As I typed the first article of 2023, I tried to remember exactly where 2022 went.
For some reason, I can only recall floods, low pressure systems, gale and storm-force winds, a few more floods and further miserable weather.
However, to be begrudgingly fair, we did have a couple of weeks of sunshine during that time.
While the Bureau of Meteorology reckons the current La Niña phase will be over early this year, it is worth noting that Queensland and the Northern Rivers area of northern NSW do tend to be hammered by cyclones and east coast lows – even when the rest of the country is in drought – so it will indeed be interesting to see how the first five or six months of this year play out.
Here at Iluka, excellent catches of school jewfish around the 6-10kg mark have been taken from the breakwall on soft plastic lures, particularly during the low tide period.
They’ve been so thick that even I waddled out to the wall one night for the first time in almost two years, slow winding my 6” Storm WildEye Swim Shad and, on my very first cast, a 76cm school jewfish engulfed my lure.
I then waddled my way back to the car with a nice feed.
Mischa does the same because I often take him out in my car and wait for him to have a fish.
Though, most nights he too hooks up first cast, with the upshot being that it takes us longer to drive there and back than it does to catch a fish.
I suppose it is a problem that most people wouldn’t complain about, but I can because I’m a cranky old fisho.
Other anglers have been using live bait such as poddy mullet and yellowtail over the high tide for a better class of fish, though all that live bait stuff is too much effort for me these days, so I stick to lures.
In recent weeks, the river was lousy, with large shoals of white pillies and herring, so it’s no wonder the jewfish have been around in good numbers.
One of my spies over at Yamba tells me that similar good jew fishing has been experienced over on their wall too.
Inside the mighty Clarence River, flathead and good whiting are a dime a dozen, with anglers enjoying decent fishing from all the well-known locations.