at this time of year. Locally, Lighthouse again has proven the pick of locations, whilst Crescent head and South West Rocks have also produced a few reasonable bags. Those fishing south around Diamond head and Point Perpendicular have also scored a few late season drummer, some reasonable bream and the odd snapper which is always a welcome bonus for land based anglers.
Offshore, snapper results have again been mixed in close, with some doing reasonably well and other struggling. No doubt the cool green water has not been helping in this regard, Best reports have come from those anchoring and burlying close in south of the Lighthouse. Wider out, kingfish numbers have been consistent around Trag Rock, with fish up to 12 kilos on offer, while wider still some terrific striped marlin have been wider out for the game fishing enthusiasts.
October 15, 2021
Great to see a steady drop of rain during the week. Fingers crossed a little more comes along before the heat of early summer begins to kick in.
In the estuary, flathead are now well and truly the star attraction with some quality fish on offer from most parts. The Maria, Limeburners and upstream around Rawdon Island are all fishing quite well, as to the lower reaches around Settlement Point and the back channel. A few bream are also on offer around Rawdon Island and up Limeburners, with those fishing lures seeing the more consistent results. Increasing numbers of whiting are also beginning to show up in the Hastings, with surface lures now beginning to account for their fair share. On the bait front, live worms or yabbies remain hard to beat. On the mulloway scene, best reports in the Hastings have come from those fishing the upriver holes and structure with lures, however there is still the odd good fish active in the lower reaches. For blackfish enthusiasts, results have picked up over the past week, with good fish caught around the break walls and Westport.
Lake Cathie has also been producing the goods over recent weeks, with the prawn run just about as good as it gets. While results will taper considerably as the full moon builds, the ensuing dark will be eagerly anticipated by many prawning enthusiasts. Good to see those simply scooping scoring heaps as well. There are also some terrific whiting on the chew in the lake, along with some reasonable flathead. Unsurprisingly, live prawns have been the bait of choice.
Off the beaches, still a few bream and the odd school mulloway on North beach, with the tides excellent for chasing the latter from this weekend onwards. Whiting numbers are improving with in front of Lake Cathie your best bet, while North Haven has held a few tailor, albeit spasmodically. Still a few solid salmon about, which is indicative of cool water along our coastline.
Off the rocks, very little to report as is often the case at this time of year. Best bet is to rise early and score a few tailor from around the Lighthouse, alternately a few drummer remain in the areas not sanded up. Plomer will also be worth a look for school mulloway after dark over upcoming the full moon period.
Offshore, the past couple of weeks have seen a few game fishing enthusiasts head wide, with some terrific early season striped marlin about. Hopefully this is a precursor to a great season ahead. Those heading wide have also had good success fishing the deep water, with some nice bass groper, blue eye trevalla and bar cod on offer. Closer in, some rather cool water has slowed the snapper markedly. The odd fish remains active but you have really had to chase them. Anchoring and burlying at present seems to be doing the trick. Still good kingfish around trag rock and further out on both live baits and jigs.
October 5, 2021
Great to be out of lockdown once again, and fingers crossed these restrictions are now behind us once and for all. Whilst fishing was a permitted activity during these times, it will certainly be refreshing to be able to pursue this pastime unrestricted once again. And the good news is there are plenty of options available, no matter where your piscatorial passion lies.
In the estuaries, flathead activity has picked as is usually the case as the water begins to warm. Good reports have come in from most locations between the break walls and Wauchope, with some nice fish to over 90cm on offer. Best results have been achieved by those throwing lures, however whitebait, prawns and mullets strips have all enjoyed success. Whiting numbers have also picked up with improved action in the Hastings and Lake Cathie, despite it being closed to the ocean. While best results to date have been achieved using either live beach worms, prawns or yabbies, look for surface lures to become increasingly effective from now on. Also in the estuaries, a few school mulloway have been taken around the Highway bridges and Rawdon Island, while some reasonable bream have also been active in the same areas.
On the crustacean front, the past couple of weeks has seen the tremendous run of prawns at Lake Cathie continue, with great success enjoyed by those using both drag and scoop nets alike. Whilst we would expect results to begin to taper significantly given the current lunar phase, the next dark will do doubt be eagerly anticipated by all enthusiasts.
On the beaches, a few reasonable bream continue to be taken from both North beach and Lighthouse, with those fishing the evening high tide enjoying the better action. Along with the bream, a sprinkling of school mulloway have also been encountered, while those fishing Shelley’s and around Lake Cathie have been snaring some nice whiting on the morning run up tide.
Off the rocks, tailor remain reasonable with a few fish on offer at daylight from around Plomer and Lighthouse locally. Pilchards and garfish have both seen good success. Drummer reports have been a little slow as you would expect at this time of year, however a few anglers continue to manage a fish or two each outing on both prawns and cunjevoi. With the water still quite cool, they are still worth chasing for a few weeks yet at least.
Offshore, kingfish numbers have been terrific with good numbers of fish to around 10 kilos taken over the past week. Live baits have been the offering of choice. With the 3nm lockdown restriction now lifted, no doubt trag rock, the reefs in around 77m off north beach, and other wider marks will be heavily prospected. A few nice snapper also remain active, however the cold currents close in have seen them a little less responsive in comparison to the past few months. Once again, lures seem to be consistently accounting for the better class of fish.
September 28, 2021
Here we are again enduring another Covid driven lockdown, however fingers crossed it will only be for the initially mandated seven days. For those wishing to wet a line during this time, as per previous lockdowns, recreational fishing is permitted however you should familiarise yourself with applicable social distancing requirements and other lockdown restrictions. Full details can be sourced from Service NSW and NSW Health web pages.
In the estuary, blackfish continue to slow although fish are still available for those willing to put in the time. The break walls again have been the pick of locations with both greenweed and weed flies successful, although those fishing lightly weighted yabbies in either Big Bay or around weed beds elsewhere have enjoyed reasonable results. Bream numbers have been a little quiet, however up river has been fishing quite well with lures the premier method. On the positive side, flathead numbers are picking up with most parts of the Hasting worth prospecting. You will however find plenty of active juveniles in amongst the better fish. Best reports over the past week have come from upstream of the Highway bridges, and the lower section of the Maria.
On the crustacean front, mud crabs and to a lesser extent blue swimmers are certainly active throughout the Hastings estuary, so now would be an ideal time to dust off the traps and witches hats if you have not already dome so. Further south, Lake Cathie is again producing plenty of prawns which is great to see after a barren couple of years. Just be mindful the bag limit for prawns is 10 litres per person, which in all honesty is more than ample.
On the beaches, there are still a few bream about however expect their numbers to taper considerably from this point in the season onwards. Best results over the past week have been achieved on worms or pipis. Still the odd whiting, tailor, salmon and school mulloway about, with next weeks dark moon tides ideal for chasing the latter.
On the rocks, a few drummer are still about with the odd model close to 3 kilos. Cunjevoi has been the bait of choice. On the tailor front, results were only average, with the high rock at the Lighthouse fishing as well as anywhere. For those keen to float a bit of cabbage in the washes for blackfish, Shelley’s remain worth a look.
On the offshore scene, once again conditions have not been favourable on most days, with strong winds from polar opposite points of the compass. Unfortunately, that is standard fare for this time of year. Those who have managed to take advantage of the few windows of opportunity have generally done quite well, with some terrific snapper to around 6 kilos still active close in off Lighthouse Beach. Soft plastics have once again been the premier offering. Wider out, a few pearl perch, kingfish and leather jackets have been active, while the flathead grounds in around 55 meters have been quite consistent.
September 14, 2021
Once again the weather cant make up its mind at to what season we are in, with the past week dishing up blustery nor easters, cold southerlies and a few very pleasant moments in between. As you may guess, this often leads to inconsistent results on the angling front, however there is still some great action to be enjoyed by those willing to put in the time and effort.
In the estuaries, a few reasonable blackfish are still around, with the ocean ends of the break walls seeing the more consistent action. Cabbage and bull weed seem to be achieving the better results. The odd bream is also about the walls, with evening sessions using either strip bait or gut baits resulting in some nice fish. The odd mulloway has also been encountered, with both lures and live baits seeing positive responses. On the flathead front, results have been a little mixed, with some days seeing reasonable levels of action, and others seeing bites hard to come by. Persistence seems to be the key.
On the crustacean front, Lake Cathie has certainly been producing the goods on the prawning front, with results over the past week just about as good as they get, especially when considering this period was not what is considered an optimum phase of the lunar cycle. With the lakes entrance now seemingly shut unless mother nature dictates otherwise, no doubt the next dark will see high levels of participation. For crabbing enthusiasts, some reasonable muddies are now active, with reports from upstream of the highway bridges most positive.
Off the beaches, once again conditions have not been idea with the combination of wind and swell seeing conditions somewhat challenging on most days. Those who have managed to take advantage of the brief windows of opportunity are still finding a few nice bream, along with the odd solid salmon. Tailor enthusiasts could do worse than to fish the evening sessions leading up to next weeks full moon, with this period historically producing some of the larger fish seen throughout the year. Lighthouse and Grants Beach would be worth prospecting if good close in gutters can be located.
Off the rocks, the odd drummer is still about however you will have to put in a bit more time and effort to locate suitably washed out locations. On the tailor front, both the Lighthouse and Point Perpendicular have been worth a look, while Miners has held a few bream after dark.
Offshore, last weekend saw quite a few vessels heading out, with many keen to explore waters beyond 3 nautical miles out following the relaxation of this rather perplexing lockdown stipulation. Those who did head wide scored a few kingfish and pearl perch, along with the odd snapper. On the whole however, the snapper action was nowhere near as frantic as enjoyed over the recent weeks, with the lack of current and cool water no doubt contributing factors. That’s fishing I guess and there’s always next time.
September 7, 2021
Spring has certainly arrived, along with it plenty of wind from opposite ends of the compass. Standard fare for this time of year unfortunately, although there will be plenty of good periods in between to wet a line in comfort.
In the estuary, flathead activity is really picking up with some nice fish on offer from most parts of the Hastings. Best reports have come from around the Hibbard area on either soft vibes or whitebait, although shallow divers, glide baits and bent minnows have been working a treat on the shallow sandbanks. On the bream front, the better action of late has been from Limeburners, although those fishing around Rawdon Island have also been scoring some nice fish. Yabbies and mullet strips have both been effective from a bait perspective, while soft vibes continue to see good results on the lure front. The break walls are still worth a look for mulloway either on live bait or large soft plastics, with the change of tide the key to success. Up river, good numbers of school sized fish remain active, ranging from juvenile up to around a metre. On the blackfish scene, the break walls and around Settlement Point are still producing a few fish, but you will need patience to gain a reasonable bag. Some nice whiting are also becoming more active, with Lake Cathie the pick of locations.
On the subject of the lake, it appears this open phase may be drawing to a close with the entrance beginning to close up earlier this week. Although the large swells may see a bit of water flow in, unless mother pulls another miracle, it appears closure is imminent. Whilst many will be disappointed in this natural cycle, prawning enthusiasts are eyeing the coming months with great enthusiasm. Numbers and quality at present are as good as we have seen for quite a few years, and no doubt the lake will be a hive of activity after dark over the coming months.
On the beaches, conditions have been challenging with plenty of wind and swells over the past week. Still a few whiting and bream around when conditions allow, along with plenty of solid salmon.
Off the rocks, drummer numbers remain consistent if not spectacular, with the odd really nice fish about. Best results over the past week have come from Diamond Head however locally Shelley’s is still worth a look. Still a few tailor from around the Lighthouse at first light with a slowly spun pilchard the best method.
Offshore, snapper remain the go to species, although the winds and swell have not been kind of late. Best of the limited reports have come from close in off Shelley’s and Lighthouse beach. While soft plastics have again accounted for most of the better quality fish, solid numbers have been found by those prepared to anchor, burley and fish lightly weighted pilchards. Hopefully the weather improves and lockdown distance restrictions are lifted so all options are again available in the near future.
August 31, 2021
Well winter is now officially behind us once again, and fingers crossed the new season brings not only some great angling throughout the mid north coast, but more importantly a pathway out of our current Covid pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Sooner rather than later would be nice in this regard, for the sake of everyone’s health and sanity.
In the estuary, flathead remain excellent, as they have pretty well all winter. Lures of most profiles continue to prove the premier method of attack, however drifting with lightly weighted whitebait has also seen good results. Bream numbers are reasonable and there are still some solid fish amongst them. Best reports have come from around Hibbard and Limeburners, with mullet gut, mullet strips and of course yabbies all working well. On the blackfish front, there are still a few reasonable fish about, with the break walls and Limeburners both worth a throw on either weed, cabbage or flies. A few nice whiting are also on offer, with Lake Cathie starting to again fish well after a quiet few weeks. Live prawns fished after dark has been a winning combination.
On the beaches, bream remain reasonably consistent with both North beach and around Lake Cathie worth a look. Pipis and beach worms have both seen good results, with odd whiting also in with the bream. A few school mulloway and salmon have also been taken from the same locations on worms and lures respectively. Tailor however have been a little quiet although the odd few fish have been taken during early morning sessions from the Camden Haven area.
Off the rocks, still a few drummer around for those willing to put in the time. Best reports have been from Point Perpendicular and Miners locally, with cunjevoi the bait of choice. The key as always is to be prepared to be mobile, look for the more washed out ledges or gutters, and of course burlying heavily. Tailor numbers remain reasonable with the odd nice greenback about, with the better reports unfortunately from just north of our LGA. Plenty of groper around as well for those willing to toss in a crab on the appropriate tackle, get a decent foot hold, and hang on.
Offshore, snapper numbers remain fantastic as is usually the case at this point of the season. Many rate August, September of early October as the best time of year for snapper, and I certainly don’t disagree with this notion. Pretty well all forms of angling have seen good results on the reds, but without a doubt, lures seem to be the premier method, particularly when it comes to quality. Best results of late have come from the close in reefs off Port and Lighthouse beach on plastics, micro jigs and sinking stickbaits. Naturally enough given the current Covid restrictions which preclude travelling further than 3 nautical miles offshore, no reports have come in from the wider grounds, although rumour has it leather jackets are still around in big numbers.
August 24, 2021
Well week two of our current lockdown restrictions is coming to a close, and whether this lockdown extends beyond this coming weekend remains to be seen. From an angling perspective, while fishing is allowed at present, please familiarise yourself with the various restrictions as per Service NSW and NSW Health, and keep an eye out for updates and changes, as the situation does seem to change from week to week depending upon the classification of your Local Government Area.
In the estuary, blackfish have slowed a little in the lower reaches, although the break walls are still worth a look with either green weed or sea cabbage. On the bream front, results have picked up following the passing of the full moon, with Limeburners holding some nice fish. Yabbies and mullet gut have both proven effective. Flathead numbers remain consistent, with nice fish on offer between Settlement Point and Rawdon Island. Lures and whitebait have both proven effective. Also in the estuaries, school mulloway numbers remain solid up river, with plenty of fish ranging from barely legal up to around 12 kilo. Soft plastics of several varieties have been accounting the majority of these fish. We are also continuing to get plenty of positive reports in regards to mud crabs from those who haven’t shelved the traps for winter.
Of the beaches, the recent full moon phase saw a sprinkling of mulloway from both Lighthouse and North beach. Most were in the school range with beach worms by far the most effective bait. Apart from mulloway, a few reasonable bream, tailor and salmon have been encountered on most local beaches.
Off the rocks, drummer remain the pick of targets, with Point Perpendicular still holding some nice fish. On the tailor front, Plomer has given up some above average fish, whilst locally Lighthouse and Blueface have both produced a few nice bags. Evening sessions were the go around the full moon. A few school mulloway have been on offer from around Plomer, with tailor fillets and squid enjoying equal success. Bream have been reasonable, with those fishing the dawn session enjoying the better results as is often the case with a bit of moon about.
On the offshore scene, last weekend saw terrific conditions for a change, with plenty heading offshore on both days. Although the full moon saw results a little less consistent than enjoyed over recent weeks, some terrific snapper were taken primarily from the closer reefs, with soft plastics and other lure types accounting for the bulk of these fish. A few pearl perch and flathead were also taken in varying quantities. Plenty of leather jackets also still about, with a few schools encountered as close in 35m, and their numbers getting exponentially higher the wider you go. If you are planning to head offshore, just bear in mind there are distance restrictions in force under the current lockdown regulations, so please keep up to date with these regulations, as inadvertent breaches could possibly add considerable unwanted expenses.
August 17, 2021
After managing to dodge most of the Covid related problems this year, it was inevitable the Mid North Coast would eventually come under lock down restrictions at some point. Hopefully society as a whole does the right thing moving forward and these current restrictions can be lifted sooner rather than later. In the meantime, from an angling perspective, please endeavour to keep up to date in regards to what is permissible and what isn’t. I won’t go into detail here as the rules not only differ depending upon the classification of your Local Government Area (LGA), but have also been amended several times to reflect changing developments and further clarifications. Full and latest details can be found on both the NSW Gov and NSW Health websites.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers have been steady from the break walls, with Limeburners also holding a few nice fish. On the bream scene, most locations in the lower reaches are still fishing well, with mullet gut and yabbies seeing consistent results. For the mulloway enthusiasts, some solid fish remain on offer, with the odd model well over 20 kilos hanging around. With great tides and lunar phases this weekend, evening sessions with either live mullet, whole squid or lures could prove rewarding. On the flathead front, results have picked up, with some terrific action in both the Hastings and Camden Haven. Hard bodied lures of both the straight and bent variety have proven particularly successful offerings. Further upstream, those chasing bream on lures have been scoring plenty of solid winter bass towards Bain’s Bridge in the Hastings and also around Telegraph Point. Just be mindful though, the yearly no take period for Australian Bass extends until the end of August.
Off the beaches, those fishing the morning sessions have been scoring a few reasonable bream as well as some surprisingly solid winter whiting. Beach worms have been the bait of choice. A few reasonable tailor and salmon also remain on most stretches of sand, while the moon and tides from this weekend onwards are terrific for an evening mulloway expedition. The southern end of Lighthouse and around Lake Cathie might be well worth prospecting.
Off the rocks, drummer have been a little hit and miss as often occurs at this time of year. However don’t be surprised if their numbers pick up again with the next month or so often seeing the best class of fish of the season. Groper numbers however have been excellent with some cracking fish to around 10 kilos on offer. Bream numbers have been steady as have blackfish and tailor, with Point Perpendicular the pick of locations for the latter two.
Offshore, results have been consistent with still plenty of great snapper on offer. Live bait and lures have both been successful with good numbers of fish ranging from around 3 to around 7 kilos. Leather jacket numbers have also picked up considerably, with large schools now being encountered as close in as 40m both north and south of Port.
August 10, 2021
Despite the weather still being somewhat variable, the signs are now here that winter is drawing to a close and spring is not far off. From an angling perspective this means there are still plenty of great options available, and a few more coming up in the not too distant future.
In the estuary, flathead have been consistent with good reports coming from most parts. The break walls have held fish with whole pilchards seeing good results, while up river lures of most profiles have been the premier approach. Bream have also been reasonable although we are starting to see results taper as they do towards the end of winter. The break walls and Limeburners are worth a look after dark with either mullet strips or yabbies, while soft vibes continue to get superb results on the lure front. For blackfish enthusiasts, there are still a few fish around the break walls and Settlement Point taking both greenweed and weed flies. On the mulloway front, the odd good fish is still around the Coal wall area, with live mullet fished around the tide change your best bet. Further up river, there have been plenty of school sized fish ranging from a mere 30cm or so, up to around the metre mark. Soft vibes and large plastics have been the more productive offerings.
Off the beaches, despite a little more swell than we would like over the past week, some reasonable formations are about, and a few fish as well. Lighthouse has produced some well conditioned bream and salmon, along with the odd school mulloway from the southern end. North Beach has also held a few bream and salmon, along with a reasonable showing of tailor. Shelley’s and Town beach have both produced a few nice winter whiting, with the odd fish close to 40cm.
Off the rocks, tailor have been reasonable from most headlands, with the better reports coming from Plomer and Crescent Head. Diamond Head and Point Perpendicular have also been worth a look for drummer, with groper also on the cards when conditions calm down sufficiently. Some nice bream and blackfish were also on offer at Shelley’s when the swell was up.
Offshore, snapper remain terrific with this season being one of best in many years. Good results have been achieved in pretty well all locations, from the very shallow stuff out to around the 70m mark. As has been the trend for some time now, lures seem to be accounting for the better quality fish during daylight hours, although anchoring and burlying has also been most productive. Wider out, some big leather jackets are also reported to be around, primarily wider than 60m, while trag rock has held a few reasonable kingfish.
August 3, 2021
Although August is renowned for being a rather windy month, the forecast for the coming weekend looks better than we have seen for some time. Fingers crossed great conditions indeed eventuate, and we enjoy a break from the frequent south westerly blows which have been evident over recent weeks.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers remain reasonable with the break walls and Settlement Point worth a look. On the bream front, the coal wall and Limeburners have held some solid fish after dark, with those fishing further upstream also reporting pleasing results. Lightly weighted mullet strips and gut have been particularly effective. During the day, soft vibes have been the lure profile of choice. Flathead numbers and quality remain quite good for this time of year, with both baits and lures enjoying equal success. On the mulloway front, those fishing lures have been enjoying consistent results on school sized fish, with the lower section of the Maria and around the highway bridges both holding fish. The North wall and coal wall area is also worth a look for better quality fish after dark on either large plastics or live mullet. On the crustacean front, Lake Cathie has plenty of prawns active for those prepared to brave the cool water, while rumour has it there are a few well conditioned mud crabs active in the Hastings.
Off the rocks, drummer reports have slowed noticeably which is not uncommon at this time of year. However don’t pack the gear away just year, as we often see their numbers and quality pick up again early spring. Bream numbers remain quite consistent with Hat Head and Crescent Head giving up several solid bags, whilst Lighthouse locally has also held some reasonable fish. Tailor numbers have dropped a little after the recent full moon phase, although there are still some fish about. Best reports have been from Crescent Head and Diamond Head. For those really wanting to test their gear, some big groper are about when the seas are calm.
Off the beaches, still plenty of bream active on all beaches, along with some big salmon. Around Lake Cathie has also held a few school mulloway albeit not all of legal length. Tailor have been a little patchy however North Beach has been worth a look at first light on either metal lures or pilchards.
Offshore, despite limited opportunities of late excellent catches of snapper continue from most reefs, with both lure fisho’s and bait enthusiasts enjoying a terrific winter season thus far. Wider out, teraglin, kingfish and pearl perch are on offer, while those dropping livies have also been finding good numbers of mulloway, particularly during evening sessions. If you plan to head beyond 60 meters or so, wire traces may be required as leather jacket numbers have picked up notably. Whilst perhaps not high on the list when it comes to their sport fishing attributes, the table qualities of the maligned leather jacket more than make up for their lack of fight.
July 27, 2021
After all the winds of late, it seems we have at last been blessed with a bit of stable winter weather. Hopefully this continues as there are plenty of great angling options available throughout the mid north coast, if conditions allow.
On the beaches, the recent full moon phase saw some terrific tailor on offer, with many fish well into the greenback category of above 2 kilos. North beach, Lighthouse and Grants Beaches all produced good fish late afternoons and after dusk. Along with the tailor, plenty of salmon are still about, along with the odd mulloway. For day time anglers, bream remain consistent, while Shelley’s has also held some terrific winter whiting.
In the estuary, blackfish remain consistent, with the south wall and around Westport again producing the better results. Flathead numbers remain solid, with Blackmans Point, Lake Cathie and the flats around Pelican Island all well worth a go. Whitebait and soft vibes continue to achieve terrific results, along with suspending hard bodied lures in the 90mm size. On the bream front, the lower estuaries after dark have fished well despite the recent full moon. Those fishing yabbies are also scoring some nice tarwhine in amongst the bream. On the mulloway front, the recent full moon phase saw a few reasonable fish active with the better reports from the Camden Haven system. In the Hastings, good numbers of school sized fish remain up river, with the odd better fish in amongst them.
Of the rocks, despite many ledges now sanding up quite considerably, drummer remain reasonable. Best reports over recent times have come from around Diamond Head and further south. On the tailor front, some terrific fish are on offer as is usually the case around this time of year. Crescent Head and Hat Head have held a particularly good grade of choppers. Also in the washes have been plenty of bream and blackfish, with Plomer fishing as well as anywhere. We have also a few reports of long tail tuna still about, although being so late in the season, most reports have been merely sightings from anglers unprepared for them showing up.
Offshore, some solid kingfish to around 10 kilos have been taken from around trag rock off Plomer, with live slimies achieving the better results. A few mulloway and pearl perch have also been taken from that general vicinity. Closer in, our winter snapper season is in full swing, with some terrific reds taken on both plastics and baits. Wider out, we are hearing of increasing numbers of leather jackets, for your targeting or avoidance depending upon your perspective. Hopefully the weekend will see reasonable conditions for those heading out, which will be a pleasant change.
July 20, 2021
We seem to be going through a particularly windy period at present, with short but sharp south westerly winds blowing through rather regularly. Last Saturday and mid this week in particular saw gusts in excess of 30 knots, which make a spot of angling challenging to say the least. Fingers crossed we see a bit of stability weather wise in the not too distant future, as there are plenty of great angling opportunities at present if mother nature plays remotely fair.
Of the rocks, reasonable reports on drummer continue to filter in, with Point Perpendicular, Diamond Head and a few ledges around Port still giving up some nice pigs. Bream also remain consistent, with Point Plomer and Crescent Head both fishing well. Tailor remain in good numbers from most headlands, with Plomer and Crescent Head producing a few quality fish to over 3 kilos, whilst Lighthouse locally has also held a reasonable class of fish. Late afternoon sessions have seen the better action, as is often the case leading up to a full moon.
On the beaches at present, salmon numbers are now beginning to pick up as is usually the case when the water cools. Most beaches are seeing schools in varying numbers, with some fish in excess of 4 kilos. Pretty well baits and lures will entice any feeding salmon, but pilchards are particularly hard to beat. Tailor have picked up a little particularly late afternoons, however given the winds of late, few days have proven viable. For day time anglers, still a few bream and whiting on both North Beach and Lighthouse.
In the estuary, blackfish have been consistent on the south wall with bag limit catches reasonably common. Bream remain solid particularly after dark in Limeburners, while around Settlement Point has been well worth a look for flathead and some nice winter whiting. North wall has also held a few tailor and mulloway, with the tides and moon this week ideal for chasing the latter. There have also been a few rather unusual catches of late in our estuary of late, including a snapper anyone would be proud of, some big drummer quite a way up the break walls, as well as the odd kingfish and mangrove jack. Just goes to show you never know what you may catch when you wet a line.
Offshore, some fantastic angling is offer if you are lucky enough to have a spare day in between the poor weather. Close in, snapper remain excellent with good numbers of quality fish taking both baits and lures. A few reasonable kingfish, mulloway and pearl perch have been taken around and beyond the 50 meter mark, whilst a little wider still, a few schools of leather jackets have started showing up. If you plan to fish in between 60 and 90 meters and are after a tasty feed, wire traces might be well worth carrying. Alternately, if you have an arsenal of lures you don’t really like, this depth bracket is ideal for giving them a run.
July 13, 2021
We are now right in the heart of our winter angling season and reports are generally most positive, at least when the weather is reasonable. Definitely time to don that extra layer of clothing and enjoy the action available on the mid north coast.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers remain terrific although as is usually the case, results can vary from day to day. The break walls are still the most consistent locations. Bream numbers too remain solid, with nice fish after dark in the lower estuary on yabbies and mullet strips, while soft vibes continue to produce the goods for lure enthusiasts during daylight hours. Those throwing lures throughout the day also continue to score plenty of school mulloway ranging from juvenile to around 7 or so kilos. On the flathead front, still plenty of active fish from the break walls up to around Rawdon Island. Lures of most types are proving the more productive approach, however whitebait and bluebait fished on small gangs with light lead have both seen their share of action.
Off the rocks, drummer numbers remain consistent with most local ledges producing in varying degrees. The keys as always are seeking the ledges with little to no sand in the water, and maintaining a constant supply of berley. Morning and evening sessions are also yielding some stud bream, with tailor strips proving the bait of choice. Blackfish numbers have been excellent, with Shelley’s, Nobby’s and Miners all producing some top bronzies to around a kilo. On the tailor front, results remain reasonable with some positive reports from Diamond Head and a consistent supply of choppers from around the Lighthouse and Blueface.
Off the beaches, the consistent swells of late have made fishing the more open stretches somewhat challenging. Best reports have come from the more protected corners with bream, tailor and salmon all viable targets. Look for salmon numbers to increase from this point of the season onwards, which will no doubt dismay or delight beach anglers depending upon your take on the species. For mulloway enthusiasts, hopefully the wind and swells settle considerably, with the lead up to next weeks full moon ideal if conditions allow unrestricted access to the more exposed sections.
For outside fisho’s, the consistent wind and swells have been most frustrating of late although a window of opportunity presented itself earlier this week. Those who have got out again report terrific results on snapper from the close in reefs with some cracking reds approaching 10 kilos caught. Soft plastics, as often seems to be case, have accounted for most of the better fish. Also on offer have been a sprinkling of pearl perch and some kingfish to around 14 kilos. If you are heading out, just be mindful bar conditions of late have been poor, particularly on the run out tide. Marine Rescue have advised the route marked by the leads is particularly sanded at present, and suggest exploring different paths which may provide better access depending upon prevailing conditions.
July 6, 2021
Good news for local anglers with NSW Fisheries recently releasing 10,000 mulloway fingerlings into the Hastings estuary system. While only about 40mm at present, the growth rate of mulloway is quite rapid, with most reaching maturity, or around 70cm, within 3 to 4 years. Although quite vulnerable in their first year, hopefully we see a reasonable survival percentage, and if so, look forward to some great angling in the years to come.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers are terrific with bag limit catches quite common around the break walls and Westport area. Green weed, cabbage and weed flies have all proven effective offerings, with both tides seeing good results in varying locations. Flathead numbers and quality remain reasonable despite the water now cooling considerably, whilst there are still plenty of bream on offer both day and night. Best baits for the bream after dark have been strip baits and mullet gut, while soft vibes are still proving deadly on the lure front. On the mulloway front, a few solid fish are still being taken off the break walls on either live baits or whole squid, while up river larger soft plastics have been working well. There have also been plenty of salmon in both the Hastings and Lake Cathie, providing great fun on light estuary gear. Small metals and shallow running hard bodied lures have been particularly effective, although whitebait and bluebait have also seen good success.
Off the rocks, some quality tailor to over 2 kilos continue to haunt the washes, with Plomer and Crescent Head fishing particularly well. Late afternoon sessions have produced the better class of fish. Drummer remain quite consistent, with practically all ledges which are free of sand producing well. Best results over the past week have come from Point Perpendicular and the Lighthouse locally. Those few fishing with bread have been doing particularly well of late. Makes sense when most drummer burleys are bread based, doesn’t it. Blackfish action remains terrific with Plomer and Miners locally both worth a look. Bream remain reasonable, with most ledges around Plomer worth visiting.
Off the beaches, the constant swell has limited options to the more protected corners over the past week. As such, tailor reports from the sand have been down as you would expect with few deep water options fishable. Salmon however remain common and certainly don’t mind venturing into shallower water. A few bream and nice winter whiting have also been around, particularly during afternoon and evening sessions.
Offshore, little to report over the past week, with the swell quite relentless and the bar really baring its teeth, particularly on the run out tide. It seems quite a bit of sand has built up on the bar over recent times, with this build up uncannily commencing after sand dredged from the Hastings was deposited on the north shore. Hopefully mother nature comes to the rescue with huge southerly swell in the near future, which may hopefully restore the reasonable passage we have grown accustom to.
June 29, 2021
After last weekend seeing angling conditions just about as good as they can get, winter has returned this week with a bit more breeze and consistent rainfall. While these conditions are somewhat testing, the red hot angling on offer more than compensates for the lack of comfort.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers are consistent with the break walls, Lady Nelson wharf and around Westport all producing fish. The quality has been excellent with many fish over a kilo. Bream numbers and quality also remain first class, as they have been all season. Despite the recent full moon phase, reports from the break walls have been positive with some terrific fish on offer. As far as bait is concerned, pretty well anything will catch fish in varying numbers, however mullet gut and strip baits of most varieties have seen great results. Those throwing soft vibes or crab imitation lures during daylight hours have also been doing well. Along with the bream, tarwhine numbers and quality have also been better than we have seen for some time. The lead up to the full moon also saw a few mulloway active throughout the system. Up river saw quite a few school sized fish encountered on lures, while the break walls after dark saw the bigger models active. On the flathead front, plenty of fish are still active, with fish pretty well anywhere from Rawdon Island down to the break walls.
Off the rocks, drummer numbers remain terrific with Lighthouse, Miners and Shelley’s all worth a look, as to ledges north and south of Port. Cunjevoi and prawns have been the baits of choice, however plain old white bread has also been used by a few to great effect. Bream and blackfish numbers have also been excellent, with the washes around Shelley’s locally and Plomer producing well. On the tailor front, a few reasonable fish have been around the Lighthouse and south at Point Perpendicular.
Off the beaches, bream remain above average with both Lighthouse and North Beach fishing consistently. A few tailor and salmon have also been taken by those fishing pilchards or metals. The recent full moon also saw a sprinkling of mulloway, albeit primarily school sized fish. Positive reports have come from many locations from Crescent Head south to Diamond Head.
Offshore, last weekends conditions were as good as it gets for heading offshore, with very light winds, little current and little swell. Usually when conditions are so sublime the angling can be a tad slow, but this was certainly not the case with the snapper action simply first class. Great results were achieved using both baits and lures, with fish to around 8 kilos taken from most reefs north and south. With the best of the winter snapper season still ahead of us, the next few months look terrific. Also offshore, pearl perch have been quite consistent, particularly from the deeper reefs with a few fish around the 3 kilo mark. Quite a few groper close in also for those using crabs.
June 22, 2021
After the brief bit of wet and wild weather from the south last weekend and earlier in the week, this weekend is shaping up far better from angling perspective. Fingers crossed this indeed eventuates as there has been some terrific winter angling on offer when conditions allow.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers have been quite consistent with good catches from both the break walls and around the Westport area. Greenweed, weed flies and cabbage have all been successful. Bream also remain terrific from the walls and Limeburners, although the current full moon phase may see them a little shy during evening sessions. While the bright moon may not be ideal for chasing bream, mulloway action has really picked up with consistent reports of quality fish in the Hastings over recent weeks. Both live baits and lures have enjoyed equal success, with fish to around 25 kilos active in numbers. This is great to see given the last 12 months have been relatively subdued in comparison to most seasons. Also in the Hastings, flathead remain consistent with some nice fish on offer from most parts. The stretch from Rawdon Island down to Hibbard seems as good as anywhere.
On the beaches, the consistent run of bream continues with results as good as we have seen in some years. Lighthouse and around Lake Cathie have again fished well, although all beaches are holding fish in varying degrees. A few nice tailor have also been taken, with the better fish of late being around the Crescent head area. Evening sessions are likely to be the better option with the full moon about, with those persisting after dark also a great chance for a mulloway. The southern end of Lighthouse, and Grants beach at North Haven, might both be worth prospecting with either worms or tailor fillets.
Off the rocks, drummer have again been well worth chasing, with most headlands holding fish. Locally, Lighthouse and Rocky’s have both been productive, with prawns and cunjevoi the baits of choice. The key as always is to seek the areas which are not sanded up, which does vary from week to week depending upon the swell and currents. Bream numbers also remain first class, particularly at first light, whilst tailor also remain on offer from most locations at first or last light. Quite a few nice blackfish around Shelley’s for those floating a bit of cabbage.
Offshore, snapper have been simply sensational, as long as you have had the opportunity to take advantage of the brief weather windows over recent times. Whilst plastics and live baits remain the premier methods for seeking the larger models, the humble pilchard has also been accounting for plenty of fish to around 4 kilos, with a few bag limit catches being reported. All areas have fished well over recent times, with the more consistent reports coming from between 35 and 50m of water. Apart from snapper, a few nice kingfish have been active a little wider, together with some solid pearl perch.
June 15, 2021
The weather gods certainly smiled on the mid north coast over the long weekend, with simply sublime winter conditions over the three day break. As a result, anglers were out in force enjoying the calm seas, absence of wind, some winter sunshine and terrific winter angling.
On the beaches, fish holding formations have returned over the past week with plenty of options now available. Bream were consistent on both Lighthouse and North Beach, as to tailor with several fish in excess of 2 kilo taken from North beach. If you’re after some great tailor action, just look for birds circling or diving on bait fish, and the tailor are usually not far away. Spinning metal lures is a gun method, although pilchards, garfish and even whitebait will also be readily accepted. A few nice salmon are also active on most beaches, with some fish approaching 5 kilos.
Off the rocks, tailor have been consistent despite the calm conditions seeing an absence of white water in many locations. Locations south of Port fared best over the weekend, although the Lighthouse and Shelley’s also produced fish. Bream have also been excellent at first light or after dark, while Plomer and Miners have held plenty of blackfish. On the drummer front, our terrific season to date continues on, with plenty of fish to around 3 kilos taken both north and south of Port. Prawns and cunjevoi have been the baits of choice.
In the estuary, bream have been terrific with the lower reaches of both the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers fishing very well. On the bait front, mullet strips and mullet gut have been working exceptionally well, while soft vibes have been deadly on the lure front during daylight hours. On the blackfish front, numbers have really picked up with bag limit catches in the Hastings and Camden Haven quite common over the past week. Both green weed and cabbage have worked well. Flathead numbers have also been solid, with good reports from around the Settlement Point area. Whitebait and lures have both been effective. On the mulloway scene, the lower Hastings has been holding the odd solid fish between 12 and 20 kilos, with both lures and live mullet proving effective. There are plenty of juvenile fish up river in the Hastings as well in the Lake Cathie which is great to see. On the subject of Lake Cathie. Mother nature continues to show who’s boss, with the entrance now arguably as robust as we have seen since the last opening. Might just remain open for a while yet.
Offshore, conditions were fantastic over the break with plenty of vessels taking advantage of this window of opportunity. Snapper were excellent, with terrific numbers of fish coming from pretty well all reefs on both baits and lures. Some solid pearl perch were also taken from the slightly deeper waters, along with a few reasonable kingfish. Some nice blue eye trevalla and bar cod were also taken by those fishing the reel deep stuff.
June 8, 2021
In the estuaries, flathead action remains excellent with good fish coming from most parts of the system. On the lure front, suspending hard bodies, soft vibes and soft plastics are all enjoying success, while for bait fisho’s, prawns, whitebait and mullet strip have all been readily accepted. Bream also remain first class with consistent reports from the break walls up to Rawdon Island. Mullet gut, mullet strips and yabbies will be the baits of choice, with evening sessions particularly productive. Those throwing lures during the day have also been finding quality fish. Blackfish numbers have been reasonable, however there have been reports from both break walls of a noticeable improvement in just the last few days. For whiting enthusiasts, Lake Cathie is still producing some nice fish, particularly after dark, while the Hastings is still worth a look with fish encountered around Rawdon Island over the past week. On the mulloway front, a few reasonable school sized fish have been found in the up river haunts, while the good evening high tides at present are ideal for chasing a larger model off the break walls.
On the beaches, bream remain consistent with most stretches of sand worth a look. Those using worms or pipis are also finding a few nice late season whiting. Tailor have been quite active, particularly north of Port, along with some cracking salmon approaching 5 kilos.
Off the rocks, drummer remain terrific with consistent reports from most locations north and south of Port. Locally, Shelley’s and Miners have been worth a look, although Lighthouse generally produces well early in the season. Tailor numbers remain solid with Point Plomer and Crescent Head producing some better quality greenbacks on either garfish or large lures. A few well conditioned winter bream are also around the washes, with evening and early morning sessions producing the better results, particularly around Big Hill and Plomer. Blackfish also remain in solid numbers from pretty well all headlands.
Offshore, the current forecast for the weekend is just about as encouraging as we have seen for quite some time, with little swell and relatively light westerlies. Fingers crossed this indeed eventuates. Snapper will be well worth chasing with both Ocean Star and Fish Port Macquarie Charters scoring some terrific fish over the past week. We have also had solid reports of kingfish in depths ranging from 65 to 90 metres, along with some terrific pearl perch. Just be mindful whale numbers have increased substantially over the past week, so keep a keen eye out when offshore in order to avoid and potential unwanted interaction. Whilst it is great to their numbers increase, they do represent a significant nautical hazard nowadays over winter.
June 1, 2021
The winter angling season is eagerly anticipated by many anglers along the east coast of NSW. Whilst the weather often necessitates more layers of clothing than we would like, the fishing is usually red hot with plenty of opportunities in our estuaries, offshore, and especially along our beaches and headlands.
Reports from the estuaries indicate bream numbers are improving as you would expect with the passing of the full moon. Limeburners, the coal wall and both of the break walls are all worth a go from a bait fishing perspective, with mullet gut seeing excellent results at present. For those content to throw lures during daylight hours, good reports are coming from most sections, with a noticeable improvement up river as the system returns to normal clarity. Flathead continue to be excellent and show few signs of slowing down, enhancing the notion they are a year round proposition. On the mulloway front, the recent full moon saw a few fish to around 20 kilos encountered throughout the Hastings, with live mullet the winning offering. On the blackfish front, the break walls are proving consistent without being spectacular, whilst we are still hearing a few positive whiting reports despite the time of year. A few nice crabs also remain active, although expect them to slow somewhat when the water begins to cool throughout the month.
On the subject of Lake Cathie, and more specifically the entrance, the recent big seas have seen significant change. As expected, sand ingress was considerable, with the southern based entrance completely closed last weekend, only for the big tides to create a fresh channel in the centre of the berm the following day. However given the amount of sand now pushed in to the system in conjunction with smaller tides over the next week, I suspect this reprieve will be short lived. Hopefully mother nature proves me wrong.
Off the beaches, although the strong winds and southerly swell have made conditions awkward at best on most stretches of sand, some reasonable fishing has been on offer from the protected locations. Town beach and Shelley’s have both fished well for bream and whiting, along with a few solid salmon. A few blackfish were also on offer at Shelley’s which is often case during a big swell. Hopefully once conditions settle, the open beaches will quickly reform and produce the goods as well.
Off the rocks, once again options were limited to the protected north facing ledges over most of the last week. Whilst tailor numbers were understandably down, bream and blackfish have been terrific with good reports from around Plomer and Miners locally. Look for some serious drummer action now the swell has begun to settle, with just about any washed out ledge well worth prospecting. Tailor should also be first class once safe access is restored.
Offshore, very little to report as you would expect given the conditions over recent times. Hopefully calm seas will return again, and for a change, over a weekend or two.
May 26, 2021
After enduring more swell and wind than we would like over the past couple of weeks, it looks like going to the next level this weekend with a big blow and even bigger swell predicted. Hopefully this will prove short term only, and some great winter angling conditions return in the near future.
In the estuary, bream numbers and quality remain consistent although the current full moon phase may see them a little more tentative during evening sessions. Light line and minimal lead will see better results with the moon about. Gut and strip baits should work well. For daytime anglers, lures will also prove effective, especially soft vibes and plastics fished in the deeper sections. Still plenty of flathead in the system, with some nice models approaching a metre caught last weekend. Suspending minnows and soft vibes seem to be the profiles of choice. Blackfish numbers are also improving with the break walls fishing well. Look for them to pick up noticeably if the big swell indeed eventuates. One thing that won’t benefit from the predicted swell however, is the entrance of Lake Cathie. Last weekend, closure seemed imminent only for a brief reprieve earlier this week. With the quantity of sand now around the entrance, I wouldn’t be surprised if this weekends swell is the straw that breaks the camels back. Hopefully mother nature proves me wrong.
Off the rocks, some nice tailor have been on offer with the better results of late coming from around Crescent Head and Hat Head. Those throwing small metals have also scored a few bonito and the occasional kingfish. Drummer numbers continue to improve with a few nice fish to around 3 kilos being taken from Diamond Head and Plomer. If the swell this weekend reaches what is forecast, look for many ledges to be washed out and some great drummer action as soon as conditions allow. Still good numbers of bream and blackfish on offer, with Plomer and Miners locally both worth a look.
On the beaches, the pulse of swell seen during the week did not help, nor of course will what is predicted for this weekend. Best results have been from the more protected corners, with plenty of bream and whiting still about. Tailor numbers are also picking up as long as the swell allows reasonable access to any deeper gutters you can locate. The southern section of South Beach at Dunbogan has been worth a look, with the odd salmon and school mulloway also about.
Offshore, results have been quite mixed. On the days with a bit of current, snapper have been quite good in close on both baits and plastics, although when the current stops, so it seems does the level of action. Wider out, there are some nice snapper in 50 to 70m, along with the odd kingfish and pearl perch. On the inshore pelagic front, still plenty of mac tuna and few solid longtails closer in, although mackerel reports are now few and far between.
May 18, 2021
Our winter angling season on the mid north coast is really starting to fire with some exceptional action over the past week. Whilst the floods of late March may have proven devastating for many individuals and businesses, it has proven a real catalyst for coastal angling, kick starting the season better than we have seen for quite a few years. If you haven’t already, now is definitely the time to dust off the rods and wet a line.
In the estuaries, the lower reaches are still fishing exceptionally well. Bream and tarwhine have been terrific off the break walls, around Settlement Point and in Limeburners, with those bait fishing after dark using prawns and strip baits scoring plenty of fish to over a kilo. Daytime angling has also been great with soft vibes and soft plastics fished deep seeing consistent results. Blackfish numbers have also picked up noticeably, with greenweed, flies and cabbage all proving successful at times. Flathead also remain active in most locations downstream of Rawdon Island, with whitebait or lures the way to go. Lake Cathie has also been fishing consistently for flathead as well. On the mulloway front, a few decent fish have started to become active in the lower Hastings, with live baits or lures fished around evening tide changes the keys to success. Up river, juvenile numbers remain solid which is a great sign for the future.
On the beaches, despite a fair bit of consistent swell over the past week, some top action has been enjoyed. North Beach has been holding tailor to over 2 kilos, whilst most beaches continue to produce a great run of bream and some nice late season whiting. Worms and pipis have been the go for both of these species. A few school mulloway are also getting about, although many are undersize so careful release practices are encouraged.
Of the rocks, tailor numbers and quality have improved markedly with plenty of fish to over 2 kilos on most headland north and south of town. Pilchards, garfish and metals have all proven successful. Those fishing the washes have also been finding plenty of bream, blackfish and drummer, with numbers of the latter particularly encouraging for this point in the season. The key is finding the gutters free of sand, with these locations varying considerably from day to day depending upon swell direction and size.
Offshore, snapper numbers are picking up in close with plenty of pan sized fish and a few larger models. Live baits or lures are again accounting for most of the better fish, as is often the case. Wider out, a few teraglin and pearl perch have been on offer, together with the odd kingfish and mulloway. For those content with a tasty feed of flathead, the sand flats in around 60m have been quite productive. On the pelagic front, while we are coming towards the end of the mackerel season, mac tuna numbers are everywhere, with the odd longtail tuna still cruising around as well.
May 11, 2021
Despite the weather being somewhat unsettled for this time of year, some terrific angling has been enjoyed over the past week. And the good news is it should only improve over the coming weeks as our winter angling season gets into full swing.
In the estuary, the lower reaches continue to fish exceptionally well for a number of species. Bream remain first class with terrific fish active along the break walls, up Limeburners and around Settlement Point. Best results have been achieved by those fishing strip baits or prawns after dark, however fishing around high tide during the early mornings has also been productive. Flathead also remain terrific in the same locations, as well as the lower section of Lake Cathie, with whitebait and lures both seeing great success. Blackfish numbers have also improved, with the break walls well worth prospecting with either greenweed, cabbage or weed flies. We have also heard of a few decent mulloway getting about the lower reaches, with live mullet, or large lures of both soft and hard varieties, fished around the change of tide, the key ingredients for success.
Off the beaches, bream numbers remain excellent as they have been pretty well ever since the floods. North beach and Lighthouse have both proven productive, as to Shelley’s and town beach, especially when the swell was up. On the tailor front, some nice fish are around as long as the swell lays down enough to enable access to the deeper gutters. Whiting remain reasonable and should still be a viable target for another month or so, while reports of juvenile mulloway continue to come in which is most pleasing from a long term perspective. For those chasing mulloway, rather than using worms and risking unnecessary mortality of these juvenile fish, try using whole squid, tailor fillets or other large baits instead. Quite often larger fish travel with the schools of smaller fish, with a larger bait presentation the best way to seek quality over quantity.
Off the rocks, the swell last weekend saw many of the more exposed locations off limits, with the action centred around the more protected locations. Bream, blackfish and drummer all remain active with positive reports from many locations from Hat Head to Crowdy. Tailor were a little shy although this was to be expected given the conditions. All in all, it is certainly shaping up to be a terrific winter season over the coming months.
Offshore, results have been a little mixed with a few good days over the past week and a few with quite a bit of swell. Best reports have come from those fishing the bottom, with some terrific snapper on offer. Close in off Shelley’s has been quite productive despite the poor water colour, with both baits and lures effective. Wider out, snapper have also been consistent, along with a sprinkling of kingfish and pearl perch. Some cracking sand flathead also on offer, with the better fish coming from between 55 and 65m of water.
May 4, 2021
May on the mid north coast is arguably the premier time of year from an angling perspective. The weather is usually mild, the water temperature still warm, and some of the best angling of the year on offer no matter where your passion lies.
On the beaches, we are at last seeing numbers of school mulloway, albeit the majority only juvenile. Whilst we would all love to see a better class of fish, this is a great sign for the future so please ensure good release practices are adopted so that memorable catch can possibly happen the years to come. Tailor numbers are also picking up, with most beaches holding reasonable numbers of fish. Bream also remain first class off the sand as they have been since the floods. Fish to over a kilo have been taken off both Lighthouse and North Beach. Still the odd whiting for those fishing the shallow spits with beach worms.
Off the rocks tailor have been consistent, with some solid fish to around 2 kilos taken from Point Perpendicular earlier in the week. Lighthouse locally is also holding fish, as to Plomer and surrounds. Bream remain terrific with pretty well all headlands holding fish. Drummer numbers remain encouraging with the best of the season still ahead, with reasonable numbers of pigs extracted from Point Perpendicular, Point Plomer and locally around Shelleys. Good numbers of blackfish remain active for those keen to throw the float off the stones, with Miners and Lighthouse locally both worth checking out. On the land based game scene, the occasional longtail tuna is still lurking around Point Perpendicular and Bonny Hills, with patience and persistence key ingredients for success.
In the estuary, juvenile mulloway have shown up in numbers with fish found in several locations from around Wauchope to the break walls. Once again, please ensure good handling when releasing these juvenile fish. On the bream front, the break walls are still fishing very well, particularly after dark. Given the number of fish with red spot up river, focusing your bream in the lower reaches would be wise. Still plenty of flathead active in the Hastings and throughout Lake Cathie, with all manner of lures seeing success. If anything, soft vibes are again the standout profile. On the whiting front, Lake Cathie has again produced a few nice fish after dark, while around Pelican Island and Big Bay in the Hastings have also been worth prospecting. Good news to for blackfish enthusiasts, with the breaks beginning to hold numbers of quality fish. Good results on fish to around a kilo have been achieved on weed flies, cabbage and bullweed.
Offshore, mackerel are still about with reasonable numbers of spotties off Diamond Head and the odd Spanish locally. The recent arrival of cleaner water will no doubt assist in this regard. On the bottom fishing front, snapper numbers are reasonable from around the 50 meter depth, whilst a few nice pearl perch and kingfish are also on offer a little wider.
April 27, 2021
Well ANZAC day has come and gone, and ahead of schedule, the annual mullet run is well and truly underway. The recent floods and early arrival of westerly winds have seen the mullet move earlier this year than we have seen for quite a few seasons. Hopefully this will also see an early start to our highly anticipated winter fishing season as well.
In the estuaries, bream have been terrific, particularly around the break walls after dark. Prawns, strip baits and mullet gut have all seen good success, with some of the fish well over a kilo. Further up river, bream have been responding well to lures during the day, although we have had reports of many fish with sores on them. Hopefully this is just a temporary issue from the recent floods, and not a sign of anything more sinister. On the blackfish front, the break walls have started fishing well, with cabbage and bull weed both seeing good results. Flathead have also been consistent around Hibbard and Limeburners in the Hastings, whilst Lake Cathie has also produced some terrific action. Whiting however have been a little shy however will likely pick up after the current full moon passes.
On the beaches, flathead have been one of the star species which is not often the case. In the main, quality flathead have been rather irregular on our local beaches, being more of a bycatch rather than a targeted capture. However those prospecting the close in gutters with lures around Lake Cathie and on North beach are seeing great rewards. Mid sized soft vibes, and 3 to 5 inch soft plastics have both seen great success. No doubt the recent floods have boosted numbers on our beaches, but I would suggest this is viable pursuit pretty well year round. Also on the beaches, some nice tailor and bream are about, whilst a few juvenile mulloway have shown up around Lake Cathie and further south.
Off the rocks, tailor numbers have picked up with some nice fish to around 2 kilos taken from most headlands. Those throwing either surface poppers or garfish have been getting the better quality fish. Bonito numbers are also improving all along the coastline. Those fishing the washes have also been scoring terrific numbers of bream, blackfish and drummer. Point Perpendicular, Plomer and around the Lighthouse have all been productive. In the meantime, the odd longtail tuna remains about, although patience and perseverance are paramount, as quite a few locations have not seen any action at all until late afternoon.
Offshore, results were very hit and miss last weekend despite quite reasonable conditions. Snapper numbers were down from recent weeks, although a few nice fish were taken during afternoon and evening sessions. Wider out, some nice pearl perch were welcome as always, whilst a few kingfish were active in around 80 to 90m. On the inshore pelagic front, whilst mackerel were once again elusive, mac tuna and longtail tuna numbers are thick for those seeking a bit of sport.
April 20, 2021
Usually ANZAC day signifies the start of the annual spawning run of several coastal species, however this year things have kicked off a little earlier than usual with mullet and bream already travelling. No doubt the recent floods on the east coast have had a fair bit to do with this. Add to this the significant temperature drop and onset of offshore winds, and you are left with no doubt the change of season is here. Put simply, there is no better time than the next month or two to wet a line, with virtually all species on offer.
On the beaches, tailor numbers have picked up with further reports of some terrific greenbacks from the Camden Haven area. Locally, there are some reasonable fish about and they should only improve from this point on. Hopefully mulloway numbers also improve now a few mullet and tailor are about, although a few more school sized fish have shown up south of Port. For daytime anglers, Lighthouse is still holding good bream and whiting, while those prospecting the close in gutters around Lake Cathie and North beach have been finding some terrific flathead on soft plastics and soft vibes.
In the estuary, bream numbers have been terrific at most locations downstream of Rawdon Island. With the water clarity improving daily, lures have been effective during the day, however those fishing baits after dark have been scoring terrific numbers of quality fish. Yabbies, strip baits and mullet gut have all been super effective. Flathead numbers have also been terrific with the Hastings and Lake Cathie fishing well. All manner of lures are working, while whitebait and prawns have also been winning offering. Still a few whiting in the Hastings, particularly around the top of the tide.
Off the rocks, tailor numbers and quality are improving with the Lighthouse and Point Plomer proving consistent, while some solid bream have also been snared. Bonito numbers have also picked up which is pleasing. Drummer numbers remain encouraging with fish taken from Plomer and Big Hill to the north, and around Point Perpendicular to the south. Look for this action to step up a notch once the weather and water temperature begin to really cool. On the land based game scene, still a few longtail tuna about, with those putting in the time snaring the odd fish. Hat Head, Hungry Head and Point Perpendicular remain the most viable options locally, although ledges further south are reported to be fishing very well.
Offshore fishing has been reasonable with options both close in and wide out. Close in, snapper have been quite consistent with both baits and lures proving effective. A few pearl perch and solid kingfish have also been encountered. Mackerel however have been somewhat elusive, with the lack of current and greenish water not an ideal combination. Wider out, those fishing the deep waters have been taking advantage of the lack of current, scoring plenty of blue eye trevalla, bass groper and other assorted deep water ooglies.
April 13, 2021
This is simply a great time of year from an angling perspective. We have just had our first cool change of the season along with a few days of offshore winds, and the waters are gradually clearing up after the big floods. Add to this some pleasant weather and warm water, and it’s definitely time to dust off the gear if you haven’t already.
In the estuaries, bream have been terrific as is often the case at this point in the season, especially following the recent floods. Good results have been achieved in the lower portion of our estuary, including both break walls and Limeburners. Strip baits and yabbies have both seen terrific action. Look for improved results further up river now some clarity has returned. Blackfish have also picked up, with the break walls seeing reasonable results. Cabbage has been the bait of choice. There are also plenty of mullet beginning to congregate throughout the lower part of the system, in readiness for their annual spawning run which usually kicks off in a couple of weeks. Hopefully this will not go unnoticed by the mulloway population, who have been rather elusive in the main over recent times. On the whiting front, reports from Lake Cathie have slowed considerably, although there is no shortage of small bream eager to take most offerings. Hopefully this is only a temporary downturn. The Hastings however has produced a few nice fish, with around Pelican Island and Limeburners worth a look with either worms or yabbies.
On the beaches, bream action has been quite consistent, particularly during the morning sessions. Lighthouse and North beach have both been productive with several reports of good bags, mostly on either worms or pipis. Tailor to have been more consistent and should further improve in line with improving water clarity. A few salmon have also been taken from those chasing tailor. Lighthouse has also held a few nice whiting around the top of the tide.
Off the rocks, early season drummer reports continue to filter in with the better results south of Port to date. These are encouraging signs for the season ahead. Tailor numbers have also picked up, with some nice fish to near 3 kilos taken from Point Perpendicular on garfish. Bream and blackfish also remain above average from most locations. On the land based game front, improved water and offshore winds have seen plenty of longtail tuna about. While the usual haunts are certainly worth visiting, fish have also been active around Blueface, Two Jew and the north wall.
Offshore, snapper numbers remain terrific both north and south of the bar. When the current has laid down, good results have been seen in depths ranging from 40 to 70m off Plomer, while close in off Lighthouse beach has consistent when the current has picked up. On the pelagic front, while the mackerel have been a little quiet, a few cobia have been around Delicate Nobby, while wider out a few fast running wahoo have been taken.
April 6, 2021
Wasn’t it great to see some reasonable weather over the Easter long weekend. After all the area has endured over recent weeks, a few dry days with little wind and improved water clarity was welcomed by anglers, with plenty of locals and visitors alike getting out and enjoying some terrific mid north coast angling.
On the beaches, bream and whiting have been terrific. Lighthouse has been the pick of locations with both species on the bite over virtually the entire length. Beach worms and pipis have been the gun baits. A few tailor and salmon have also shown up, albeit a little inconsistently. We are however hearing great reports from just down the coast regarding quality tailor, so fingers crossed they will find their way here in the not too distant future.
Off the rocks, tailor numbers remain reasonable from most headlands, with dawn sessions seeing the better results. Bream numbers also remain above average as they have been since the recent floods. For those fishing the washes, blackfish numbers are reasonable, while encouraging numbers of early season drummer are showing up on most headlands. On the land based game scene, longtail tuna are here but actual captures have been down a little. Once we get some solid offshore winds, look for a sharp improvement.
In the estuary, bream numbers remain exceptional in the lower reaches as is generally the case after a flood. Pretty well all bait types have proven effective with mullet strips and prawns as good as any offering. Look for them to begin heading upriver from now on as the water continues to clear. Flathead have also been terrific, with great reports from the break walls up to around the Hibbard area. Whitebait and pilchards have been the standout baits, although lures are again proving effective as the water clarity improves. We have also seen significant estuary cod numbers throughout the lower reaches, although just be mindful this species is fully protected under current legislation and must be returned immediately if captured. Also in the estuary, good numbers of garfish have been in lower reaches, with small hooks, a float and either bread or peeled prawns the go. For whiting enthusiasts, Lake Cathie is fishing exceptionally at present, with both worms and yabbies working well. Now conditions have begun to clear, surface lures will also be worth throwing. Mulloway numbers however have not reached expectation in the Hastings, however look for improvement over the coming weeks as the mullet begin to congregate in the lower system.
Offshore, snapper numbers remain first class, with terrific reports from very close in right out to around 100m. Those fishing the wider reefs have also been scoring some terrific pearl perch to around 3 kilos along with big morwong. On the pelagic front, a few mackerel and cobia have been around Barries Bay, although the action has been hit and miss in the absence of any real current. Wider out, some nice mahi mahi have been encountered by those targeting billfish.
March 31, 2021
Whilst we are still mindful of all those affected by the recent floods, the Easter long weekend is again upon us for those in a position to wet a line. This is the time of year unlike any other, where fishing is a focus either simply due to the 4 day break many get to get to enjoy, or for religious beliefs associated with Easter. Although this years break certainly carries a sombre note to it, the fishing opportunities this weekend are just about as good as they get, red hot action already seen on many fronts. At this stage the weather looks sensational for the entire four days and fingers crossed it stays that way.
In the estuaries, slowly but surely some cleanish ocean water is beginning to push back into the system, although up river is still quite turbid and with quite a bit of debris still to be flushed. As you would expect, all action has been centred in the lower reaches. Bream have been fantastic as they usually after a flood, with the break walls and pretty well anywhere downstream of Settlement Point holding fish. All baits have been successful, although mullet strips and the humble prawn have been particularly effective. A few nice whiting have also been active around Pelican Island and in Lake Cathie, with beach worms the gun bait. Mulloway action however failed to reach any great heights apart from the odd fish caught by those with access to the north wall. The constant presence of weed, sticks and grass on the south wall made chasing them in earnest close to impossible.
Off the beaches, bream and whiting have been exceptional, with Lighthouse and in front Lake Cathie both producing the goods. Worms have been the bait of choice with pipis a close second. A few tailor have also become active in line with the water clarity improving, along with a sprinkling of big salmon.
Off the rocks, tailor are again active on most headlands with good reports coming from both the Lighthouse and Plomer. A couple of fish were approaching 3 kilos which is great to see. Blackfish and bream numbers have also been terrific as they often are after a significant stir. For the land based game enthusiasts, longtail tuna are again active locally, with positive reports from Point Perpendicular, and numerous sightings off Port by those targeting other species.
On the offshore scene, snapper have been terrific and have been feeding quite aggressively in the murky water. Both baits and lures have been effective, with the reefs in around 40m off Shelley’s fishing as well as anywhere. On the pelagic front, Spanish mackerel are still around both north and south of Port, whilst wider out, some cracking mahi mahi and wahoo have been on offer. Just be mindful however if heading out, there are still significant obstacles floating up and down the coast. Many are predominantly submerged, so keeping your eyes peeled and adopting a sensible speed would be wise.
March 16, 2021
Seems the rains are never ending at present, with plenty of precipitation forecast for the latter part of this week, and of course, right throughout the weekend. For those complaining, simply cast your mind back about 18 months to when drought and bushfires decimated large parts of the country. I know what I’d prefer!
In the estuary, the better results have again come from the lower reaches, which is to be expected with a fair amount of colour still in the system. Both break walls have been fishing well for bream, with evening sessions using either mullet or bonito strips proving productive. A few flathead have also been taken off the walls by those drifting whole pilchards during the day. Blackfish however remain rather inconsistent, as to mulloway, although look for significant improvement with both species as we progress into Autumn. On the whiting front, the flats around Pelican Island have been worth a look with either worms, yabbies or surface lures. Lake Cathie also continues to produce some nice whiting, along with some better than average bream. For those seeking a bit of light line fun, garfish numbers have been excellent in the lower Hastings, with the Lady Nelson wharf as good as anywhere. On the crabbing front, muddies remain consistent with around Rawdon Island well worth prospecting.
Off the rocks, a few isolated reports of long tail tuna have filtered in, but results have been somewhat sporadic. No doubt the fluctuating water temperatures have played a big part in this inconsistency, with last weekend seeing a very cool 18 degree current along our coastline. A few good southerlies will hopefully reverse this quickly. Elsewhere off the rocks, tailor numbers remain reasonable around Lighthouse and Shelley’s locally, whilst a few early season bream, blackfish and drummer are beginning to show around Point Perpendicular and Diamond Head which is encouraging for the winter season ahead.
Off the beaches, best results have come from those fishing dawn sessions, with both North Beach and Lighthouse holding reasonable numbers of bream and whiting. For those chasing tailor, best reports continue to come from the Camden Haven area, with the odd school mulloway also encountered down that way. Still a few reports of red weed hanging around which is annoying, and hopefully will not get any worse.
Offshore, conditions have been tough overall, with limited opportunities to get out once again. It has been some time since we have seen such an extended period of poor offshore conditions, so fingers crossed we get a break soon, particularly with Easter approaching. Of the limited reports to hand, the current has been strong wider out, heading south in excess of 3 knots on many days. As such, close in has been the only real option. On the pelagic front, a few mackerel have been about, although finding the warmer water has been paramount to success. A few reasonable snapper have also bene taken from the close in reefs, with soft plastics getting the better results.
March 9, 2021
It seems we have hit that stormy point of the season where the mid north coast slowly begins transitioning into Autumn proper. As such, it shouldn’t be too long now until we see offshore winds becoming more common, which generally signifies the start of what many agree is the best fishing period on the piscatorial calendar.
Off the rocks, long tail tuna numbers have been solid with quality fish all along our part of the coast. Point Perpendicular and Hat Head will no doubt be popular locations over the coming weeks. Lets just hope the clowns who each year do their best to turn such locations into waste management facilities take a bit of their crap out with them this year. Apart from pelagics, a few nice blackfish are on offer with Shelley’s and Miners both worth a look. Tailor remain a little inconsistent with the morning sessions producing the better results, while bonito numbers are steadily improving.
On the beaches, North beach and around Lake Cathie have held a few bream and whiting, although the constant pulses of swell we have endured this year have been challenging. Lighthouse has also held a few bream and whiting, along with a few reasonable tailor. Hopefully Autumn sees conditions settle to a large degree, and we can again enjoy the terrific beach angling this area is renowned for.
In the estuary, bream numbers have been reasonable with the better catches being taken on the evening high tide, with both yabbies and mullet strips working well. During the day, the lower reaches have been worth a look on either blades or soft plastics. Blackfish however have been somewhat elusive, with the constantly discoloured water of late no doubt contributing to this. Whiting have also been shy in the Hastings, although just recently some great sessions have been enjoyed around Pelican Island once the cleaner ocean water pushes in. Lake Cathie has also been producing plenty of whiting, with surface lures, yabbies and worms all successful. On the crab front, the latest dose of colour has again fired up the muddies, although be warned, leaving marked traps unattended overnight regrettably remains an expensive exercise.
For offshore fisho’s, the strong current has been a real double edge sword, as it often is at this time of year. On the plus side, Barries Bay continues to produce constant pelagic action with Spanish and spotted mackerel, long tail tuna and the occasional cobia on most days. Sharks however remain a real issue in the bay, although reports from off Port and further south suggest the sharks there are nowhere near as bad. Wider out, marlin reports are also most encouraging with the occasional solid blue encountered along with some smaller blacks and some big mahi mahi. For those seeking a feed, the current has been challenging to say the least, however a few reasonable snapper and pearl perch are being found on the close in reefs, while some nice flathead have been in the 55m depth bracket.
February 23, 2021
After years of watching locations north and south of us get the lions share of the mid north coasts rainfall, last weekend saw the Hastings region cop a direct hit from an east coast low, with well over 200mm soaking the area. As a result, we have seen our third minor flood in 2 months. While some may be complaining about this rain, you only have to cast your mind back to the drought and fires a little over 12 months ago, and things are not so bad after all.
In the estuary, once again we have plenty of colour and some debris coming down the Hastings and as such, once again the angling action will be limited to the lower reaches for the next week or so. While it is doubtful this fresh will be significant enough to really fire the mulloway up, I’m sure there will be plenty of effort put in off the break walls. Hard bodied lures and large soft plastics will be the offerings of choice, and time will tell how successful they are this time. Bream however are bound to be throughout the lower reaches in good numbers. Mullet, bonito or mackerel fillets will be gun baits, as to either mullet or chicken gut. The break walls will also likely hold a few flathead while the river is dirty, although whiting may prove elusive until the clean water begins to push back up the system.
The big winner however from this recent deluge could be Lake Cathie. Prior to the weekend, closure of the entrance seemed imminent, with a large sandbar in front of the rapidly shrinking entrance and a copious amount of sand just inside. However as a result the amount of rain over such a short period, the lakes level rose considerably and the entrance has begun to scour our once again. How long this stay of execution lasts is anyone’s guess, however fingers crossed mother nature allows it stay open a little longer this time.
Off the beaches, the big seas over the past week have again limited opportunities, at least on the open stretches of sand. Of the limited reports, bream and whiting have been around in reasonable numbers, with the northern and of Lighthouse quite consistent. Given the dirty water again coming out of the Hastings, the southern end of North Beach will also be worth a look for bream and flathead.
Off the rocks, longtail tuna had arrived in reasonable numbers, however the off coloured water may see this action temporarily on hold. A similar story with tailor and bonito, however bream will be well worth chasing.
On the offshore front, only the odd boat has ventured out of late with the conditions simply terrible on most days. Nothing at all to report from the reefs, however mackerel numbers in close remained terrific. The latest flood however will likely see this action to come to a sudden halt, at least until the currents sweep the dirty water away.
February 16, 2021
February is generally dominated by nor east winds, heat and the most uncomfortable humidity of the year, however the past week has seen southerly winds with more of the same predicted over coming days. While this may limit our angling options in the short term, on the plus side these winds have seen the warm current come right onshore, and will likely see some reasonable rainfall which is always welcome.
In the estuary, good flathead are on offer from around Rawdon Island and Limeburners, with both lures and whitebait again achieving the more consistent results. Bream numbers have also been excellent, particularly around the break walls after dark on both yabbies and either mullet strips or mullet gut. Good numbers of garfish are also active in the Hastings for those seeking either great fun on light line, a nice feed or a sensational bait source. Whiting numbers and quality remain terrific, with Blackmans Point, the Back Channel, Limeburners and of course Lake Cathie all worth a look. Worms, yabbies and surface lures have all proven productive. Just on Lake Cathie, it is noted the entrance has begun to snake to the south with a significant sandbar now in front. This usually indicates closure is imminent, however the southerly winds of late may see some reprieve. Time will tell what mother nature decides to do in this regard.
Off the rocks, the odd decent tailor session is beginning to occur however as yet results remain a little inconsistent. A few nice bream and blackfish are on offer for those willing to put in the time, with areas north around Plomer and Hat Head fishing reasonably. On the land based game front, the season is now in full swing with some cracking longtail tuna to above 20 kilos and the odd mackerel being encountered. Reports have come from all favoured ledges both north and south, however lesser frequented locations like Bonny Hills and Two Jew at Port to name just a couple, are well worth a look if you don’t enjoy crowds.
Off the beaches, we are beginning to see more signs of red weeds which is not at all desirable. To date it hasn’t reached the levels to really impact angling and fingers crossed it wont. Given the conditions over the past week, the open stretches have been pretty well off limits, however the southern sections of most beaches remain worth a look for bream, whiting and tailor.
Offshore, conditions have generally been terrible with very few opportunities to get out in any real degree of comfort. Those who have been able to get out have generally been chasing mackerel with mixed results. Barries Bay has produced both Spanish and spotted mackerel along with mac tuna and longtails, although sharks remain a constant hurdle. The close in reefs off Bonny Hills have also held mackerel without the shark issue. Little to report from the reef scene, with the strong current streaming down the coast making it very difficult beyond 25 meters or so.
February 10, 2021
Good to see a rather refreshing few days of southerly winds during this week together with a little rainfall. Makes a pleasnat change from the constant nor easters and humidity this month is renowned for.
In the estuary, fishing still remains excellent with plenty of options available. Flathead remain common from most locations with Limeburners and around Blackmans Point both fishing well. Limeburners has also produced some cracking whiting, with a few fish around the 500 grams taken over the past week. For those wishing to chase a feed of whiting land based, the back channel is certainly worth a look, as to of course, pretty well the entire Lake Cathie system. Both surface lures and baits have proven effective. Good news to for blackfish enthusiasts, with the break walls and lower reaches seeing a few nice fish taken on both cabbage and artificial weed. Also on offer have been a few nice bream from the break walls after dark, with bonito strips working very well. Further up river, the bream have been responding well to surface lures, with Rawdon Island and surrounds fishing well. On the crustacean front, Lake Cathie has finally produced some nice sized prawns, although to date they have proven a little hit and miss. Hopefully they will be more consistent next dark, and if so, I expect a high level of participation by those employing either drag or scoop nets.
Off the beaches, the heavy and consistent swell has again limited options, especially on the more exposed beaches. Bream and whiting however remain quite consistent, with good reports from the northern end of Lighthouse as well as near the entrance of Lake Cathie. Live beach worms have been the stand out bait. Once these swells back down, look for improved numbers of tailor off most stretches of sand.
Off the rocks, the mid north coast land based game season has begun in earnest, with reports of good numbers of longtail tuna, together with the odd Spanish mackerel, from the favoured ledges both north and south of Port. No doubt there will be plenty of interest from the enthusiasts over the coming weeks. Apart from the pelagics, the Lighthouse has produced a few tailor at first light along with some reasonable bream. Plomer has also held bream and blackfish in reasonable numbers.
Offshore, once again conditions have been far from optimum with a heavy swell and plenty of breeze being the norm of late. However, since last weekend a few have managed to get out with the inshore pelagic scene starting to really fire. Barries Bay produced mackerel, longtail tuna and even mahi mahi, if you managed to get your catch to the boat intact that is. There is no doubt the sharks up there are displaying learned behaviour when the mackerel arrive, with their presence escalating substantially over recent years. Might be worth exploring alternate locations in front of Port, and even to the south, where the shark problem is virtually non existant by comparison.
February 2, 2021
February is often a month not regarded highly on the angling calendar, however this year is shaping up as above average courtesy of all the rainfall over Xmas and the new year period. With the upper estuaries now replenished, and reasonable clarity now returning the lower reaches, there will certainly plenty of great angling action to be enjoyed over the coming weeks.
In the estuaries, flathead have been terrific with fish on offer from basically all points downstream of Wauchope. Lures, whitebait and the humble mullet strip have all been worth throwing. Pick of the other species has been whiting with terrific fish taken from around Pelican Island, Limeburners and of course Lake Cathie. A few nice bream have also been on offer around the break walls, along with the occasional blackfish. Good to see a few mulloway again active around the recent moon, with the north wall giving up quite a few school sized fish, and the odd fish on the south wall. Some nice garfish are also in the Hastings if you are after some light line fun.
On the beaches, bream to around a kilo have been taken from both Lighthouse and North beach, although the consistent swells of late have made conditions challenging. Along with the bream, some nice whiting have been caught on both worms and pipis, while the recent full moon phase saw the occasional school mulloway after dark. A few reasonable tailor have also returned to our part of the coast in line with the water clarity now close to normal.
Off the rocks, tailor numbers are reasonable with Point Plomer and Diamond Head faring best, whilst Lighthouse locally is also worth a throw. A few nice bream have been on the chew during early mornings, with tailor strips proving the bait of choice. Little to report on the land based game scene as yet however from this month onwards is generally when it all happens, and if further incentive is needed the currents are shaping up favourably and bait schools are becoming more common each day.
Offshore, conditions have not been ideal for a while now with either wind or swell making most days uncomfortable at best. Despite this, a few have ventured out with those seeking a feed from the bottom finding the going challenging. While a few snapper and pearl perch have been caught, flathead have been saving grace. Good news however on the pelagic front, with a few spotted and Spanish mackerel now in Barries Bay, whilst we have also heard reports of wahoo not far north. If you don’t like crowds and are keen to chase these inshore pelagics, believe it or not, anywhere you find bait off Port or Lighthouse Beach in the 12 to 30m depth bracket will also hold fish. As an added bonus to not having excessive boat traffic all around, the sharks are nowhere near as bad and you stand a very good chance of getting most fish to the boat in their entirety.
January 26, 2021
In the estuary, the water in the Hastings is now beginning to clear nicely, although the Maria remains distinctly off colour and will likely remain so for a while yet. Geographical constraints just do not allow quick water turnover in this arm unfortunately. However, good to see Lake Cathie now beginning to clear up, with fingers crossed the entrance remains open for an extended period. In the Hastings, flathead have been consistent from the break walls up to the highway bridges, whilst Limeburners has fished well for bream and whiting. Lake Cathie has also seen some terrific whiting action between the bridge and opening. Not a lot to report on the mulloway front however, although at the time of writing the tides and moon have just reached an optimum phase. Live baits and large lures will both be worth throwing.
Off the beaches, the solid swell last week saw conditions challenging at best, with the only viable options the protected corners or the smaller beaches in town. Despite this, there have been some nice bream and whiting active in most locations, with beach worms and pipis the baits of choice. Now the seas have settled, around the entrance to Lake Cathie and the southern section of North beach will both be worth a look. Don’t be surprised if a few more tailor turn up over the next few days, especially if the nor east winds lay down and the water continues to clean up.
Off the rocks, tailor numbers have been reasonable which is about all you can ask for at this time of year. Blackfish however are well worth chasing by floating a bit of cabbage, with this method also likely to attract the attention of the occasional drummer. A few nice bream around Miners during evening sessions despite the full moon.
Offshore, conditions have not been ideal with constant northerly winds seeing limited opportunities apart from the odd early morning session. Despite this, there have been a few positive reports on the pelagic front, with marlin and mahi mahi still around in reasonable numbers. We have also heard of a few more Spanish mackerel showing up around Barries Bay. This should only further improve as the water clarity improves, and particularly if we get a few southerly or offshore blows.
January 19, 2021
After all the rain around Christmas and the New Year, we are only now seeing our estuaries slowly starting to clear. Whilst this will mean we no longer have a large concentration of fish in the lower reaches, the angling conditions overall are just about as good as it gets at this time of year.
In the estuaries at present, whiting numbers have picked up noticeably as the estuaries begin to clear. Limeburners and Lake Cathie are well worth a look, although just bear in mind the warnings regarding the water quality, and possible effects on seafood, from the latter. Live worms remain the bait of choice, however those who prefer to throw surface lures have also again enjoyed success. Flathead also remain excellent, with the stretch from Settlement Point up to Rawdon Island producing great results on both whitebait and lures. On the bream front, the break walls are still worth a look with mullet fillets, mullet gut or brined prawns your best bets. Further upriver, lures are again proving effective on the bream, with those fishing around the Wauchope area also scoring a few solid bass brought back down by the recent freshes. On the mulloway front, the break walls are just producing the occasional school sized fish, although with the moon and tides terrific from this weekend onwards, an early evening session could be well worth a look for a larger model. Live baits or large lures will both be worth deploying. For crabbing enthusiasts, muddies have been terrific in the lower reaches although will likely now begin moving back upstream as the water clears. Some nice blue swimmers have been around in the canals, and will likely be back on the weed beds in the main channel now.
On the beaches, whiting numbers have been reasonable with Lighthouse producing the better results. Best bait has been live beach worms, however pipis have also accounted for some quality fish. In with the whiting, bream numbers have been consistent. A few tailor and salmon have also been about, and will further improve as the water clarity returns.
Off the rocks, a few tailor and bonito have shown up as the water begins to clear. Small metals have been the go. Blackfish are also a viable proposition during the day, whilst those fishing the evenings are encountering a steady stream of pan sized bream. No real action on the land based game scene as yet, however it’s only a matter of time now.
Offshore, the recent Golden Lure saw some terrific action on the game fishing front. Black marlin numbers have been excellent in close, while out blue marlin, mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna and sharks have all be around in good numbers. Bottom fishing however has been a little quiet although has just begun to pick up again in line with a bit of current. A few snapper, pearl perch and kingfish were taken early in the week off Plomer, along with some cracking flathead in around 60m.
January 19, 2021
After a couple of weeks of consistent and most welcome rainfall, the sunshine and calm winds of this past week have been just ideal for wetting a line. There has barely been a vacant spot land based in our lower estuary, while out boat ramps and car parks have on many occasions, been simply inadequate to cope with demand. No doubt angling and boating remain extremely popular activities, so let’s hope this is catered for by those shaping the regions growth.
On the offshore scene, as is usually the case at this time of year, the Golden Lure has been the focus of the week. To date catches have been exceptional, with plenty of black marlin in close together with a few sharks, whilst wider out has produced blue marlin, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi. Fingers crossed the final days of competition will see similar levels of action. If game fishing is not your scene, both local charter boats have been scoring some nice snapper, morwong and pearl perch, together with exceptional sand flathead from the 55m to 65m depths. Spanish mackerel from the close in haunts may also be worth the effort.
In the estuaries, Lake Cathie is again open to the sea, with nature and physics again thwarting PMHC’s berm scraping strategy. Whether you agree or not with this plan of action, it would seem their implementation strategy is fundamentally flawed to say the least. Nonetheless, let’s see how long mother nature will let it remain open for this time. In the Hastings, there is still plenty of colour but this has not slowed the angling action at all. Bream have remain extremely active, with pretty well all locations downstream of Hibbard fishing well. The run in tide has been the go, with mullet strips and brined prawn particularly successful. Flathead have also been consistent in the lower reaches, with whitebait and pilchards working well. Look for the flatties to become more responsive to lures as the clarity improves. On the whiting front, best reports have come from around Pelican Island and Limeburners, with live worms the bait of choice. Little to report however on the mulloway from apart from a few isolated fish on the North Wall.
Off the rocks, reports have ranged from poor to encouraging depending upon where and when you went. In general, Point Plomer has been holding some nice blackfish and a reasonable sprinkling of tailor, whilst locally Shelleys and Lighthouse have both produced bream. And with warm currents now close in, and lots of flooding up the coast, look for an early start to our land based game season.
Off the beaches, North beach has been producing some terrific whiting from the southern end along with some reasonable bream. Lighthouse has also held bream and a few tailor despite the off coloured water. Around the entrance of Lake Cathie will also be well worth prospecting from bream and whiting, with a mulloway after dark definitely worth chasing from now on.