Fishing along the Clarence Coast of northern NSW has continued to produce some quality fish.
Excellent catches of jewfish, bream, luderick and tailor were taken by the land-based anglers, while those who ventured offshore landed plenty of snapper, teraglin and an occasional big pearl perch.
Mad keen local fisho Guy Stewart continued a good run in the jewfish stakes, landing several nice fish in recent weeks when fishing the old ferry approach at Iluka using live mullet.
Guy relished this ‘purple patch’ on jewies after hooking nothing but sharks for nearly two months along Shark Bay beach and was keen to make the most of his good fortune while it lasted.
Quite a few anglers have taken good fish from this location too, however unlike Guy who leaves no trace, they leave scales all over the place and complain when every man and his dog fish there.
My mentors taught me from the get-go to always take the time to pick up the few scales that will be left on the ground after landing a fish – by leaving them there, you may as well hold up a neon sign that reads ‘fish here’.
There is nothing more amusing than catching a jew off the breakwall, scaling it at home, collecting the scales and going for a walk along the access track to the southern end of the bluff, scattering them as you go.
And then watching the town gossip run into over-drive about the big jewies that are getting caught there.
The T-Piece on the Yamba breakwall has been turning it on at night, with solid fish to nearly 30kg taken on both hard-bodied lures and live mullet.
The second bluff was fishing well for big jew on hard-bodied lures during daylight low water, while the rocks on the southern end of Woody Head also produced a handful of nice fish on lures too.
Back Beach – the small beach between the above locations – is holding good numbers of tailor to 65cm, with bait of small strips of either bonito or mullet currently being preferred.
The rocks at Frazers Reef and the reef at the front of the bluff have been the pick of spots for anglers wanting to spin up a feed of choppers on metal slugs, while the top end of
Shark Bay beach near Black Rocks has also seen quite a few decent choppers taken on spin and bait.
The same area of beach has also produced good catches of bream, tarwhine and big swallowtail dart on either fresh pipis or beachworms, with the occasional school jew thrown in for good measure.
The offshore brigade made the most of the recent awesome weather, with most boats returning with their bag limit of snapper and trag, while those who ventured a little wider had nice pearl perch coming over the rail.
Inside the Clarence River, the annual sea mullet run has come to an end, and this has seen jewfish home in on the large schools of flat tail mullet, in residence until the end of August, before they make their way back upstream for the summer.
Remember, during the day take the time to find a location in the lower reaches of a river system where the small mullet are holding, then fish that same spot several nights in a row during the slack high water… the jewfish will come, simple!
Luderick will hit their peak inside the rivers during August and will be found close to any sort of structure – from jetty pylons to tree stumps and rocky groins such as the one near the boat ramp at the old ferry approach.
The headlands and breakwalls produce plenty of these hard-fighting fish year-round and in general, the fish tend to be of a much larger size, with green cabbage being the best bait at these locations.
Bream are being taken as far upstream as Grafton and all the water systems in between, with the majority of fish being in prime condition as they continue their spawning cycle.
As for me, I did put a rod on my vehicle twice last month, then went and parked at the wall, thinking about what I wanted to do.
Though I decided that it would be too much of an effort, so drove home.
Oh well, a start at least.
Who knows, I might surprise myself this month and actually have a cast.
Then again, probably not.
Until next month, safe fishing.