When March comes around, nice spanish mackerel such as this will start being taken from the Iluka breakwall.

Fishing on the Clarence Coast northern NSW

The fishing along the Clarence Coast of northern NSW has been fairly good in recent weeks, with whiting, flathead and school jewfish biting well inside the river.

While offshore, the annual run of spotted mackerel is now in full swing.

Offshore, excellent catches of spotties to 8kg and the occasional larger spanish mackerel are being boated from Black Rocks in the north to Minnie Waters in the south, with the vast majority of fish being taken by trolling lures such as pink squid.

As the season progresses, anglers will continue to troll lures at first light but then, as the sun comes up, most boats will set anchor and float half blue pilchard into a good berley trail.

The big advantage of a berley trail is that solid snapper and jewfish can often be taken as by-catch, which is a problem most of us would enjoy experiencing.

This month will see the start of big pelagic species such as spanish mackerel and longtail tuna being taken from the headlands at Evans Head, with Forty Foot and Joggly Point being the pick of the spots.

By the first week or two of March, these same big speedsters should have made their way to the Yamba and Iluka breakwalls and I for one am chomping at the bit to get among them.

Mischa Porter with one of several baby jewfish taken from the bank along Goodwood Island when fishing at night for whiting using beachworms.


At the age of 63 and with serious health issues, I don’t have too many more seasons left, so with my trusty 700 A5 Alvey reel filled with 30lb Lo-Stretch Platypus monofiliament mounted on my old Pacific Composite FSU 5162 rod, I’ll be out there spinning for tuna using my 4” Creek Chub popper.

Oh, silly me, I forgot the most important part of my kit – my trusty double plugger thongs!

Note – I do not recommend the use of thongs as footwear on a breakwall.

For me, the best part of the land-based season is catching up with my great friends from Sydney, who make the pilgrimage up to Iluka each year, and if that’s not what fishing is all about, then I’m not playing.

Tailor have been fooling around again, with very few decent fish being reported from the beaches.

However, those anglers who have been spinning the rocky headlands with metal slugs seem to have had little trouble getting a feed of choppers around the 1kg mark.

Inside the Clarence River, the water has cleaned up nicely and this in turn has seen good catches of flathead being taken from both off the bank and in a boat, with nice 1kg sized fish being boated using green school prawns as far upstream as Brushgrove.


About Tye Porter

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