The weather gods certainly smiled on the Mid North Coast over the long weekend, with simply sublime winter conditions over the three-day break. As a result, anglers were out in force enjoying the calm seas, absence of wind, some winter sunshine and terrific winter angling.
On the beaches, fish holding formations have returned over the past week with plenty of options now available. Bream were consistent on both Lighthouse and North Beach, as too tailor with several fish in excess of two kilo taken from North beach. If you're after some great tailor action, just look for birds circling or diving on bait fish, and the tailor are usually not far away. Spinning metal lures is a gun method, although pilchards, garfish and even whitebait will also be readily accepted. A few nice salmon are also active on most beaches, with some fish approaching five kilos.
Off the rocks, tailor have been consistent despite the calm conditions seeing an absence of white water in many locations. Locations south of Port fared best over the weekend, although the Lighthouse and Shelley's also produced fish. Bream have also been excellent at first light or after dark, while Plomer and Miners have held plenty of blackfish. On the drummer front, our terrific season to date continues on, with plenty of fish to around three kilos taken both north and south of Port. Prawns and cunjevoi have been the baits of choice.
In the estuary, bream have been terrific with the lower reaches of both the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers fishing very well. On the bait front, mullet strips and mullet gut have been working exceptionally well, while soft vibes have been deadly on the lure front during daylight hours. On the blackfish front, numbers have really picked up with bag limit catches in the Hastings and Camden Haven quite common over the past week. Both green weed and cabbage have worked well.
Flathead numbers have also been solid, with good reports from around the Settlement Point area. Whitebait and lures have both been effective. On the mulloway scene, the lower Hastings has been holding the odd solid fish between 12 and 20 kilos, with both lures and live mullet proving effective. There are plenty of juvenile fish up river in the Hastings as well in the Lake Cathie which is great to see. On the subject of Lake Cathie.
Mother nature continues to show who's boss, with the entrance now arguably as robust as we have seen since the last opening. Might just remain open for a while yet. Offshore, conditions were fantastic over the break with plenty of vessels taking advantage of this window of opportunity. Snapper were excellent, with terrific numbers of fish coming from pretty well all reefs on both baits and lures. Some solid pearl perch were also taken from the slightly deeper waters, along with a few reasonable kingfish. Some nice blue eye trevalla and bar cod were also taken by those fishing the real deep stuff.