Bridgett scored a decent sized teraglin.

Deep water working best for offshore fishos

Hello and welcome – this year seems to be flying by incredibly quickly.

The kids have gone back to school, and we have settled back into a little bit of normality, however I’m sure if we blink, it will be Easter before we know it.

It probably doesn’t help my cause that Easter eggs and hot cross buns are being sold in supermarkets already.

It’s also hard to believe that, on the Northern Rivers, we are a year down the track from our worst flood in history.

Thousands of families and hundreds of businesses are still trying to put the pieces back together and I do think it may be another year or so before many get things into order.

So, if you’re in the market for a weekend getaway or a family holiday, we would love to have you come and visit our little piece of paradise.

The fishing offshore has continued to be slightly inconsistent over the past month.

Currently, the water inshore remains a little on the cool side, which has slowed the mackerel run considerably.

For their mood to change, we definitely need a southeasterly wind to blow some of the warmer water in closer.

I’m confident this will happen in the next couple of weeks and then we should see quality numbers of fish caught.

Live bait are tough to find at times, so if you’re heading out, make sure you have some pilchard, slimy or other options in case live bait are nowhere to be found.

Mahi mahi have been similarly slow, with the fish being inconsistent at times, however this may be due mainly to the large number of boats frequenting the fish aggregating devices over the course of summer.

Though quite a few marlin and wahoo have been landed in the vicinity of the FADs over the past few weeks.


Peter captured a cracking pearl perch off Ballina.


Skirted lures being trolled was the main technique used on both targeted species and, if you’re super keen to chase these, it may pay dividends to head a little wider to find a temperature change or a current line that some larger models are hanging around in.

While the warm currents have been beneficial in bringing the pelagic species to our front door, it has also meant that some of our popular bottom species have moved a little wider than usual to avoid the heat.

Some of the better quality snapper and pearl perch have come from rather deep water, in the 80-120m range.

This trend will probably continue over the next couple of months, until we start seeing the water temperature drop as winter approaches.

Live bait and jigs have been tempting the larger models, while the usual bait such as squid and mullet have been very interesting to the pan-sized fish.

Back in the river and we still haven’t seen a great deal of crabs, though the whiting started to fire up and some good quality fish were landed using surface lures, as well as bait such as worms and yabbies.

As is usually the case, a larger run-in tide has been the best time to soak a bait for whiting.

Run-out tides and using brighter colours have been the most successful for whiting, with lures such as Atomic Hardz Pop 50, Bassday Sugapen, Daiwa Infeet Slippery Dog and MMD Splash Prawn being the most popular of the group.

The other popular species this summer were mangrove jack.

Live bait have accounted for some of the fish, though plenty have been taken from the rock walls above Burns Point Ferry using suspending hard-body lures and surface poppers.

A run-out tide was a little more productive for the most part, especially when it occurred mid to late afternoon on warmer days.

Flathead captures around the area were quite good recently, with plenty of small fish about – great for future years – and some exceptional fish landed and released back into the water.

Don’t forget, late last year a reasonably new rule came into effect for flathead.

The maximum size of a flathead you can now keep in NSW is 70cm.

It will be interesting to see how this new rule affects flathead numbers in NSW over coming years.

Live bait have been tempting a couple of the larger sized fish, however most anglers managed a few fish for a feed on either smaller soft plastics or bait such as prawns or pilchard.

Good numbers of bream and a few trevally were taken from the ferry to Broadwater over the past few weeks.

Most of the rock walls have been producing fish on hard-body lures or bait such as prawns or mullet fillets.

Bream also showed up on some of the sand flats and were fairly keen to hit surface lures or super-light soft plastics, but stick to the more natural colours because they work a little better.

Well, that’s it from me for this month, until next time – tight lines!

About Brett Hyde

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