Port Macquarie Report

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14/5/24

The past week brought a soaking that drenched the Mid North Coast, but for us anglers, a sprinkle or two is part of the deal, and good for the waterways in the long run, some extended sunshine would be a welcome catch. The forecast for the remainder of May continues to be a wet one.

The Hastings River has seen a fair amount of rain this past week, stirring up the estuary and causing the water to turn brown. This temporary lack of clarity will shift most fishing action towards the lower reaches of the river, closer to the mouth, until things clear up.

The good news is that the bream fishing has been fantastic and is expected to stay strong for weeks to come. Before the rainfall, anglers were having great success with soft vibe lures during the day. Bait anglers have also been doing well, with mullet strips producing solid catches both day and night. Like bream, flathead fishing in the lower Hastings has been excellent. Lure anglers of all preferences have enjoyed success, while bait anglers have done well with whitebait and prawns. The recent freshwater influx might not trigger a surge in mulloway activity, but some big fish (over 20 kilos!) have been caught around the coal wharf. The rock fishing scene remains dominated by tailor, with some fantastic catches reported from most local ledges. This hot streak extends to both Port Macquarie itself and surrounding areas like Plomer and further north. For these impressive catches, garfish and large lures have proven to be the most effective baits. While not quite as abundant as the tailor, drummer numbers are showing signs of improvement. 

On the beaches, bream numbers also remain solid on most beaches. Evening sessions have been producing the better class of fish on either pilchards or slab baits. North Beach and Lighthouse have also held some solid bream and the odd whiting, with worms and pipis seeing good results.  Venturing offshore offers a mixed bag of potential catches. For those willing to explore a bit south, inshore reefs around the Lighthouse and nearby areas have seen occasional appearances of cobia, spanish mackerel, and even the odd tuna. Closer to shore, trolling enthusiasts can target plentiful bonito and tailor. The bottom fishing scene hasn’t disappointed either, with some lucky anglers reeling in nice snapper and pearl perch. 

Further south this week, Diamond Head ledges have seen a few nice catches of tailor, with some fish reaching up to two and a half kilograms.  For those looking for variety, most headlands offer the chance to catch bream and luderick, though the numbers may vary depending on the specific location. On the beaches school mulloway have been active, with Dunbogan and around Lake Cathie worth a look. Now the mullet have begun to travel and tailor numbers consistent, look for increased activity from the better models. Lake Cathie is well and truly open, hopefully in a couple of weeks the water clears up and we see a late season of luderick fishing. Offshore anglers, snapper reports have been promising this past week, with some terrific fish up to five kilos being caught. Baits have been the more productive method lately, but lures are expected to become more effective as winter approaches. In addition to snapper, there have been reports of some terrific pearl perch and even a few decent kingfish from the deeper reefs.

The Macleay River is showing promise for luderick enthusiasts! Numbers have picked up over the last week, with some nice catches reported from the break walls and other spots in the lower reaches. If you can find some green weed, it’s a great bait option, but weed flies and cabbage have also been proving successful. The good news continues for bream fishermen, as consistent catches are coming from both the break walls and Back Creek. Evening sessions seem to be the most productive for larger bream. Mullet strips are a top bait choice, but simply using mullet itself has also been effective.

This week’s photo is of Ben Hill with a blue-eye trevalla he caught off Port Macquarie on a Bay Explorer Marine deep drop rig.

24/4/24

The autumn rains have arrived, and more are on the way later this month. But fear not, anglers! This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) looks like a golden opportunity to get out and cast a line before the next weather event.

The Hastings River hasn’t stopped producing great catches despite the recent rains. Flathead fishing is still fantastic, with live herring and soft plastics being the go-to baits. Even in the dirty water, many local anglers are catching good bags of luderick around the CBD wharfs. Further upstream, bream are still plentiful, with both bait and lures proving effective. The recent freshwater flow attracted many mulloway anglers, and some lucky ones landed a couple of decent fish off the break walls, while others found success with school-sized mulloway further up river. The continuing big swells haven’t been kind to the local beaches, causing some erosion. But for those who braved the conditions, there were rewards. Anglers scored some impressive bream using pipis and mullet strips. Tailor fishing has also picked up steam, with some quality catches reported. Offshore conditions haven’t been ideal lately, but this weekend’s forecast promises calmer seas. Snapper and pearl perch fishing has been good, especially off Point Plomer, but be aware of strong currents that have been present. For pelagic fishing, there have been scattered reports of mackerel further north. Once the wet weather eases, keep an eye out for mackerel catches further south. The season for deep drop fishing is beginning, but reports are needed to see if the strong currents have subsided.

The Camden Haven River has seen a slowdown in luderick catches this week. However, some anglers managed to snag nice fish near the breakwalls using cabbage and green weed flies before the recent rains. Off the rocks, tailor numbers are holding steady for the season, but rough conditions have made accessing many rocky ledges unsafe. Bream and luderick fishing remains consistent in the more sheltered areas around Crowdy. Drummer is another option to target once this swell subsides, especially in areas with washouts.

Big flathead are still cruising the Macleay River, live bait and soft plastics remain the best bet. Rough weather this week kept offshore reports under wraps, but the forecast for this weekend looks like a dream. Get ready for a burst of fishing action both inshore and offshore this weekend.

This week’s angler is Blair Carroll. He speared this impressive Spanish mackerel, all while keeping an eye out for sharks.

24/3/24

Camden Haven has something for every angler this week! The river boasts impressive flathead catches, while the occasional school of mulloway tempts anglers near the break walls. Beaches around Bonny Hills and Dunbogan are schooling with bream and tailor, especially in protected areas where beach worms work wonders. Rock fishing offers a chance to snag some tailor or school mulloway, and venturing further south towards Crowdy Head might reward you with drummer. Remember, calmer mornings before the wind picks up are your best bet. Offshore reports, though not specific to Camden Haven, mention decent catches of snapper, pearl perch, and kingfish off Crowdy Head and around Lake Cathie reefs further north.

In the Hastings River this week, bream fishing in the river is fantastic since recent rainfall. Luderick numbers are improving, responding well to flies near the break walls. Flathead remain plentiful upstream, while the whiting season winds down with a few late catches possible. The future looks bright for mulloway with healthy juvenile populations, and the abundance of mullet downstream suggests larger fish might be on their way. Mud crabs are active but be mindful of trap theft reports. The beach scene is just as exciting! Bream are plentiful across all stretches of sand, with pipis and mullet strips proving effective bait. Beach worm enthusiasts can still score some nice whiting and noticeable increase in tailor numbers, particularly south of Port Macquarie, with anglers reporting catches of good quality fish. Rock fishing is hot too! Tailor are still going strong with catches around two kilos reported from most headlands. Surface poppers and garfish lures are enticing the bigger ones. Drummer season is ramping up nicely, with numbers expected to surge as the water cools down. Bream and luderick are also fishing well off the rocks, Plomer Point to the north being the most productive spot. Offshore conditions remain challenging. Persistent swells and a shallowing bar make crossing hazardous, especially on the outgoing tide. Safety should always be the priority. For those who braved the conditions, reports indicate elusive mackerel near shore due to dirty water. However, Barries Bay offered some cobia catches through the week. Further out, the FAD held juvenile and larger mahi mahi, while bottom fishing near shore produced a steady stream of snapper on both bait and lures.

South West Rocks has been buzzing with fishing activity during the school holidays! Boat ramps and popular spots have seen plenty of local and visiting anglers. Just before the recent rainfall, rock fishing enthusiasts had some success with pelagic catches off the headlands. The Macleay River also delivered a couple of exciting cobia catches near the breakwall, along with some kingfish. However, be aware of the challenging bar conditions. There have been incidents reported weekly, so prioritise safety and avoid venturing out to sea if unsure.

This week’s angler is Brice Hayward. He caught this wahoo recently off the Mid North Coast.

21/2/24

With the end of summer near and southerly winds becoming more common I expect the upcoming autumn fishing season to be a cracker with hopefully plenty of opportunities to head out for a fish. 

In the Hastings region this week for anglers looking to fish off the beaches this week, a few local and visitor anglers experienced some terrific action on our coastline during the week. North Shore beach produced good numbers of bream and whiting throughout the day along with a few decent sized tailor throughout the evenings. Off the rocks, bream numbers have been excellent around the Lighthouse and Shelly beach. No real news on the land-based game fishing front, however the enthusiasts are a most secretive bunch who go to great lengths to keep results to themselves. Any time from now on will be worth a look, I would try fish around our northern ledges. In the river, bream numbers have been consistent off the break walls with quite a few bag limit catches reported. Offshore, mackerel fever is spreading with Plomer Bay starting to produce the odd mackerel along with cobia and mack tuna, but most fish were taken by a few larger sharks hanging around the area. For fishing out wider, the FADs have been a little hit and miss although the mahi mahi that have been caught have generally been of good size.

In the Camden Haven River this week some terrific sized flathead were caught by local anglers. Mulloway remain sporadic although a few school sized fish continue to be encountered around the river mouth off both break walls. On the beaches bream and tailor numbers have been excellent off both Bonny Hills and Dunbogan in the protected corners with beach worms being the best bait. Fishing off the rocks this week saw a few nice tailor and school mulloway caught by anglers. Those venturing down toward Crowdy Head have also been finding a few drummer and the odd snapper. Over the weekend I would try fish early in the mornings on sunrise before the wind picks up. For offshore fishing, I received a few reports of decent snapper, pearl perch and kingfish off Crowdy Head and Laurieton reefs.

Further north in the Macleay River region the river continues to produce great sized flathead for anglers targeting those larger record fish. Live bait and soft plastics working well. The pelagic scene during the week produced a few nice mackerel off the Gaol and Grassy.  The FADs were a bit hit and miss this week with one day holding nice larger sized mahi mahi and the next day anglers seeing no fish. The weekend forecast looks fantastic, and I would expect to see plenty of fishing action offshore and in the river. 

This week’s photo is Rick Adorini with a great bass groper and blue-eye trevalla he recently caught off Port Macquarie on a Bay Explorer deep drop fishing rig.

12/1/24

The offshore scene is the talk of the town as is usual at this time of year, the Port Macquarie Garmin Golden Lure has been the focus for the week. To date catches have been hot and cold, with the odd black marlin in close, a few sharks, whilst wider out has produced good numbers of striped marlin and mahi mahi. Fingers crossed the final days of competition will see better levels of action. 

For Port Macquarie anglers, for fishing 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 luderick and a reasonable scattering of tailor, whilst Oxley and Lighthouse Beach have both produced bream. With warm currents now close in, and lots of flooding up the coast in Queensland, look for an early start to our land-based game season. Whilst in the river, whiting numbers have picked up noticeably with Limeburners well worth a look. Live worms remain the bait of choice, however those who prefer to throw surface lures have also again enjoyed success. Flathead catches also remain excellent, with the stretch from Settlement Point up to Rawdon Island producing great results on both live-bait 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. For crabbing enthusiasts, muddies have been indecisive in the lower reaches although some nice blue swimmers have been found around Pelican Island and on the weed beds in the main channel.

Further south on the beaches, despite this time of year not generally being rated highly, some reasonable action has been enjoyed by visiting and local anglers. The stretches of sand around Lake Cathie have produced good numbers of bream and flathead. The beaches around the Camden Haven area seem to be holding a few tailor, with both pilchards and metal lures doing the job. The LUSC Family Fishing Bonanza was held last weekend, with challenging conditions there were still some great fish weighed in by competitors. Sarah Hutchison won the Bay Explorer Marine Services biggest bream ‘catch n release’ with a 385mm bream. Well done, Sarah. 

In the Macleay River region, there has hardly been a vacant parking spot at the boat ramps with local and visitor anglers spending as much time as they can on the local waterways. In the river the break walls have been producing great numbers of mangrove jack, bream and flathead. Whiting have been popular further upstream on the sand flats on hightide. For offshore anglers, we did see a run of mackerel last week, but it seems to have all gone a little quiet now. The South West Rocks and Hat Head FADs continue to produce nice feeds of mahi mahi for anglers, so far it has been a fantastic year for mahi mahi.  

This week’s photo is of Brock Farlow with an 18.2kg Mahi Mahi he caught on boat ‘Backlash II’ in the Port Macquarie Garmin Golden Lure.

30/12/23

What a fantastic week it has been, I had so many reports come through from anglers and it was great to see so many people fishing with beautiful weather conditions. Unfortunately, I do have some bad news; we are about to see a change in the weather with strong winds and rainfall predicted for the start of the new year.

Further north, the South West Rocks fishing scene has been popular with local and visitor anglers packing out the boat ramp and popular fishing spots each day. Just before Christmas local rock fishing anglers scored some cracking sized kingfish off the headlands. The Macleay River has also produced a couple of cobia caught along the breakwall as well as the odd kingfish. Still very quiet on the game fishing scene with lots of rumours swirling about inshore black marlin, but I’m yet to see if there is any marlin about.  

In the Port Macquarie Hastings River, some great fish were caught off the breakwall throughout the week including mangrove jack, flathead and bream. Further upstream, the mud crab scene is starting to come alive with some great catches around Wauchope and Rawdon Island. With a break in the offshore current, a few local anglers managed to fill their freezers with plenty of blue-eye trevalla, bass grouper and bar cod caught on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.  The Port Macquarie FAD has also been popular with most days seeing over a dozen boats there each morning, the mahi mahi action has been a little hit and miss though. 

Further south, the Camden Haven River is still full of red weed and the best action of late has been in the lower reaches on the top of high tide. As usual at this time of year, flathead have been the star attraction, with good fish on offer from the breakwalls. On the lure front, white or bright soft plastics have been working well, while whitebait, pilchards, mullet strips and prawns have all seen success. Some nice bream have also been active around the local wharfs, with mullet strips seeing the better results. On the whiting front, there have been a few nice fish about, worms and yabbies have been the go on the bait front, while surface lures have also seen moderate success. For fishing offshore there have been nice catches of snapper, teraglin and pearl perch on the reefs in around sixty metres of water with pilchards and squid the bait of choice. For prawning enthusiasts, Lake Cathie should produce some decent catches of schoolies now that we have past the December full moon. 

24/12/23

As I wrap up my last week of work for the year, I am certainly looking forward to a couple of weeks off to spend as much time as I can on the water. Looking at the long term forecast we will see some showers and cooler temperatures over the coming weeks but as we head into 2024, we will have more hot weather and clear days ahead.

In the Hastings River this month, more than 60 “advanced size” mulloway have recently been stocked as part of a research program. The team at DPI’s Port Stephens Fisheries Institute marine hatchery have successfully released a new cohort of tagged juvenile mulloway into the river. These mulloway, averaging close to 1.8kg kilos in weight and 55cm long, have been released in some of the deeper holes along the Hastings. A visible external dart tag on the shoulder of the released mulloway will allow them to be identified as stocked fish. The fish will be closely monitored by DPI scientists to assess the effects of the stocking, monitor their growth, movements and residency, and measure their contribution to the local recreational fishery. Keep an eye out for a small yellow dart tag on any mulloway you catch in the Hastings River over the coming months and years. For more info, or to report the recapture of a mulloway in the Hastings River under the marine stocking program, please contact fisheries.enhancement@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Down south in the Camden Haven region, some large south-easterly swell is predicted over the coming weeks and will likely see some sand movement and erosion from many locations. On the plus side however, with luck this might push the worst of the red weed away from the shoreline. Once conditions begin to settle, best bets would be to chase bream and whiting in the protected corners with beach worms or pipis. On the offshore scene, the action was a little quiet last weekend. With the change in weather, we should start to see some snapper action particularly from the inshore reefs, while the Laurieton FAD should also be worth visiting for mahi mahi. 

Further north in the Macleay, offshore anglers have reported plenty of mahi mahi action from both South West Rocks and Hat Head FADS. Last weekend there were some great sized kingfish caught on the deeper offshore reefs. In the river mangrove jack are making their presence known around the breakwalls with many anglers having a lot of fun pursuing this great fighting fish. Also, in the river plenty of mud crabs and blue swimmers are about, perfect timing for Christmas lunch. 

Only a couple of weeks until the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club 40th Garmin Golden Lure tournament starts. The Golden Lure tournament features cash prizes of $10,000 for heaviest marlin over 150kg, $7,500 for the champion boat tag and release, $3,000 for blue marlin tag and release, $2,000 Garmin lucky boat draw and $2,000 for heaviest shark over 200kg. It’s a great community annual fishing competition with a lot of focus on tag and release for research and management into our fisheries.  For more information head to the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Clubs website. 

This week’s photo is of James Turner with a 92cm flathead he caught in the early hours of the morning in the Hastings.

17/12/23

The year has gone way too quickly for me. Here we are again with the school holidays upon us and Christmas only just over a week away. No doubt the Mid North Coast will be a hive of fishing activity over the coming weeks with local and visiting anglers taking advantage of our wonderful coastline. 

In the Hastings River region, a few reasonable bream have been taken from further upstream, those throwing lures of all varieties report consistent results. Flathead numbers remain terrific with plenty of fish spread right throughout the river, don’t forget that if you catch a dusky flathead over seventy centimetres that you release the fish as soon as possible. Offshore reports have been mixed, as is usual for this time of year with the weather and ocean currents quite unsettled. The anglers that got out for a fish during the week did find some nice snapper, along with a mixture of reef species on those inshore reefs. The forecast for this coming weekend is looking fantastic, it would be worth catching a few live bait and heading to the FAD to catch some mahi mahi. 

In the Macleay River there has been plenty of solid whiting activity over the past week especially in Clybucca Creek. For the rock fishing anglers, best reports are from the headlands around the Gaol and Crescent Head. During the week a few locals reported that there were a few luderick, drummer and the odd large kingfish caught off the rocks. Offshore fishing is starting to really fire, for the anglers that manage to sneak out to sea this week reported some great catches of snapper, tusk fish, kingfish and mahi mahi.  Snapper have also been around in reasonable numbers for this time of year, with some nice fish caught further north around the inshore reefs off Grassy Head. 

In the Camden Haven region, bream have been reasonable with both break walls producing some nice fish around a kilo, with mullet strips working well. Lake Cathie is still providing great catches of whiting, flathead and bream with best results using fresh school prawns. Offshore, snapper have been around in good numbers for this time of year, with some nice fish caught off Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills. A few most welcome pearl perch and pig fish have also been encountered, along with some tasty flathead caught on the sand. 

The annual Laurieton United Service Club Family Fishing Bonanza is on again next year and is scheduled for the 5th, 6th and 7th January 2024. This is a fantastic family friendly fishing competition with more than six thousand dollars in cash and prizes. To find out more information head the LUSC Fishing Club Facebook page.

This week’s photo is of Mitch Lowe with a great catch of bass groper that he caught last week deep dropping with a break in the ocean currents, the fish fed many families and filled the freezer ready for Christmas Day.

10/12/23

Down south this week in the Camden Haven region, a few tailor have been around the headlands at Laurieton, however it has been very hit and miss. Luderick and bream however have been better than expected, with Bonny Hills and Crowdy headlands worth a look. Offshore reports have been mixed, as is usual for this time of year with the weather and ocean currents quite unsettled. On the local reefs, anglers have been finding some nice snapper, along with a mixture of reef species. The Laurieton FAD has been sporadically producing a few mahi mahi and should only improve once the warmer currents begin to really push down from the north. On the game fishing front, a similar story with a few marlin about out wide, hopefully we start to see some action further north for the start of the inshore black marlin season. 

In the Hastings River region, whiting numbers are picking up and the indications are for a great season ahead. Limeburners, Blackmans Point and Maria River have all produced good fish on both worms and yabbies, as well as surface lures. On the bream front, a few reasonable fish have been taken from the northern break wall after dark, whilst further upstream, those throwing lures of all varieties report consistent results. Flathead numbers remain terrific with plenty of fish spread right throughout the system. For freshwater enthusiasts, bass numbers have been excellent with great reports from all local creeks. Off the beaches, a few nice bream and whiting have been active with North Shore beach being the pick of locations. Lighthouse has also held a few small tailor, as well as some late season salmon. Red weed remains a concern, let’s hope for a few consistent southerlies to clean up our local beaches. Offshore, we are beginning to see improved water temperature and colour after a very ordinary few weeks, and not surprisingly results have started to pick up. Snapper have been around in reasonable numbers for this time of year, with some nice fish caught on soft plastics off the Lighthouse and Point Plomer. The mid-week anglers caught some nice Mahi Mahi off the Port Macquarie FAD on Friday, but the weekend anglers reported poor results with fish not feeding for those who visited.  A couple of local anglers also scored some great fish deep dropping out wide over the weekend in an unusual period of very little current for this time of the year. 

Up at the Macleay River region, anglers are reporting great numbers of flathead throughout the system with live herring the bait of choice for fishing along the rock ledges and drop offs. For the offshore anglers, kingfish have certainly made their presence known around Fish Rock, Black Rock and the FAD. Hopefully we start to hear some reports of the black marlin season further north. At this stage it has been very quiet up the coast and in Queensland. 

This week’s photo is of young Matt and Mitch Whalen with some terrific Mahi Mahi that they caught off the Port Macquarie FAD during the week.

28/11/23

The weather seems to be on repeat this week, with consistent strong winds and the odd shower with minimal breaks for anglers to head out for a fish. 

For freshwater anglers, reports last week of some great Australian bass caught in the upper reaches of the Macleay and Hastings rivers. Looking at the long-term forecast there’s a few decent showers predicted at the end of November and the first few days of December. If the weather forecast is correct this may put a pause on freshwater fishing until the rivers, clear.

In the Macleay River region, beach fishing anglers have reported decent catches of bream, whiting and school mulloway. Gap beach and Back beach at South West Rocks has been fishing well with some decent sized flathead caught during the week on bait. In the river this week, local anglers targeting flathead were hooking the odd mulloway and were having a lot of fun on their lighter gear over the weekend. Whiting numbers are also improving throughout the system with yabbies and worms being the baits of choice. I expect whiting numbers to increase as the water gets warmer coming into the summer months. Not much to report offshore with challenging conditions this week, if we see an improvement in the weather I would be heading out to South West Rocks or Hat Head FAD for a mahi mahi. 

In the Hastings River this week, my pick would be bream fishing on whitebait or prawns. Flathead should also be quite active, with live bait seeing the best results during daytime high tide. For luderick anglers, the break wall is still holding some nice fish, with both sea cabbage and weed flies seeing the best results over the past week. On the mulloway front, while the lower reaches have been a little slow, anglers are having more success catching school sized fish that bit further west in the system. On the crabbing front, locals are reporting the odd mud crab around the lower parts of the river, however better results have come from further up the river in the warmer water. Stay persistent as numbers of mud and blue swimmer crabs should improve as we approach the summer months.

Further South, Lake Cathie continues to produce great numbers of flathead, whiting and tailor for local and visitor anglers. School prawns and yabbies are the bait of choice with the eastern side of the lake towards the beach the best location for a fish. In the Camden Haven River flathead numbers have certainly picked up. Lures of all sorts have been predominantly successful; however, mullet strips or prawns are also worth a try if you want to use bait. Bream fishing in the Camden Haven has been best around Henry Kendall reserve, on high tide using green prawns for bait.  

This week’s photo is of Port Macquarie Father and Daughter duo, Rick and Freya Adorini. Freya caught this great flathead in Lake Cathie, at just three years old she loves going fishing with her mum and dad.

21/11/23

The past few weekends of strong winds have made it difficult for most anglers, the weather remains all over the place with winds varying from north-east to southerly and the ever-present chance of rain.  I am certainly keen for a decent break in the weather to enjoy some spring fishing this month. 

Down south this week local anglers reported fishing on the beach that whiting numbers continue to improve. Best bet is to fish the shallower sandbars on the rising tide with either worms or pipis and avoid the deeper gutters. A few reasonable bream also remain on offer, with Grants beach continuing to fish quite well. For night time anglers, school mulloway remain viable targets, with the beaches south of Lake Cathie again faring best. Offshore, anglers who have been able to take advantage of the limited weather windows have generally been doing quite well. Snapper numbers are still quite solid with both baits and plastics working well. Best results of late have come from the reefs off Bonny Hills. If the weather improves for the coming weekend, I would be targeting kingfish on those wider reefs using both live bait and knife jigs. For game fishing enthusiasts the local FADs are producing great numbers of mahi mahi.

In the Hastings River, bream numbers have picked up with best results coming from both breakwalls and around Settlement Point, with mullet strips and brined prawns working well. Flathead numbers also remain solid with lures of most profiles seeing good results, as to whitebait from a bait fishing perspective. On the whiting front, Limeburners, Blackmans Point and the back channel are all starting to hold some nice fish, with the better results being achieved around the top of the tide. Surface lures are starting to really produce the goods and will be a go to method over the coming months. For luderick enthusiasts, the breakwalls are holding the odd fish, with both sea cabbage and weed flies seeing success over the past week. On the mulloway front, school sized fish remain in good numbers between the highway’s bridges and Wauchope. Off the rocks, a few tailor have shown up around Point Plomer, although generally speaking, they are only in the chopper class. The odd luderick continue to be encountered locally, with Shelly’s and Miners Beach the pick of locations. For night time rock hoppers some reasonable bream remain on offer together with a few school mulloway, with both Big Hill and Point Plomer worth a look. Offshore, once again conditions have not been kind with only limited access over the past week. This is standard for this time of year unfortunately. Those who have got out reported that there are still good numbers of snapper and pearl perch on most reefs. With the FAD now somewhat settled and beginning to get a little growth, local anglers continue to report good numbers for the start of the season. 

Further north in the Macleay River region bream numbers remain excellent with best reports coming from those fishing with bait during the day. The river is also producing good catches of mud crabs further upstream, let’s hope we are in for a good mud crab season and many anglers can enjoy a feed over Summer. Offshore anglers have reported of decent numbers of kingfish around the local FADs and Fish Rock. 

This week’s photo is of the man who introduced me to fishing at a very young age, my amazing father Geoff Shelton with a snapper he recently caught off Port Macquarie.

12/11/23

Once again, we have seen a rather unsettled week regarding our local weather, with our standard summer patterns yet to really kick in. It appears we may be in for a few damp couple of weeks, but it’s great to see the much needed rain in our local area. 

In the northern part of our region, the Macleay River has provided some great action for local anglers catching plenty of flathead, bream and whiting during the week.  For the offshore anglers, the bar has been challenging some days but for those who managed to get to sea reported good numbers snapper and pearl perch further north on those inshore reefs. 

In the Port Macquarie area, offshore conditions have been hot and cold over recent weeks, with weekend anglers rarely seeing an opportunity to head out for a fish. 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.  The local anglers that headed out during the week reported good numbers of mahi mahi from the Port Macquarie FAD, hopefully this is the start of a good season for the pelagic fish.  In the Hastings River fishing off the breakwalls was the pick of locations with anglers reporting a few nice bream caught, with mullet strips working best. Settlement Point and Limeburners also produced a few flathead, along with some terrific hard fighting trevally in the canals.

South at Lake Cathie, the recent rains has seen a rise in the water level and the prawning enthusiasts are taking advantage of the system with the recent dark moon phase resulting in great bucket catches of school prawns. It seems the closure of the Lake causes the prawns to thrive, similar to what we have seen in the past few years, as to for flathead and whiting, which is no real surprise given the amount of prawns and whitebait for them to gorge themselves on.

Further south in the Camden Haven area, a few drummer and luderick remain on offer off the rocks, with Crowdy and Diamond Head worth a look. Cunjevoi and prawns remain the baits of choice. Also, off the rocks, some nice bream have been taken from around Perpendicular Point during evening sessions, along with the occasional tailor. For fishing on the local beaches, Grants Beach has been fishing well for bream along with the odd school mulloway. Bonny Hills has also held bream and a few nice whiting. Mulloway activity seems a little more consistent, with good reports from Grants Beach at North Haven and Gogleys Bay at Dunbogan. Most fish have been between just legal up to ten kilos, however the odd larger fish has also been about.

This week’s photo is of Sean Ferguson from boat ‘Salt Dog’ who had a great couple of fishing sessions last week catching some decent Mahi Mahi off Port Macquarie.  

31/10/23

I can’t believe how quickly this year has disappeared as we head into November, we head into the start of the Mid North Coast pelagic season. In the coming weeks we should start to see a few reports further north of the annual black marlin migration down the coastline and for any anglers looking for some fun on the surface, should try their luck at our local FADs catching mahi mahi on their way south.

In the Hastings River this week, the recent rain hasn’t really affected fishing, with bream well worth chasing anywhere downstream of Limeburners Creek. Gut baits and mullet strips will both prove effective offerings. Flathead are still quite active, with live bait and soft plastics seeing the best results. Last week, whiting numbers were encouraging and a few luderick were still around the break walls. The recent full moon saw a few mulloway taken from both North Shore Beach and from around the Lighthouse. The better fish caught ranged from ten to twenty kilos with live bait and large soft plastics seeing the better results. Lighthouse Beach 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. Offshore, the Port Macquarie Bar was certainly treacherous last weekend and for the anglers who braved the swell reported good numbers of snapper and pearl perch on most reefs, along with plenty of flathead and a few mahi mahi from the Port Macquarie FAD. 

Further south at Lake Cathie, with last week’s full moon it will be worth checking the Lake this weekend for a chance to scoop a few tasty school prawns. For whiting enthusiasts, the Lake continues to produce the goods with some great action enjoyed during daylight hours on surface lures and throughout the night local anglers reported best results on fresh school prawns around the mouth and Ocean Drive bridge. Offshore, for those who ventured through the Camden Haven bar with some challenging swell reported that snapper were on the chew close off Lake Cathie, with fish to around three kilos taken on both baits and plastics. Also, on offer have been a few nice pearl perch and teraglin, while the Laurieton FAD could also be worth prospecting for mahi mahi this weekend.

In the Macleay region this past week, local anglers have reported some great catches of flathead, whiting and bream throughout the river. Offshore, despite wild conditions last weekend there have been excellent catches of snapper from most reefs, on both soft plastics and bait. Wider out, anglers have reported catches of kingfish, pearl perch and mulloway, with live bait seeing the better results of catches. South West Rocks and Hat Head FADs have also produced the odd mahi mahi with anglers reporting mixed results from day to day. 

This week’s photo is thanks to Ned Kelly’s Bait n Tackle of anglers Damien Rafter (left) and Jason Troy (right) with two great sized mulloway caught in Port Macquarie, weighing a whooping 28 and 24 kilos.

27/10/23

With strong southerly winds, large swell and decent rainfall forecast for the weekend I suggest that all anglers should stay home to do some maintenance on your fishing and safety gear. Looking at the long-term forecast it may be a couple of weeks before we see a decent break in the weather for a fish. Please be careful during periods of wild weather, it’s not worth the risk and there will be plenty of other opportunities to head out for a fish.

Lake Cathie anglers have enjoyed some fantastic whiting action during the hot north-easterly winds last weekend along with some great catches of flathead from around the Ocean Drive bridge.  On the prawning front, reports have tapered as you would expect given, we now have a building full moon, although the run at the start of the month was a great indication that we may be in for a bumper school prawn season. 

In the Hastings River this week, flathead and whiting remain the dominant species as is usually the case at this time of year. Flathead can again be found well throughout the entire river system with a few nice fish on offer together with plenty of juveniles. A few mulloway have also been caught, with larger soft plastics fished in the deeper sections around the tide change the key to success. For fresh water enthusiasts, with a great start to the season bass numbers have been fantastic and should get even better as summer nears and insect activity increases. Offshore, I received a few positive reports during the week, snapper have been quite reasonable in close off the Lighthouse in Port Macquarie, with fish to around five kilos taken on both baits and plastics. Wider out, local anglers during the week reported strong southerly current with water temperature averaging around twenty-three to twenty-five degrees. Some tasty thirty to forty kilo yellowfin tuna were caught along with a few decent schools of mahi mahi making their presence known. 

Further south around Crowdy and Perpendicular Point a few large tailor were on offer for rock fishing anglers.  Mulloway continue to show their presence around most headlands, but best reports are from around Dunbogan with anglers throwing soft plastics doing quite well. Offshore anglers reported catches of teraglin and snapper last week but more recent reports is that the southerly current is making it difficult for anglers fishing that bit deeper water. 

In the Macleay region the river has provided some great action for anglers catching good feeds of flathead, bream and even the odd kingfish around the mouth of the river last week.  Fishing off the beaches this week, Gap beach produced some bream, dart and flathead. For the offshore anglers, reports from locals of good snapper and tuskfish further North fishing the inshore reefs. 

This week’s fishing photos is of Father and Son, Greg and Jacob Pope with a cracking eighteen kilo mulloway caught on the northern breakwall in the Hastings River.

20/10/23

It seems the Mid North Coast is copping a real hammering with strong southerly winds one day, followed with gusty north-easterly winds the next, the weather this past week can’t make up its mind as to what season we are in. This kind of weather pattern can often lead 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.

Down south in the Camden Haven region for anglers fishing off the rocks, things have been a little on the quiet side, however those chasing luderick on cabbage still report some nice catches along with the odd drummer still inhabiting the washes around Perpendicular Point and around Diamond Head. Bream numbers have also been reasonable, with ledges around Bonny Hills worth a look. For the offshore anglers, those who have got out in the brief periods of decent weather report there are still good numbers of snapper and pearl perch on most reefs, along with plenty of nannygai and a few kingfish from the wider grounds. For game fishing enthusiasts, striped and blue marlin will be well worth chasing from now on, as well as mahi mahi. With the FAD now somewhat settled and beginning to get a little growth, no doubt the fish will soon follow.

In the Hastings River area, 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.  In the upper reaches, bream have been quite consistent, whilst the bass action has certainly picked up over the past week. Offshore, reports from the past week that it was quiet all around with only the odd snapper caught on bait and some teraglin caught further north around Crescent Head and Point Plomer. Hopefully over the coming weeks we start to see some more pelagic species off our coast as they get pushed south in the current. There were also a few reports of bar cod and kingfish for those deep dropping in closer escaping the current. I believe there is an opportunity for a deep drop before we head into summer as this time of year, we do see the odd day or two where the current backs off and the deeper species seem to fire. 

Further north in the Macleay River region, flathead numbers remain excellent with best reports coming from those fishing lures during the day. Offshore, despite windy conditions there have been excellent catches of snapper from most reefs, on both soft plastics and bait. Wider out, anglers have reported catches of kingfish, pearl perch and mulloway, with live bait seeing the better results of catches.

This week’s photo is of junior Billy Breskal with a great flathead catch from the weekend, resulting in him winning biggest fish at the Fernhill Tavern Fishing Club.

13/10/23

For the freshwater anglers the state’s annual trout season opened at the start of October. Many streams and rivers are in great condition with minimal rain events for this time of the year. A few locals headed west over the weekend and successfully caught trout around the Armidale and Ebor area on fly gear.

Lake Cathie has started to produce school prawns following the September full moon, I would expect that numbers and size will continue to increase after the October and November full moon. There is also some whiting on the chew in the lake, along with some reasonable flathead. Expectedly, live prawns have been the bait of choice.

In the Hastings River region, flathead is once again the star attraction and will likely remain so over the coming months as we head into the warmer 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 live bait 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. Off the rocks, some solid bream have been taken from around Point Plomer along with the odd tailor and drummer. Around the Lighthouse at Port Macquarie a few larger mulloways were caught through the week on lures. 

Further south in Camden Haven, for offshore fishing the weather hasn’t given anglers many chances to head to sea for a fish. If there is a break in the weather this weekend, snapper would be my pick of fish from pretty well all inshore reefs from Lake Cathie to Crowdy Head. Further offshore, fishing the deeper reefs this time of year always provides consistent numbers of kingfish on live bait and jigs. Fishing off the beaches last week, a few local anglers reported catches of salmon and school mulloway in front of Lake Cathie and on North Haven beach. 

Up at South West Rocks, Back Creek and around the local wharfs are producing the good-sized bream on bait and lures. Offshore reports from the past week that it was quiet all around with only the odd snapper caught and a few larger sized kingfish are starting to school around Fish Rock. There was also the odd Mahi Mahi caught out wide around the South West Rocks and Hat Head FADs, with mixed reports from day to day which is expected at this time of the year. 

This week’s photos is another local Father and Son duo, David and Olly Henry, they ventured west during the school holidays and had a fantastic time catching trout on a property near Armidale.

6/10/23

What a wonderful long weekend that just passed. There were so many anglers out on the water, and it sounded like some great fish were caught. Many locals have taken advantage of the fantastic warmer weather for freshwater fishing. Bass season is now in full force with a lot of fish on offer. When it comes to catching Australian Bass, they aren’t a picky fish, you can use a wide range of surface lures such as poppers, divers, frogs, cicadas and many more. Australian Bass feed best around dawn and dusk, they hang around structures and will hunt bugs, frogs and anything they may fly onto the surface of the water. Casting a lure towards shaded areas, under overhanging branches, near submerged logs or near rocks will be your best chance at a fish. Also keep an eye on the barometer as they say ‘1020 fish a plenty’. 

Down south in the Camden Haven region, there are still a few bream and the odd school mulloway caught off the beaches. Whiting numbers are improving with in front of Lake Cathie your best bet, while North Haven has held the odd tailor, there has also been a few solid salmon about, which is indicative of cool water along our coastline.

In the Hastings River area, the local anglers that have thrown in an early season crab trap have scored some great mud crabs, let’s hope this season produces better crabs this year. For the offshore anglers the past couple of weeks have seen a few boats head wide, with a terrific season so far for targeting striped marlin. Closer in, snapper numbers have seemed to slow with the odd fish active, but you have really had to chase them. Anchoring and burling at present seems to be doing the trick. For fishing 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 Beach, alternately a few drummer remain in the areas not sanded up. Point Plomer will also be worth a look for school mulloway. 

Further north in the Macleay River region, there has been huge numbers of visitor anglers with many having a successful long weekend fishing trip. Some great snapper, kingfish and pearl perch were caught offshore.  The game fishing anglers that headed wide for a striped marlin, Saturday was the pick of the weather, and many boats were hooked up by lunchtime. In the river some of the local anglers have reported a few nice mud crabs are now getting around, let’s hope for a good crabbing season.

This week’s photo is of Ollie and Brendon Roods, father and son duo with some huge mud crabs caught in the Hastings River over the long weekend.

29/9/23

Although the weather has been a little up and down of late, as often is the case during a change of seasons, plenty of anglers have taken advantage of the holiday break to wet a line over the Mid North Coast. No doubt this long weekend will also attract the attention of anglers, so fingers crossed for some decent weather.

Down south in the Camden Haven region, reports from a few local rock fishing anglers that fishing south around Diamond Head and Perpendicular Point have scored a few late season drummer, some reasonable bream and the odd snapper. For the offshore scene, snapper action remains red hot with most reefs been consistently productive on both baits and lures. Apart from snapper, a few kingfish and bar cod have been on offer out wide with live bait seeing the better results. 

In the Hastings River region, flathead activity has picked up as is usually the case when the water begins to warm. Good reports have come in from most locations between the breakwalls and further upstream towards Wauchope, with some nice fish to over 90cm on offer. Best results have been achieved by those throwing lures, however whitebait, prawns and mullet strips have all enjoyed success. Also in the river, a few school mulloway have been taken around the highway bridges and Rawdon Island, while some larger bream have also been active in the same areas. On the beaches, bream continue to be taken from both North Shore beach and Lighthouse beach, with those fishing the evening high tide enjoying the better action. Along with bream, the odd school mulloway has also been encountered. Offshore, the past couple of weeks we have seen a few game fishing anglers head wide, with some terrific early season striped marlin about. 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 during the sessions when the current has backed off. Closer in, snapper remain active, but you have really had to chase them. Anchoring and burling at present seems to be doing the trick. Still, plenty of good kingfish around Trag Rock and further North towards Crescent Head on both live baits and jigs.

Further north in the Macleay River region, bream numbers on the beach are better than we have seen all year, particularly in the north around Horseshoe Bay, Goolawah Beach and Big Hill. Fresh worms, squid and prawns have all been the bait of choice.  Offshore snapper continued to be excellent with all reefs producing the goods. The wider reefs have also held a few reasonable kingfish, mulloway and tasty pearl perch. 

This week’s photo is of Port Macquarie local Michael O’Brien with a fantastic Blue-Eye Trevalla he caught out wide.

29/8/23

After an average weekend of fishing weather last week, the long-term forecast so far for this coming weekend is looking decent. Fingers crossed it stays that way and plenty of fish are caught along our beautiful coastline. I did receive a few reports last week of a few near misses with the annual whale migration, please be careful when heading offshore especially in the dark.

Down south in the Camden Haven River region, during the week a few local anglers caught some great sized drummer, with Perpendicular Point still holding some nice fish. A few longtail tuna have also made their presence known for the rock fishing anglers and even for the offshore anglers targeting snapper hooking up on light gear.  Last weekend saw average conditions for offshore fishing, with only a handful of anglers heading out. Leading up to the full moon we should start to see some snapper action on the inshore reefs, the best bet would be with soft plastics and vibes. 

In the Hastings River, luderick 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, with Limeburners Creek 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. A few reports from the locals that mud crabs are starting to make an appearance in the deeper parts of the river. Off the rocks, Point Plomer and Queens has given up some above average tailor, whilst locally under the Lighthouse has produced a few nice bags. Bream have been reasonable, with those fishing the dawn sessions enjoying the better results. This weekend’s long-term forecast is looking good for offshore fishing, kingfish numbers are starting to pick up with mid-week anglers catching good numbers of fish to around ten kilos. Live baits have been the offering of choice. A few nice snapper also remain active, lures seem to be consistently accounting for the better class of fish.

In the Macleay region, the river is still producing great sized luderick, bream and flathead off the local wharfs and break walls. Off the beaches, there is still plenty of bream active on all beaches, along with the odd decent flathead. Tailor have been a little patchy however Gap Beach has been worth a look at first light on either metal lures or pilchards. Offshore, despite a windy weekend there have still been excellent catches of snapper from most reefs, with both lure anglers and bait enthusiasts enjoying a terrific winter season thus far. Wider out, kingfish, bar cod and pearl perch are on offer, while those dropping live bait have also been finding good numbers of fish, particularly during evening sessions.This week’s photo is of Graeme Allen with a ripper sized snapper he caught recently North of South West Rocks.

26/8/23

The Mid North Coast has some of the best spearfishing waters accommodating for a range of skill levels, including headlands, rivers, reefs, FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices), and open pelagic offshore waters. The most common targeted species for spearfishing in the area include mahi mahi, kingfish, mulloway, tuna, snapper, luderick, flathead, bream and mackerel, as well as various other species on offer. 

If you want to learn more about spearfishing drop into the Outdoor Adventure store in South West Rocks, the best place to go on the Mid North Coast for all things spearfishing. They stock only quality brands at competitive prices with expert staff available for all your questions. 

What’s Biting

Down south in the Camden Haven River region, for anglers fishing on the beaches there have been some terrific tailor catches, with many fish above two kilos caught. Lake Cathie to North Haven beaches are all producing good fish late in the afternoons and after dusk. Along with the tailor, anglers are hooking the odd salmon, along with a few school mulloway. Off the rocks, drummer numbers remain reasonable. Best reports over recent times have come from around Diamond Head and further south. 

In the Hastings River area, luderick numbers remain consistent with the breakwalls and Settlement Point worth a look. On the bream front, the Coal Wall and Limeburner’s Creek 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 proving successful. On the mulloway front, those fishing lures have been enjoying consistent results on school sized fish. The North breakwall and Coal Wall area is also worth a look for bigger fish after dark on either large plastics or live mullet. Offshore, some solid kingfish have been taken from around Trag Rock off Point Plomer, with live slimies achieving the better results. A few mulloway and pearl perch have also been caught from that general vicinity. Closer in, our winter snapper season was a bumper, with some terrific reds taken on both plastics and baits and this will likely continue into spring.

In the Macleay region, the river is still producing great sized bream off the local wharfs and rock structures as well as the odd flathead. Offshore anglers that have fished the deeper reefs off South West Rocks have managed some great sized snapper, pearl perch and kingfish. On the pelagic front, game fishing anglers heading out wide have been catching yellowfin tuna weighing up to seventy kilos as well as the odd striped marlin. 

Photo 1 – Spearfishing guru Isaac Heagney with two tasty mahi mahi which he speared out off Laurieton. (@_isaac_heagney)

Photo 2 – Port Macquarie local Brodie Thorn along with skipper Roland Loumeau. Brodie speared this stunning striped marlin on the Port Macquarie FAD. (@b.thorn_) (@rolandloumeau)

Photo 3 – Isaac Heagney again with an 18kg kingfish he speared south of the Camden Haven.

19/8/23

I believe this has been one of the best weather patterns for the winter season that we have experienced in years. It’s great to see so many local and visitor anglers taking advantage of the conditions and trialling new fishing techniques and gear resulting in some cracking catches. 

Down south in the Camden Haven River region for fishing off the rocks, drummer remain worth chasing as they have been for the last couple of months. Camden Head has been fishing particularly well, although most headlands north and south are also worth a look. For those focusing on chasing luderick or bream, numbers remain excellent, with Perpendicular Point and Diamond Head both producing solid catches. Offshore anglers reported last weekend were that Rowlands out wide was producing fantastic numbers of kingfish and teraglin were on the chew on those shallow reefs in forty to sixty metres of water.

In Lake Cathie, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has started the dredging process so this may stir up the fishing whilst the sand is shifting. Keep an eye out for bait schools and sea birds for the best fishing action.

In the Hastings River area for fishing on the beaches, there has been decent catches of bream and quality tailor, particularly on the North Shore with mullet strips being the pick of bait. Fish the run-in tide on dark or first light in the morning for the best results. In the river there has been some nice bream on offer, with the better catches being taken around the top of high tide. On the mulloway front, the breakwalls of Port Macquarie are still producing the odd fish with successful anglers using lures and live bait. A few kingfish were caught last weekend offshore, if you’re able to head out during the week or over the weekend I wouldn’t be surprised that the numbers of kingfish will continue to pick up as we head into the last few weeks of winter. I’d try to fish the deeper reefs around sixty to eighty metres of water using live bait or knife jigs.  

Further north in the Macleay River region local anglers have taken advantage of the amazing weather these past few months with most heading offshore for a fish. Reports have been coming in that there is still plenty of snapper, kingfish and pearl perch around on the deeper reefs. For the game fishing anglers, striped marlin and yellowfin tuna have been making their presence known to many locals with lots of bait and birds around it won’t take long to track down a few fish. 

The long term forecast for the weekend is looking like it should be a good one with plenty of opportunities for a fishing session. Best bet would be to head out in the rivers during the morning high tides for bream and flathead.

This week’s photo is of angler Shane Crabtree with a tasty pearl perch he caught in forty-five metres of water off Laurieton.  

11/8/23

As we head into the last few weeks of winter, August has produced some beautiful sunny days with plenty of fishing on offer up and down the Mid North Coast. 

Down south in the Camden Haven River region, luderick have been consistent with good reports coming from most parts of the river. The breakwall has held fish with both green weed and weed flies seeing the best results. Bream have also been reasonable although we are starting to see results taper as they do towards the end of winter. The local wharfs and Henry Kendall are worth a look after dark with either mullet strips or yabbies, while soft vibes continue to get outstanding results on the lure front. On the mulloway front, with the odd fish still around the Dunbogan area, with live bait around the tide change your best bet. For the rock fishing anglers, Diamond Head and Perpendicular Point are both worth a look for drummer, with the odd decent blue groper also caught for those using heavier gear.

In the Hastings River area, Lighthouse Beach has produced some well-conditioned bream and the odd salmon, along with school mulloway from the southern end. North Shore Beach has also held a few bream, along with a reasonable showing of tailor. Oxley and Town beach have also both produced a few nice winter whiting. Off the rocks, tailor have been reasonable from most headlands, with the better reports coming from Point Plomer and around the Lighthouse. Offshore, snapper remain terrific this season. Good results have been achieved in all locations, from the very shallow reefs out to around the deeper reefs in seventy metres of water. As has been the trend for some time now, soft vibes and all sorts of lures seem to be accounting for the better sized fish during daylight hours, although anchoring and burlying has also been productive. 

In the Macleay region, the river is still producing great sized flathead and bream.  Offshore anglers that have fished the deeper reefs off South West Rocks have managed some great snapper, tuskfish and kingfish although there are some big leather jackets reported to be around. 

This week’s catch is a bass groper caught on one of my hand-made fishing rigs. Bass groper are commonly caught deep dropping off the Mid North Coast and they are one of the best eating fish in the sea. They are mainly caught on the continental shelf from depths of two hundred to six hundred metres of water on seamounts and reefs. They can grow over a metre in length and can weigh over fifty kilograms. If you want to know more about deep dropping or want to check out one of my fishing rigs drop into Ned Kelly’s Bait n Tackle in Port Macquarie or Outdoor Adventures in South West Rocks and ask the knowledgeable staff for the Bay Explorer Marine deep drop rigs. 

This week’s photo is from Peter Williams with a personal best bass groper he caught off Port Macquarie last weekend. The fish fed many families, friends and even neighbours.  

3/8/23

After a few solid weeks of fantastic weather, the past weekend of wind and swell felt well overdue. Looking at the long-term forecast for this weekend, a prediction of light south-west winds with a southerly swell between one to two metres, but there should be plenty of opportunities to head out for a fish. Hopefully the stable weather pattern continues through the last month of winter as there are plenty of great angling options available throughout the Mid North Coast.

Down south in the Camden Haven River region for fishing on the beaches, last week anglers saw some terrific tailor catches, with many fish above two kilos. Lake Cathie to North Haven beaches are all producing good fish late afternoons and after dusk. Along with the tailor, anglers are hooking the odd salmon, along with a few school mulloway. Of the rocks, drummer numbers remain reasonable. Best reports over recent times have come from around Diamond Head and further south. 

In the Hastings River area, luderick numbers remain consistent with the breakwalls and Settlement Point worth a look. On the bream front, the Coal Wall and Limeburner’s Creek 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 proving successful. On the mulloway front, those fishing lures have been enjoying consistent results on school sized fish. The North breakwall and Coal Wall area is also worth a look for bigger fish after dark on either large plastics or live mullet. Offshore, some solid kingfish have been taken from around Trag Rock off Point Plomer, with live slimies achieving the better results. A few mulloway and pearl perch have also been caught 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, I am hearing of increasing numbers of leather jackets, for your targeting or avoidance depending upon your perspective. 

In the Macleay region, the river is still producing great sized bream off the local wharfs and rock structures as well as the odd flathead. Offshore anglers that have fished the deeper reefs off South West Rocks have managed some great sized snapper, pearl perch and kingfish. 

With recent local events I would like to remind all anglers to always keep safety in the back of your mind before and whilst fishing.  If you are heading out to fish off the rocks always make sure you are wearing the right safety gear. Wearing the right gear can stop you from slipping into the water and can save your life. Make sure you wear a life jacket, check the weather conditions and tides before you leave home.  

This week’s photo is of Kyle Day with a kingfish he caught recently off Port Macquarie on a jig in 80m of water.

26/7/23

What another cracking week of winter weather last weekend and midweek but at this stage the long-term forecast isn’t looking too ideal for fishing over the weekend. With west-south-west winds predicted up to twenty knots on Saturday and Sunday.  Fingers crossed the weather prediction improves throughout the week. 

Further north in the Macleay region the river is still producing great sized bream off the breakwalls as well as the odd flathead. Offshore anglers last weekend that fished the reefs off South West Rocks managed some great catches of teraglin, pearl perch and snapper. The evening sessions have also produced some great snapper, with those fishing in close catching decent sized snapper on soft plastics. During the week a few anglers tried their luck out wide between Hat Head and Crescent Head which resulted in some great catches of blue-eye trevalla and bar cod.  

For the Hastings region, anglers fishing the beaches this week have had some reasonable catches of bream and tailor with both North Shore Beach and Lighthouse Beach producing fish. Pipis have been as good a bait as anything. Reports from rock fishing that a few luderick were on offer midweek with some nice fish caught on the well-known local ledges, whilst bream also remain well worth chasing. On the tailor front, some nice greenbacks are now getting about, whilst I have had a few reports of a few school mulloway caught from around the Point Plomer area. In the Hastings River, bream numbers have been solid, with some nice fish to around a kilo last weekend. With the water clarity remaining clean from minimal rainfall, good results have been achieved from pretty well the break walls right upstream to Wauchope. Best results during daylight hours continue to be achieved by those throwing lures, whilst after dark gut baits, mullet strips and yabbies are all working well. Luderick numbers have slowed a little in the river, although leading up to the full moon over the next few weeks should bring a few more fish about. The break walls or coal wall would be well worth a look over the weekend. 

Further south in the Camden Haven region, tailor catches have been a little more consistent, with the beaches around North Haven and Dunbogan fishing well. Those fishing the evening session have been scoring the better-quality fish, with bonito slabs particularly successful. Offshore further south anglers have had some great snapper action, with all areas now worth a look. As is often the case, those throwing soft plastics have been scoring the better-quality fish up to over eight kilos, however good numbers of plate sized fish have been most welcome by those content to fish with bait. In addition to the snapper, kingfish, pearl perch and other mixed reef species have also been a feature in most eskys. Reports that leatherjackets are making their presence known, and as close in as fifty metres of water. Good news for those targeting them, but not so good for those seeking other species.

This week’s photo is of Vince Hale with a terrific blue-eye trevalla which he caught out off Port Macquarie.

7/7/23

Mid-week weather continues to be the ideal time for a fish which can be unfortunate for the Monday to Friday, nine to five working anglers. The forecast at this stage isn’t looking ideal for next weekend with strong westerly winds predicted. Let’s hope the weather prediction improves throughout the week. 

Further north in the Macleay region, with school holidays kicking off visitor anglers have arrived and enjoyed some great fishing the area has to offer.  The Macleay river is still producing great sized bream off the breakwalls as well as the odd flathead. Offshore anglers heading out to those deeper reefs off South West Rocks have managed some great sized kingfish. The evening sessions have also produced fish, with those fishing on the inshore reefs catching decent sized snapper on soft plastics.   

For the Hastings region, bream numbers 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 have also caught a few school mulloway ranging from two to seven kilos. Throughout the night high-tides last week saw a few local anglers catch some twenty plus kilo mulloway on live bait around the breakwalls and Coal Wharf.  On the flathead front, still plenty of active fish from the breakwalls up to around Rawdon Island. Lures of most types are proving the more productive approach; however live bait has also been productive. Fishing off the rocks continues to be excellent with plenty of tailor caught around Crescent Head and Tacking Point Lighthouse. You’ll also find some luderick and drummer in the wash for those wanting to float a bit of cabbage. Offshore anglers had some terrific mid-week weather as is usually the case and they successfully brought home some tasty bags of snapper, pearl perch and kingfish. 

Further south in the Camden Haven region, luderick numbers remain terrific although as is usually the case at this time of the year. The breakwalls are still the most consistent locations.  For the rock fishing angler’s 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. Anglers throughout the morning and evening sessions are also catching some great sized bream, with tailor strips proving the bait of choice. Offshore, pearl perch and kingfish have been consistent on those deeper reefs. There have also been quite a few blue groper caught in close for those using crabs.

This week’s photo is of Port Macquarie local angler Olly Henry with his first legal mulloway fishing off the rocks.

27/6/23

The annual Lake Cathie Fishing Club’s Charity Fish Auction was a success, raising funds for Marine Rescue Camden Haven and Lake Cathie Rural Fire Service. The weather played a fantastic part, and many anglers were able to target the best table fish for the auction. Some of the biggest sellers were a goldspot pigfish weighing over three kilos, a bar cod weighing just under six kilos and lots of delicious tusk fish, snapper and pearl perch for the local buyers. 

On the beaches, bream and tailor numbers have been consistent, with both Lighthouse Beach and North Shore beach in Port Macquarie producing fish. The southern end of North Shore beach and around Lake Cathie have both held plenty of school mulloway. Further north off Gap Beach at South West Rocks has also produced a few nice bream and flathead. 

Off the rocks, tailor have been consistent with virtually all headlands still holding fish. While most have been a tad small, there have been a few fish well above two kilos caught further South. Drummer numbers have also been consistent, with great reports from Hat Head, and increasing numbers around Port Macquarie’s various ledges. Bream have been reasonable after dark further South around North Haven and Camden Head beaches. 

In the rivers, flathead numbers remain outstanding, with fish on offer pretty well anywhere. On the luderick front, the breakwalls have picked up a little, with some nice fish to around a kilo caught throughout the week. Bream have also been active off the breakwalls and further upstream in all three rivers, with evening sessions seeing the better results. For mulloway enthusiasts, while the larger fish have been a tad elusive, plenty of school sized fish to around a metre have been taken in the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers. 

Offshore, the reefs have been fishing exceptionally well with plenty of variety on offer. Snapper and pearl perch have been common in depths ranging from around thirty to fifty metres both off Point Plomer and Port Macquarie. A little wider, kingfish numbers are starting to pick up, with fish to around ten kilos taken from Trag Rock and Lighthouse Wide off Port Macquarie. Wider still, those wanting to deep drop have been enjoying great success, with bar cod, hapuka and blue eye trevalla, but there have been reports of plague numbers of green-eye sharks in some locations. Last weekend also saw some great mahi mahi caught but unfortunately the days are numbered with the state’s FADS being retrieved for winter maintenance over the coming weeks.

This week’s photos are: Darcy Wicks with a 19kg mulloway (gut and gilled) caught off the Southern breakwall in Port Macquarie, which sold for $230; Eden Gunter with a deep sea catch of a tarakihi and bar cod caught off Port Macquarie; Scott Barry with a 27kg kilo Bass Groper (gut and gilled) caught deep dropping off Port Macquarie; and the crowd at the charity auction.

20/6/23

The Lake Cathie Fishing Club’s annual Charity Fish Auction is coming up on Sunday 18th June at Club Lake Cathie. This fantastic event is open to everyone, free entry and all proceeds going to the Lake Cathie Rural Fire Service as well as Marine Rescue Camden Haven. Fishing dates are 16th, 17th and 18th June with the weigh in commencing at 11:00am and the auction starting at 1:00pm on Sunday. The auction is available to anyone so if you love a feed of fresh local fish be sure to head down to Club Lake Cathie. For more information check out ‘Lake Cathie Fishing Club’ on Facebook. 

In the rivers, luderick numbers have picked up a little over the last week with some nice fish taken from the breakwalls and lower reaches of the Macleay, Hastings and Camden Haven Rivers. Greenweed, weed flies and cabbage have all been successful. Bream also remain consistent from local wharfs and structures, with evening sessions seeing the better class of fish. On the mulloway front, those throwing live bait after dark have scored the odd decent fish, while those throwing lures during the day have enjoyed good numbers of school sized fish. 

On the beaches, bream remain consistent with some nice fish caught this week. Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie and Gap Beach in South West Rocks have been fishing well although all beaches are holding fish. Tailor and school mulloway numbers have been reasonable, with best reports coming from around the Camden Haven area. Plenty of tailor around as well as the odd salmon to add a bit of great sport.

Off the rocks, drummer have been reasonable with most headlands now holding fish. Queens Head and Big Hill around Point Plomer have both been worth a look, with prawns and cunjevoi the baits of choice. Bream numbers also remain first class, particularly at first light, whilst tailor also remain on offer from most locations at first or last light. 

Offshore, whilst the weather has been hot and cold so has the fishing. Boaties further north off South West Rocks saw some great sized snapper and pearl perch but for the boaties further south struggled for a feed of fish over the weekend. Hopefully with a change in current and weather we may see some better catches over the coming weeks. It may be worth heading out a bit wider on those 80m-100m reefs for kingfish, snapper and pearl perch. For those looking for something more sporting, reports are that there have been a few striped marlin out wider on schools of slimy mackerel throughout the week.

The forecast for the long weekend is looking like it should be a good one with plenty of opportunities for a fishing session. It would be worthwhile trying for a fish on the afternoon hightides.

This week’s photo is of Brendon and Ashley Roods, father and son from Port Macquarie with their first deep drop fishing catch, a huge bass groper and tasty reef fish.

6/6/23

It was great to see so many fishos out in the cooler weather over the weekend, in pursuit of that fish of a lifetime. Looking at the long-term forecast the coastline is about to get a hammering of wild weather on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully as we head into winter the weather calms a little for us fishos.

In the rivers, flathead action remains excellent with good fish coming from most parts of each river. On the lure front, suspending hard bodies, soft vibes and soft plastics are all enjoying success, while bait fisho’s, prawns, whitebait and mullet strips have all been readily accepted. Bream also remain first class with consistent reports from the breakwalls in the Camden Haven and Hastings rivers. 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. Luderick numbers have been hit and miss, however, there have been reports from Lake Cathie with a noticeable improvement in just the last few days. On the mulloway front, a few reasonable school-sized fish have been found in the Macleay River and a few larger fish were caught off the breakwalls last week in the wash of the larger swell. 

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 flathead. Tailor are still quite active, particularly north of Port Macquarie, and around South West Rocks. 

Fishing off the rocks, drummer remain terrific with consistent reports from most locations north and south of Port Macquarie. The ledges around Shelly’s and Miners Beach in Port Macquarie have been worth a look, although further south at Perpendicular Point generally produces well early in the season. Tailor numbers remain solid with Point Plomer and Crescent Head producing some better-quality fish on either garfish or large lures. A few well-conditioned winter bream are also around the washes, with evening and early morning sessions producing better results, particularly around Big Hill and Point Plomer. Luderick numbers are improving from pretty well all headlands.

As usual, the weather has been perfect mid-week but for the fishos looking to head out over the weekend, the forecast looks dismal.  If you do manage to head out snapper will be well worth chasing with the mid-week fishos catching some terrific fish. 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 that the annual whale migration has begun, and whale numbers have increased substantially over the past week, so keep a keen eye out when offshore to avoid any potential unwanted interaction. For the fishos looking to head out wider there were a few reports of striped marlin and schools of slimy mackerel inside of the ridge in around that 100 – 200 metres of water. 

This weeks fishing photo is of Graeme Allen with a blue marlin he recently tagged and released fishing off South West Rocks.

20/5/23

NSW DPI Marine Stocking Program recently visited the Hastings River with a few thousand mulloway fingerlings. The Hastings River received 35,600 fingerlings, which is the largest number of juvenile jewies stocked into the system to date.  The Marine Stocking Program is another example of our recreational fishing licence fees directly benefiting recreational fishers with the Hastings River been a recreational fishing haven. This is also part of “Fish for life – Building a healthy fishing future”.

In the rivers, bream numbers and quality remain consistent during the morning high-tides. Mullet gut and strip baits are working well but for the fishos targeting bream on lures, soft vibes and plastics have fished well in the deeper parts of each river. There is still plenty of flathead in each of the rivers, with some nice fish approaching a metre caught during the week. Luderick numbers are also improving with the breakwalls fishing well with the consistent periods of large swell. 

Off the rocks, some nice tailor have been on offer with the better results of late coming from around Crescent Head and Hat Head. Fishos throwing small metals have also scored a few bonito and tuna. Drummer numbers continue to improve with a few nice fish to around three kilos being taken from around Diamond Head and Point Plomer. Still good numbers of bream and luderick on offer, with South West Rocks and Crescent Head both worth a look.

On the beaches, the recent swell seen over the past few weeks has not helped, nor of course the predicted swell for the coming weeks. Best results have been from the more protected corners, with plenty of bream and dart about further north. Tailor numbers are also picking up as long as the swell allows reasonable access to any deeper gutters you can locate. There has been plenty of school mulloway on most beaches with the odd larger fish hanging around the migrating sea mullet. 

Offshore, results have been quite mixed. Last weekend produced fantastic conditions for fishos to head to sea but there was little current which seemed to cause the fish to shut down. Monday and Tuesday before the strong southerly hit the coast a few snapper were caught in close on both bait and plastics. Off South West Rocks there were some nice pearl perch in 50 to 70m, along with the odd kingfish and snapper. On the inshore pelagic front, still plenty of mac tuna and the odd longtail closer in, although mackerel reports are now few and far between. For the deep drop fishos, last weekend provided ideal conditions but not a lot of fish were caught. The only reports were the odd blue-eye, bass and bar cod caught on Saturday further north off South West Rocks. 

With the mixed weather conditions, we have seen over the past few weeks, May certainly hasn’t lived up to the typical sublime climate that we usually see at this time of the year. With more swell and wind than we would like, the long-term forecast does not provide much relief. Hopefully as we head into the cooler months, we see some great angling conditions.

This week’s photo is of Jason Didio with a massive Blue-Eye Trevalla he caught deep drop fishing around South West Rocks.

16/5/23

There were a couple of incidents of local fishos crossing the bars this week with a few fishos loosing rods and reels overboard, it is a timely reminder to always keep an eye on the conditions, wear a lifejacket and if in doubt don’t go out!

In the rivers, the Hastings, Macleay and Camden Haven rivers as well as Lake Cathie have been full of mullet over recent weeks.  Hopefully conditions are favourable for seeing plenty of them reach their destination. Bream numbers have improved considerably, particularly for those fishing the evening sessions. Best bet is either off the breakwalls and local wharfs using mullet strips, mullet gut or yabbies. During daylight hours, soft plastics and soft vibes have been working particularly well. Flathead numbers also continue to be terrific, with great results from the lower section of the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers. The breakwalls are also producing a few great catches of luderick on both cabbage and weed flies, while good numbers of school mulloway are still hanging in Lake Cathie ranging from juvenile up to around 8 kilos. 

Off the beaches, some nice tailor to over two kilos have been about with most locations worth checking out. Evening sessions have been producing the better class of fish on either pilchards or slab baits. School mulloway have also been active, with Crescent Head and around Lake Cathie beaches worth a look. Now the mullet have begun to travel and tailor numbers consistent, look for increased activity from the better models. North Shore beach and Lighthouse beach in Port Macquarie have also held some solid bream and the odd nice whiting, with worms and pipis seeing good results.

Off the rocks, water temperature has dropped a few degrees resulting in some great catches of drummer, luderick and bream especially off the ledges further north around South West Rocks. Tailor numbers have really picked up with some solid fish about. Most ledges are fishing well at dawn and dusk, with the overall quality excellent. 

Offshore, with a brief period of reduced swell this week allowing a few fishos to head out to sea.  On the inshore reefs, snapper numbers have picked up with both baits and soft plastics seeing good results. Wider out, the odd pearl perch and kingfish remain on offer, off South West Rocks and Point Plomer. On the pelagic front, the water temperature has dropped a few degrees inshore with no reports of mackerel this week. Out wider the FADs have been fishing well for mahi mahi, with a reasonable size of fish hanging around it at present. On the deep drop fishing scene, the current has backed off and conditions have been ideal with some great catches of blue-eye trevalla and bass groper caught off Camden Haven and South West Rocks. 

Looking at the long-term forecast for the next few weeks, we will likely continue to see light to moderate westerly winds with the occasional period of large swell and cooler temperatures.

This week’s photo is of Port Macquarie fisho Dan Croft with a cracker bass groper caught off Port Macquarie.  Check out his wicked YouTube channel @dancroft4781.

9/5/23

There were a couple of incidents of local fishos crossing the bars this week with a few fishos loosing rods and reels overboard, it is a timely reminder to always keep an eye on the conditions, wear a lifejacket and if in doubt don’t go out!

In the rivers, the Hastings, Macleay and Camden Haven rivers as well as Lake Cathie have been full of mullet over recent weeks.  Hopefully conditions are favourable for seeing plenty of them reach their destination. Bream numbers have improved considerably, particularly for those fishing the evening sessions. Best bet is either off the breakwalls and local wharfs using mullet strips, mullet gut or yabbies. During daylight hours, soft plastics and soft vibes have been working particularly well. Flathead numbers also continue to be terrific, with great results from the lower section of the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers. The breakwalls are also producing a few great catches of luderick on both cabbage and weed flies, while good numbers of school mulloway are still hanging in Lake Cathie ranging from juvenile up to around 8 kilos. 

Off the beaches, some nice tailor to over two kilos have been about with most locations worth checking out. Evening sessions have been producing the better class of fish on either pilchards or slab baits. School mulloway have also been active, with Crescent Head and around Lake Cathie beaches worth a look. Now the mullet have begun to travel and tailor numbers consistent, look for increased activity from the better models. North Shore beach and Lighthouse beach in Port Macquarie have also held some solid bream and the odd nice whiting, with worms and pipis seeing good results.

Off the rocks, water temperature has dropped a few degrees resulting in some great catches of drummer, luderick and bream especially off the ledges further north around South West Rocks. Tailor numbers have really picked up with some solid fish about. Most ledges are fishing well at dawn and dusk, with the overall quality excellent. 

Offshore, with a brief period of reduced swell this week allowing a few fishos to head out to sea.  On the inshore reefs, snapper numbers have picked up with both baits and soft plastics seeing good results. Wider out, the odd pearl perch and kingfish remain on offer, off South West Rocks and Point Plomer. On the pelagic front, the water temperature has dropped a few degrees inshore with no reports of mackerel this week. Out wider the FADs have been fishing well for mahi mahi, with a reasonable size of fish hanging around it at present. On the deep drop fishing scene, the current has backed off and conditions have been ideal with some great catches of blue-eye trevalla and bass groper caught off Camden Haven and South West Rocks. 

Looking at the long-term forecast for the next few weeks, we will likely continue to see light to moderate westerly winds with the occasional period of large swell and cooler temperatures.

This week’s photo is of Port Macquarie fisho Dan Croft with a cracker bass groper caught off Port Macquarie.  Check out his wicked YouTube channel @dancroft4781.

29/4/23

As ANZAC day approaches, we will start to see the annual run of sea mullet. The commercial fisherman will post themselves along the beaches to keep a watchful eye on the next school of fish to swim around the headlands. Beach netting of sea mullet has been around for many years with generations of commercial fisherman continuing the family tradition. 

In the rivers, flathead catches remain excellent as we head into the cooler months. Live herring and soft plastics are currently working quite well. On the luderick front, numbers have picked up noticeably, with both cabbage and weed flies successful. The breakwalls and local wharfs are certainly worth a look, it shouldn’t be long and a few luderick should show up in Lake Cathie. Further upstream in the local rivers, bream numbers remain solid with both mullet strips and lures working well. On the mulloway front, there are terrific numbers of schoolies along the Hastings River breakwalls and a few fish have also been found in the Macleay river further upstream. There is still plenty of garfish to be found towards the river mouths with Camden Haven fishos having the best success along the southern breakwall. 

On the beaches, the continuing large swell has caused a fair bit of erosion but for those fishos who managed a break in the seas caught some great sized bream on pipis and mullet strips. Tailor numbers have picked up noticeably, with some quality fish on offer. Best reports have come from North Haven beach and Dunbogan beach. On the mulloway front, there are plenty of school sized fish around Lake Cathie and Grants beach which are both fishing consistently well. Look for the better sized fish to also show up in improved numbers once more mullet start to travel.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers remain solid with some nice fish to around two kilos taken from most headlands. Those throwing either surface poppers or garfish have been getting the better-quality fish. Drummer numbers are picking up nicely with the season beginning to shape up well. Look for numbers to really pick up once the water cools off a few more degrees. Also, on offer this week were some nice bream and luderick, with Shelley’s beach in Port Macquarie fishing as well as Crescent Head to the north.

Offshore, snapper and pearl perch numbers have been quite solid especially off South West Rocks and Grassy Head.  On the pelagic front, those fishos who managed to get to sea last weekend found the odd spanish mackerel further north with fish weighing well over twenty kilos.  Some nice cobia and the odd long tail tuna have also been found further south off Crowdy Head, while wider out the local FADs are still holding some reasonable mahi mahi but I would expect the season to end shortly. On the deep drop fishing front some great blue-eye trevalla were caught off Port Macquarie and Hathead over the weekend. Hopefully this is a good sign that this deep drop season will be a cracker one. 

The long-term forecast for the weekend isn’t looking great with strong southerly winds and large easterly swell predicted. Hopefully the bad weather doesn’t hang around for too long and we can all enjoy a fish mid-week. 

This week’s photo is of Brett Main with a huge bass groper he caught off Lake Cathie in two-hundred metres of water. This great sized fish fed many of his friends and family.

07/4/23

For most of us we are about to enjoy a four-day long weekend and Easter is usually a great time of the year for fishing, enjoying fresh seafood and eating plenty of chocolate. Let’s just hope for some good weather and some great angling action is had by all. 

Despite the brackish water in the local rivers over the last few weeks, there has been some great angling on offer. School mulloway have been simply fantastic in the Hastings and Macleay rivers, with many local fishos enjoying the action on light tackle. Best results have been achieved along the break walls, bridge pylons and reef structures. Flathead have also been active from these same locations, with live bait and mullet strips all readily taken. Those throwing lures are also again seeing success, predominately on the run-in tide when the water clarity is at its best. On the luderick front, they were a bit quiet over the past week in the Hastings River, but a few nice fish were taken around the break walls in the Camden Haven, with cabbage and green weed flies both accounting for quality fish. For crabbing enthusiasts, a few nice mud crab catches were reported in the Hastings and Macleay Rivers throughout the week.

Off the beaches, there are good numbers of bream and tailor about, although with the large swell during the week made fishing the more exposed locations difficult. If the swell lies down this weekend, the moon and tides are optimum for a beach mulloway expedition. The southern end of the Lighthouse in Port Macquarie, in front of Lake Cathie and North Haven would all be worth prospecting.

Off the rocks, tailor numbers remain solid for this time of year, although conditions have limited safe access to many ledges over the past week. Bream and luderick numbers have also been consistent, with the more protected locations around South West Rocks and Port Macquarie fishing well. Drummer will also be worth chasing as soon as the swell backs down, particularly if you can locate any well washed-out locations.

Offshore action is still firing at South West Rocks with Grassy Head providing a consistent number of spotted mackerel for fishos who managed to catch live bait.  Snapper will be well worth chasing over the long weekend on both bait and plastics, particularly from the inshore reefs. Plomer Bay will be worth prospecting for spanish mackerel and cobia, with longtail and mac tuna also likely to be about. Wider out, the FADs are still producing a steady stream of Mahi Mahi with water temperature averaging twenty-four degrees.

This week’s fishing photo is of Port Macquarie local Brodie Thorn. Last week Brodie was spearfishing Port Macquarie FAD with skipper Roland Loumeau when a school of striped marlin appeared, Brodie took the once in a lifetime opportunity to spear his first ever marlin. The beautiful fish was processed and has fed a lot of local families. My favourite way of eating marlin is from the smoker with some crackers, you can’t beat it. 

Brodie Thorn and Roland Loumeau with a stunning 105kg Striped Marlin.

31/03/23 

Fishing on the beaches this week, bream and tailor were terrific with North Haven beaches being the pick of locations with some sizeable tailor caught at dusk and dawn. Further north around Crescent Head and Big Hill beaches fishos have had a great run of bream and flathead on mullet strips and squid. There is still plenty of school mulloway around, try for a flick around the beaches where there is a bit of rock structure that meets the sand. 

Off the rocks, tailor numbers remain reasonable from most headlands, with dawn sessions seeing the better results. For those fishing the washes, luderick numbers are reasonable, while encouraging numbers of early season drummer have been caught on most headlands. On the land-based game scene, longtail tuna are here on those southern headlands at Dunbogan and Crowdy. 

For the freshwater fishos, the upper reaches of the rivers are in great condition following seasonal rain. A few locals headed west over the weekend successfully caught some decent bass on lures in the Macleay and Hastings Rivers. 

In the rivers, bream numbers remain exceptional in the lower reaches using mullet strips and prawns as the best bait. With plenty of poddy mullet around flathead have been terrific, with great reports from the Hastings and Macleay Rivers last weekend. A few garfish have shown up in lower reaches, with small hooks, a float and either bread or peeled prawns the go. Mulloway numbers were a bit quiet this week, however, look for improvement over the coming weeks as the mullet begin to congregate towards the end of April.

For the offshore anglers, South West Rocks has been the pick of locations with Grassy Head providing some great catches of spotted mackerel for fishos during the week. There were also some stunning wahoo, spanish mackerel and yellowfin tuna caught out on the deeper reefs off the Gaol.  Further south snapper numbers remain first class, with terrific reports from Crowdy Head and Laurieton on those inshore reefs. Camden Haven anglers also scored some great catches of kingfish out on the wider reefs but had a fair battle with the strong current. For those fishos that were lucky enough to head to Plomer Bay mid-week caught some great spanish mackerel and cobia.  Game fishos encountered some nice mahi mahi out wide whilst targeting blue marlin, with the water temperature still fairly hot sitting around twenty-six degrees. 

Looking at the long-term forecast with mainly south-west winds predicted along with the odd shower, my pick would be to try to head out for a mackerel fish mid-week further north or fish off the rocks for a longtail tuna down south. 

This week’s photo is of local fisho Nick Wilkinson with a cracking 1.03m flathead he caught and released in the Hastings River.

27/3/23

What a difference a week can make, with green, cold water one week to blue, hot water this week. On Saturday, offshore fishos reported the water off Port Macquarie reached 27.6 degrees with strong southerly current from around 40m of water. 

For the offshore fishing scene, mackerel fired throughout the week with fish caught in Plomer Bay, off Grassy Head and the odd fish caught down south off Bonny Hills.  It was a little quieter for fishos over the weekend but there was still the odd mackerel on offer. The push of hot water also brought some great wahoo catches especially off South West Rocks and Hathead. The inshore reefs are fishing well for snapper and pearl perch, but it has been a challenge for fishos to get out of that strong current. The local FADs held plenty of decent sized mahi mahi throughout the week, but over the weekend they were a little quieter. This is often the case for this time of the year, one day the FADs will be loaded with fish but then the next day the fish are gone and have moved on. 

In the estuary, bream numbers remain terrific with pretty well anywhere in the lower reaches of the Hastings and Macleay rivers worth a look. With the water clarity improving, luderick numbers have also picked up, especially around the Camden Haven and Hastings breakwalls holding a few nice fish. On the flathead front, the flats are producing plenty of good fish on both lures and baits. I haven’t received many reports on the mud crabs this season but with the dramatic changes in water temperature over the past couple of weeks it may have stirred a few crabs out. It may be worth throwing a few traps in this warmer water over the weekend. 

Off the beaches, some terrific tailor were taken throughout the week. Those fishing evening sessions scored greenbacks from North Shore Beach and Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie. North Haven beaches has also fished particularly well for school mulloway, with plenty of fish on offer. Whiting numbers also remain reasonable, and a sprinkling of bream and flathead are on most stretches of sand.

Off the rocks, a few longtail tuna have shown up with the more renowned ledges south of Port Macquarie worth prospecting. No doubt the land-based game enthusiasts will be out in force over the next month or so. Drummer numbers are also encouraging, with the best action to date from around the Camden Haven area. Bream, bonito and luderick are also consistent from the same locations, as well as around Crescent Head and Big Hill.

The weather forecast for the next week is north-east winds on the weekdays followed with southerly winds over the weekend. There will be a few mornings of light winds for fishos to get out for fish.

This week’s photo is of Camden Haven local lady angler eleven-year-old Macey Hutchison with some great Mangrove Jack she caught for the Mid North Coast Estuary Championships.  She was awarded Sub Junior Champion.

10/3/23

The winds continue to give us a mixture of north-east winds followed by a few days of southerlies. Over the weekend there should be plenty of opportunities for a fish especially on Sundays high-tide at midday.

In the rivers this past week, bream numbers have remained terrific with all of our rivers worth a look. Luderick numbers are starting to pick up, with the Camden Haven and Hastings Rivers breakwalls holding fish with locals mainly using cabbage for bait. On the flathead front the Macleay River has produced plenty of good fish on both lures and baits on the top of each high tide. Lake Cathie has proved me wrong and is still well and truly open to the ocean. The lake continues to fish exceptionally well, with flathead, whiting and bream all in good numbers. The lower section also has plenty of mullet schooling up, and this has not gone unnoticed by a few school mulloway around the full moon. 

Off the beaches, some terrific tailor were taken throughout the week and the great catches should continue around the full moon. Those fishing evening sessions scored greenbacks from North Shore Beach and Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie.  Trial Bay Beach also fished particularly well for bream with plenty of well-conditioned fish on offer. Whiting numbers also remain reasonable further south around Diamond Head, and a sprinkling of school mulloway are on most stretches of sand.

I fished off the rocks last Sunday morning at Perpendicular Point, unfortunately I didn’t catch anything but the fishos I spoke to out there said on Saturday there were a couple of longtail tuna caught and even one lucky angler landing a spanish mackerel. Catching live bait was a struggle with only a few odd yakkas and garfish on offer. I also had my esky stolen from the back of my ute in the car park, I guess someone out there is enjoying my Yeti Tundra 110 and obviously needed it more than me. Further north around the Port Macquarie ledges fishos are catching plenty of tailor and bonito. 

Last weekend the game fishing anglers off Port Macquarie caught great numbers of striped and blue marlin out wide along with some great sized mahi mahi.  The fishos that headed to sea and fished inshore reefs during the week caught snapper on live bait as well as the odd small cobia.  Further south Bonny Hills and Crowdy Head produced the odd spanish and spotted mackerel on Saturday, but it was a bit quiet for those fishing on Sunday. South West Rocks is still reporting a cracking year for Cobia but still only the smaller models around four to six kilos. For anyone looking to head out for a fish this weekend it may be a little busy on the mackerel grounds so I would try fish the FADS and follow that up with a fish on the wider reefs for kingfish and pearl perch.  

This week’s photo is of Primal Craft Boat Builder Jason Carroll with an epic mulloway he caught mackerel fishing in Plomer Bay on Port Macquarie boat ‘Eastbound’.  

3/3/23

As we head into autumn the fishing action should continue to fire in the rivers, on the beaches, off the rocks and offshore.  The weather is allowing decent breaks for fishos to get out and the long-term forecast remains consistent with north-east winds for a few days followed by a couple of days of southerly winds.

Fishing in the rivers this week, there was a bit of colour from the rain in these afternoon storms. The Hastings river is producing great numbers of school mulloway and should only get better as we head into the full moon. In the Macleay river, fishos continue to catch and release some great sized flathead, mainly using live poddy mullet for bait. Bream however are bound to be throughout the lower reaches of each of the rivers in good numbers. Mullet or bonito fillets will be gun baits, as to either mullet or chicken gut. The breakwalls are holding good numbers of tailor, with the Hastings and Macleay producing the odd cobia for local fishos throughout the week. 

For the freshwater enthusiasts there are a few fish being caught in the late afternoons before the storms hit. A few locals headed west over the weekend and successfully caught bass from Pipe Clay through to Mount Seaview in the Hastings River.

Off the beaches, with the limited reports, bream and whiting have been around in reasonable numbers, with Shelly beach in Port Macquarie being quite consistent. Fishing further south from Dunbogan to Diamond Head beach produced great sized tailor for the local fishos during the week. 

Off the rocks, the longtail tuna shouldn’t be too far away but tailor and bonito are well worth chasing in the meantime. Reports of the odd large mulloway were caught further north around Big Hill and Queens Head last weekend. It’s a good time to stock up on bait with plenty of bonito around most headlands. I received a couple of reports from the rock-based game fishos this week that they landed a couple of metre sized cobia on those northern headlands using live bait. 

For offshore fishing, mackerel season has started further south with Plomer Bay and Lake Cathie producing some great spanish and spotted mackerel throughout the week. Cobia are in great numbers this year but only smaller models around four to six kilos, I’m yet to hear any reports of larger sized fish. Sharks are remaining an issue with a lot of fish taken either at the boat or during the initial fight. Fishos off South West Rocks last weekend saw some terrific mahi mahi catches along with black marlin and yellowfin tuna. Further south off Crowdy throughout the week anglers caught some great snapper and kingfish on the offshore reefs. Good luck to anyone heading out for a fish and stay safe out on the water.  

This week’s photo is of local lady angler Indi Garvey a great spanish mackerel she caught in Plomer Bay last weekend. 

27/02/23

With the end of summer near and southerly winds becoming more common from an angling perspective this is just what we want to see in the lead up to our autumn fishing season. Some intermittent rainfall, southerly winds, warm current and the occasional bit of swell all bode well for the months ahead.

For fishing on the beaches this week, a few local and visitor fishers experienced some terrific action on our coastline. North Shore beach in Port Macquarie has been producing good numbers of bream and whiting throughout the day along with a few decent sized tailor throughout the evenings. Further north around the Crescent Head beaches produced good numbers of flathead and bream during the week. 

Off the rocks, bream numbers have been excellent around Queens Head and further south around Perpendicular Point. Tailor have also been reasonable with some larger specimens caught around Crowdy Head, while the odd school mulloway has also been taken at first light around the southern ledges. No real news on the land-based game fishing front, however the enthusiasts are a most secretive bunch who go to great lengths to keep results to themselves. Any time from now on will be worth a look, I would try fish around Hathead and Trial Bay.

In the rivers, bream numbers have been consistent off the break walls with quite a few bag limit catches reported. Green prawns have been the standout bait. Up in the Hastings River, whiting are active, with both surface and diving lures seeing good results. Flathead also remain consistent from all of our local rivers, whilst the Camden Haven River has produced some terrific sized lizards over the past week. Mulloway remain sporadic although a few school sized fish continue to be encountered around the bridges and up the deeper sections of the Maria River. 

Unfortunately for the locals Lake Cathie is almost closed with a little trickle from the ocean pouring in on the top of each high tide. On a positive note, we could see a late summer frenzy of school prawns. There are a few smaller sized prawns around, but I would be tempted to try to drag a net for a few schoolies just after the Easter full moon. 

Offshore, mackerel fever continues off our coastline with South West Rocks and Hathead producing some great catches of spanish and spotted mackerel last weekend. I received a few reports from Plomer Bay that cobia and mack tuna were popular throughout the week, but most fish were taken by a few larger sharks hanging around the area. For fishing out wider, the FADs have been a little hit and miss although the mahi mahi that have been caught have generally been of good size.  With one of the best fishing seasons of black marlin, fishos are still reporting catches from South West Rocks to Crowdy Head around the twenty-five to thirty metres of water. For fishing the reefs, I received a few reports of decent snapper, pearl perch and kingfish off Crowdy Head and Laurieton.

This week’s photo is of Matt Miller with a great sized trevally he caught recently in the Hastings River near Little Rawdon Island.

21/02/23

I was lucky enough to head out for a fish last weekend before the cyclone swell hit our coastline. On Saturday morning I went to sea with my dad on his Milligan Nipper ‘Easybeat’ and we caught some great pearl perch in around eighty metres of water off Port Macquarie using fresh tailor for bait. Dads old faithful boat is what I learnt to fish on nearly twenty years ago and I have so many fond memories fishing with my family as a child. The last twelve months my partner and I have been boatless, but we have been lucky enough to fish on a few different local boats this summer. Hopefully not long now until our new boat gets built and we will be able to fish non-stop. 

In the rivers this week with a bit of swell turbulence in the entrances a few mulloway were targeted from the breakwalls with a few smaller fish caught on soft plastics, the better fish were few and far between with a couple decent fish caught in the Macleay. The Hastings River this week has produced some larger sized trevally around Little Rawdon Island and in the Camden Haven River this week anglers caught some great bags of bream on mullet strips. 

Of the beaches, there is a bit of erosion courtesy of the recent cyclone swell. Despite the conditions being somewhat challenging, bream and tailor numbers have been excellent off both Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie and Goolawah Beach in Crescent Head in the protected corners with beach worms being the best bait. We should see a drop in the swell over the weekend and I would try to fish the corners protected from the predicted north-east winds.  

Fishing off the rocks this week during the heavy seas saw a few nice tailor and school mulloway caught. Those venturing down toward Crowdy Head have also been finding a few drummer and the odd snapper. Over the weekend I would try fish early in the mornings on sunrise before the wind picks up. 

For offshore fishing, results have been mixed with the current roaring to the south one day and completely stopped the next with the water temperature averaging between twenty-two to twenty-four degrees. Fishing the inshore reefs, snapper catches were terrific last week around Plomer Bay and Crescent Head using baits or plastics. With a couple of breaks in the current last week saw a few pearl perch and other mixed reef species caught out on the deeper reefs. The pelagic scene over the weekend produced a few nice spanish mackerel and black marlin off Point Plomer and Grassy Head.  The FADs were a bit hit and miss this week with one day holding nice larger sized mahi mahi and the next day fishos seeing no fish. 

This week’s photo is of Cameron Gunner with a great Spanish Mackerel he caught off our coastline using a down rigger.  

09/02/23

The last week has shown some interesting weather patterns with the mini cyclone in Port Macquarie and picturesque days in South West Rocks. We just need to take each day as it comes and hope that there is that opportunity to head out for a fish. Always keep safety in mind whilst going fishing, wear that lifejacket, let someone know where you are going and constantly assess the conditions. Looking at the forecast for the next week we will see a consistent north-east wind on most days with the mornings being the favourable time to head out for a fish. 

In the rivers, I’m sorry that I may sound like a broken record, but flathead still remain consistent with some terrific fish nearing a metre on offer. Lures, live bait and pilchards have all been well worth throwing. Upstream in the Macleay River, whiting numbers have improved on either worms or surface lures. A few nice bream, dart and tarwhine have also been on offer around the break walls, with the better results seen during evening sessions using prawns and yabbies. In the Hastings River school mulloway remain consistent, while the larger models have proven elusive, there are plenty of little fish which is a good sign for the future. Some of the local experienced fishos caught mangrove jack during the week in the Macleay and Hastings River mainly at dusk and throughout the night using live bait. Mud Crabs have been sporadic with a couple of reports from further upstream in the Macleay, as well up the Hastings and Maria Rivers.

Fishing on the beaches, most afternoons this week at dusk there were some reasonably sized tailor caught from both Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie and at Grants Beach between Bonny Hills and North Haven.  Along with tailor, a few well-conditioned whiting have been caught on both worms and pipis on the beaches further North, while the occasional school mulloway remains active after dark especially around Middle Rock at Lake Cathie. 

Off the rocks, tailor numbers and quality are reasonable with Point Plomer and Trial Bay Gaol faring best, whilst Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie is also worth a throw. Most ledges are also holding bonito with Point Perpendicular proving very consistent. Shelly Beach is still providing some nice bream and luderick for the local fishos. 

Fishing offshore this week saw a drop in the water temperature and a push of green water, but that didn’t stop the odd spanish mackerel and spotted mackerel being caught off Grassy Head and in Plomer Bay.  During the week Hathead and Hungry fired with black marlin with some boats tagging over six fish in just a couple of hours.  The inshore reefs are fishing well for snapper, flathead and pearl perch, with the current finally backing down to a manageable level for reef fishing but this may not last for long.  The FADs are still holding plenty of mahi mahi, although predominantly juvenile models at present.

This week’s photo is of Steve Cumins with his two soon to be fishing champion sons Jax and Taj with a great feed of Kingfish that he recently caught out off Crowdy Head. 

03/02/23

What a fantastic weekend we just had for fishing, I managed to head out to sea off Delicate Nobby for a black marlin and I also headed out west for a freshwater fish downstream of Mount Seaview. The weather forecast over the next week is a bit all over the place with north-east winds towards the end of the week and turning southerly over the weekend. There should still be plenty of opportunities to head out for a fish over this weekend’s full moon. 

In the rivers, fishing still remains excellent with plenty of options available. There are bait fish everywhere with garfish, yakkas and poddy mullet in all the river systems. Flathead fishos in the Macleay river this week have had some fun on the lighter tackle with by-catch of small cobia. For those wanting to chase a feed of whiting Lake Cathie and the Camden Haven River have produced some great fish throughout the week. Both surface lures and baits have proven effective. Also on offer were a few nice bream from the breakwalls, with bonito strips working very well for bait. 

Off the beaches, bream and whiting remain quite consistent, with good reports from the northern end of Lighthouse in Port Macquarie as well as near the entrance of Lake Cathie. Live beach worms have been the standout bait. Tailor and bonito have also shown up in numbers around Diamond Head and in Crowdy Bay. 

Off the rocks, the Mid North Coast land-based game season has begun, with reports of the odd longtail tuna, along with spanish mackerel and cobia. No doubt there will be plenty of interest from the rock fishos over the coming weeks and best chance would be to fish off the northern headlands especially around South West Rocks and Hathead. Apart from the pelagics, Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie has produced a few decent tailor at first light along with some reasonable bream. 

Offshore, last weekend saw hundreds of boats head out off our coastline to take advantage of the inshore pelagic scene with water temperature averaging a warm twenty-five degrees. Grassy Head and Hathead produced a sprinkle of mackerel over the weekend, and even the odd mahi mahi. Out wider there was a break in the tide last week with a few good catches of kingfish and snapper caught off Laurieton. All the FADs up and down the coast are producing fantastic numbers of mahi mahi for anyone wanting a feed of fish for dinner. Good luck to all the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club boats fishing this weekend’s Coffs Coast Game and Sport Fishing Clubs ‘Hot Current’ fishing tournament. Over the past few weeks our coast has produced some great pelagic action inshore and out wide for local fishos I would expect a high number of fish caught throughout the competition. 

Father and Son duo David and Olly Henry with an awesome catch of a black marlin caught out of a kayak at South West Rocks. 

30/1/23

Finally, we are starting to see a break in the weather with more consistent light winds from the North. Looking at the long-term forecast there will be plenty of opportunities for fishos to get out for a fish especially in the afternoons for those sneaky after work sessions. With a few hot days predicted for February please make sure your sun safe whilst out fishing. 

In the rivers, flathead numbers remain consistent, with the Hastings River producing the best numbers in years with plenty of larger fish caught, tagged and released by local fishos. Best bait at present is live bait using yakkas or poddy mullet, there have been the odd yakkas caught in the river on bait jigs. In the Camden Haven River bream numbers are great, with the break walls and further upstream fishing the best.  In the Hastings and Macleay Rivers there are plenty of garfish, with either peeled prawns or bread working well. Mud crabbing has been a little hot and cold this year and I wonder whether we need a push of fresh water throughout the systems to get them firing. 

In Lake Cathie, flathead and whiting have been in good numbers with the best bait being school prawns. There are a few school prawns in the lake, but I don’t believe enough to pull the drag nets out.  Throughout the week a few fishos were successful at catching school mulloway on the beach between the mouth of the lake and Middle Rock on lures.

Off the beaches, bream and whiting numbers remain consistent, with both North Shore Beach and around Horseshoe Bay worth a look. Some quality tailor have been active at both dawn and dusk particularly further South around Diamond Head. 

Off the rocks, tailor are about along with increasing numbers of bonito.  Around Point Plomer, bream remain better than average, while the odd school mulloway and well-conditioned luderick are also on offer. South West Rocks and Hathead fishos have had some luck off the rocks with a couple of black marlin and cobia caught for those brave enough to target the larger pelagics. 

For the spear fishos the locals have had a great week targeting mahi mahi out wide as well as some large sized mulloway speared in close off the headland. As long as the water clarity remains clear it’s a great time of year to jump in the water. 

Offshore fishing is still firing with warm water pushing down our coastline; this has resulted in large mahi mahi being caught off all the local FADs, wahoo off South West Rocks and plenty of black marlin scattered from Grassy Head to Crowdy Head.  For those wanting to head out for a bottom fish the current has been running strong to the South one day and running uphill to the North the next day, making it challenging for those targeting inshore reef fish. A few spanish and spotted mackerel have been caught further South with a few fish found between the Lighthouse in Port Macquarie and Lake Cathie. 

This week’s photo is of Shane Crabtree with a ripper tailor that he recently caught off Point Perpendicular on a Halco Twisty 55g Lure. 

17/1/23

The strong southerly winds have sure stirred things up on the fishing scene this week. With over forty boats fishing offshore earlier in the week for the 2023 Port Macquarie Garmin Golden Lure, competitors saw a slow start with only a few black marlin tagged and a couple of nice yellowfin caught out wide.

The 2023 LUSC Family Fishing Bonanza in the Camden Haven over the weekend was a success with some fantastic catches weighed in. Heaviest mullet was won by Nathan Byrnes weighing .386gms, heaviest bream was won by junior Henry Hayes weighing .946gms and heaviest salmon was caught by Dick Spenser weighing 1.784kgs. With challenging weather conditions for local anglers who put in a great effort for the local competition. 

Further north, the South West Rocks fishing scene has been popular with local and visitor fishos packing out the boat ramps each day. The bar saw some challenging conditions for boaties during the week but for those who managed to get to sea caught some black marlin off Trial Bay Gaol, mahi mahi off the FAD and a few mackerel off Grassy Heads. The Macleay River has cleared up with these southerly winds resulting in a couple of Cobia caught along the breakwall and the odd mulloway on live bait. 

In the Port Macquarie Hastings River, the warm water has pushed in and resulted in some great fish caught off the breakwall throughout the week including mangrove jack, flathead and bream. Further upstream, the mud crab scene is starting to come alive with some great catches around Wauchope and Rawdon Island. 

Lake Cathie is the place to be on high tide at the moment, with crystal warm blue water families and friends are enjoying every moment down on the lake. Whiting are firing on lures on the sand flats and there are still some great catches of flathead around the bridge and boat ramp. Anglers travelling further upstream into Lake Innes are having success in their mud crab traps with some great crabs caught during the week.

After seeing a break in the swell this week fishing off the beaches between Bonny Hills and North Haven has produced some great fish for anglers of tailor, particularly early in the mornings and late in the evenings using lures.

Good luck to anyone heading out for a fish this weekend over our beautiful part of the coast. The long-term forecast shows a break in the weather mainly in the mornings with the winds turning North-East later in the week and minimal swell.

6/1/23

What a cracker couple of weeks we have had for the offshore fishos. The Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club has reported over seventy fish tagged and released consisting of black marlin, blue marlin, yellowfin and hammerhead sharks.  This year marks the 39th anniversary of the Garmin Golden Lure Tournament, with a fantastic schedule ahead so fingers crossed the weather improves for this weekend for the start of the competition. The tournament is based from the Port Macquarie Marina, with the public always welcome to observe the weigh station each afternoon.  

The good news continues on the game fishing front with warm water and plenty of action now on offer from South West Rocks all the way to Crowdy Head. Black marlin have arrived in close, along with the odd mahi mahi, while some solid blue marlin are out wider together with a few yellowfin tuna. Over the last couple of days Grassy Head has started to produce spanish and spotted mackerel for those fishos who have braved the swell. A good push of current and it won’t be long until we start to see the mackerel further south. 

In the rivers, action has been consistent over the past week with just about every available piece of foreshore occupied by both local and visitor fishos. Star attractions have again been the summer staples of flathead, bream and whiting, with some great results caught on the top of hightide using bait. On the mulloway front, a few school sized fish have been taken from further up the rivers, however with a full moon on Saturday, don’t be surprised if a decent fish or two show up around the breakwalls. For crabbing fishos, mud crabs in the Hastings River have been quiet but for those crabbing in the Macleay river having better success. 

Off the rocks, tailor numbers are reasonable with the odd solid fish taken early in the morning. Luderick are a good proposition with Point Perpendicular and Diamond Head both producing a few reasonable bags, whilst a few good bream have been taken during the darker hours. There has been the odd report of drummer, with Queens Head and Crescent Head both worth a try. Stay safe around this larger swell and wear a lifejacket. 

I want to introduce you to this week’s fishing photo, a family that are soon to be Port Macquarie locals. A keen fishing family with their boat ‘Rare Breed’, keep an eye on these guys during the Golden Lure, my bet is that they will be one of the champion boats.  Dad Steve Lamond is the President of the New South Wales Game Fishing Association, son Phil Lamond is a skilled skipper who has supported his litter sister Amanda in scoring some great game fishing records and finally, the rock of the family, beautiful Jenny Lamond. Jenny adventured out to sea with the family this week to share a special moment of catching her first marlin. Well done Jenny!

This week’s photo is of the Lamond family with a black marlin tagged and released off Point Plomer.  

January 19, 2023

The strong southerly winds have sure stirred things up on the fishing scene this week. With over forty boats fishing offshore earlier in the week for the 2023 Port Macquarie Garmin Golden Lure, competitors saw a slow start with only a few black marlin tagged and a couple of nice yellowfin caught out wide.

The 2023 LUSC Family Fishing Bonanza in the Camden Haven over the weekend was a success with some fantastic catches weighed in. Heaviest mullet was won by Nathan Byrnes weighing .386gms, heaviest bream was won by junior Henry Hayes weighing .946gms and heaviest salmon was caught by Dick Spenser weighing 1.784kgs. With challenging weather conditions for local anglers who put in a great effort for the local competition. 

Further north, the South West Rocks fishing scene has been popular with local and visitor fishos packing out the boat ramps each day. The bar saw some challenging conditions for boaties during the week but for those who managed to get to sea caught some black marlin off Trial Bay Gaol, mahi mahi off the FAD and a few mackerel off Grassy Heads. The Macleay River has cleared up with these southerly winds resulting in a couple of Cobia caught along the breakwall and the odd mulloway on live bait. 

In the Port Macquarie Hastings River, the warm water has pushed in and resulted in some great fish caught off the breakwall throughout the week including mangrove jack, flathead and bream. Further upstream, the mud crab scene is starting to come alive with some great catches around Wauchope and Rawdon Island. 

Lake Cathie is the place to be on high tide at the moment, with crystal warm blue water families and friends are enjoying every moment down on the lake. Whiting are firing on lures on the sand flats and there are still some great catches of flathead around the bridge and boat ramp. Anglers travelling further upstream into Lake Innes are having success in their mud crab traps with some great crabs caught during the week.

After seeing a break in the swell this week fishing off the beaches between Bonny Hills and North Haven has produced some great fish for anglers of tailor, particularly early in the mornings and late in the evenings using lures.

Good luck to anyone heading out for a fish this weekend over our beautiful part of the coast. The long-term forecast shows a break in the weather mainly in the mornings with the winds turning North-East later in the week and minimal swell.

January 3, 2023

What a fantastic Christmas week it has been, it was great to see so many people fishing with unreal weather conditions. Unfortunately, I do have some bad news; we are about to see a change in the weather with large easterly swell and southerly winds predicted for the start of the new year. 

I’ve had so many great reports come through from fishos who go out to sea around the Christmas period. There was a two-day break in the current and a few fishos managed to fill their freezers with plenty of blue-eye trevella, bass grouper and gemfish caught off Port Macquarie on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Down off Laurieton there have been catches of snapper, teraglin and pearl perch on the reefs in around sixty metres of water with pilchards and squid the bait of choice. South West Rocks was the place to be with so many black marlin caught ranging between twenty to forty kilos caught off the gaol on Boxing day and Tuesday. All the FADs are now holding mahi mahi with mostly smaller sized fish there are a few larger specimens hanging around. It was great to see the boat ramp car parks full and a steady stream of boats crossing the bar in the early hours of the mornings. It is also a timely reminder that the boat ramps are packed at this time of the year so please be respectful and patient to other boaties.  

Fishing off the rocks was also quite successful during the week. With the odd snapper caught off the rocks around Crowdy Head, Point Plomer had a consistent run of bream and the Lighthouse in Port Macquarie saw a few catches of tailor.  Land based game fishos it is time to dust off your gear and with the start of the warm water off our coast.  I’ve had some reports from South West Rocks, Hat Head and Crescent Head of black marlin, cobia and kingfish caught off the headlands. 

In the rivers, flathead are remaining popular with plenty of fish caught on live bait around the breakwalls on the top of high tide.  If you are wanting to catch a bream or two, try your luck on the local wharfs using strip mullet or prawns. A few reports came in before Christmas from in the Macleay and Hastings River of whiting in those shallow sand banks, caught on lures. 

This week’s photo is of 11-year-old Miller Baird with an 89cm flathead he caught in the Hastings River on Christmas Eve the fish was successfully released.

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