FISHING along the Clarence Coast of northern NSW has improved markedly over the past month, due mainly to the absence of any substantial rain – something I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to say, given the previous six months.
From the mighty Clarence River excellent catches of bream are being taken far and wide throughout the lower reaches, with some of the most consistent catches coming from boat anglers fishing the reef upstream at Browns Rocks or the deep water at the eastern end of the Middle Wall.
As the clean water continues to push further upstream with each tide, so too will the fish and, while we did have a minor flood warning issued for the Orara River last month, thankfully it did not send a heap of dirt downstream as it does normally.
Both the Yamba and Iluka breakwalls are yielding plenty of bream and school jewfish from the back of the surf, with bait such as yabbies, beachworms or white pillies being the best by far.
Luderick are another species that have finally come on the chew in a big way inside the river, which is to be expected with July and August being the best months of the year for this fish.
The old ferry approach at Iluka, both breakwalls and the approaches to Oyster Channel Bridge at Yamba are the pick of the spots for land-based anglers, while those folk with a boat are cleaning up along Middle Wall, Turkeys Nest and Collis Wall over the high-water period.
Flathead can be found year-round, both in the river and along the beaches, which is great for those of us who enjoy chasing these tasty little critters.
Even though the sea mullet run has ended, there are still plenty of nice jewfish being taken from the river during a slack tide at night, with Collis and Middle walls being the best spots for boat fishing.
Lismore angler Guy Stewart spent a couple of nights inside the river, standing in knee-deep water hooking and landing sharks on bait meant for jew and all I can say to that is… he’s a braver man than I.
To me, the words ‘night, knee-deep water and sharks’ don’t sound quite right together.