With your correspondent currently away for 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, with our winter species beginning to slow down, and our summer species yet to really fire, but something on offer for everyone.
In the estuaries, bream are still worth chasing on baits, with evening sessions likely to produce the better results. The break walls and Limeburners are always worth a look, but so to are upriver locations around Rawdon Island and Telegraph Point given the lack of rainfall this year.
For lure enthusiasts, 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. Whiting activity should begin to pick up as the water slowly warms with worms, yabbies and surface lures all viable offerings.
Blackmans Point, Limeburners and around the back channel in the Hastings will all be worth a look, as to Lake Cathie despite being closed for an extended period. Mulloway will remain viable targets from the break walls and deeper holes upriver, with the past few months seeing exceptional results in the estuary on both lures and live baits.
It would seem many fish have taken up residency in the estuary in the absence of any significant floods for some time, so I expect this action to continue for some time yet. The start of Spring also signifies the start of bass season, with all local fresh water systems worth prospecting over the coming months.
Off the beaches, a sprinkling of bream and tailor should be on offer off most beaches, along with a few salmon, 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.
Off the rocks, tailor should still be around in varying degrees, but fishing either dawn or dusk will be essential to success. Quite often the full moon period in September produces some exceptional greenbacks, particularly around South West Rocks.
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, while the flathead ground should be reliable if you are simply after a quality feed.