With your correspondent currently away for critically important research and development purposes, we take this week to focus on the angling opportunities throughout the Mid-North Coast during spring.
This time of year is somewhat of a transition period, often accompanied by winds from all points of the compass together with a few cracking storms. On the positive side there are certainly plenty of options available with both summer and winter species viable targets.
In the estuaries, bream are still worth chasing on baits, with evening sessions likely to produce the better results. The breakwalls and Limeburners are always worth a look, and so are upriver locations around Rawdon Island. The upriver locations are also well worth prospecting with lures. Blades, soft vibes, soft plastics and hard bodied divers will all prove productive, but as the water warms, surface lures will come into their own.
Flathead activity will also increase right throughout the estuary, with all manner of lures worth throwing. From a bait perspective, prawns and mullets fillets will certainly do the trick, but by far the premier morsel to offer is whitebait. Just be mindful we are entering the time of year when the larger breeding female flathead become particularly active in the lower reaches, so discretion and good catch and release practices are encouraged.
Whiting should begin to pick up with worms, yabbies and surface lures all viable offerings. Lake Cathie is a prime location, as are Blackmans Point, Limeburners and the back channel in the Hastings. Mulloway will remain viable from the breakwalls and deeper holes upriver, with live baits or lures the way to go. Blue swimmer and mud crabs should be on offer for those keen for a tasty feed.
Off the beaches, a sprinkling of bream and tailor should be about, along with school mulloway and whiting. Best bet is to target the last half of the run-up tide for most species, particularly if this tide phase coincides with either dawn or dusk. Don’t be afraid to fish the shallower sand spits rather than deeper holes, as this is the feeding zone for many species. Live worms will certainly be a bait of choice for most species, although pilchards or metal lures will do the trick on the tailor front.
Tailor should be around Off the rocks, but fishing either dawn, dusk or after dark will be essential for success. Pilchards and lures will both prove effective. Bream and school mulloway will still be an option, particularly after dark. During the day, a few drummer, blackfish and groper should still be worth chasing.
Offshore, snapper should remain terrific for another month or two, with soft plastics or anchoring and burlying the most effective approaches. Most reefs should hold pearl perch, kingfish, teraglin and mulloway, with live baits highly recommended. Leather jackets should also be available if they are your chosen target.
Until next week, good fishing and tight lines to all.