Your correspondent is currently away for research and development so we take this week to focus on the angling opportunities on the Mid-North Coast during spring. This time of year is somewhat of a transition period as our winter species begin to slow down and our summer species are yet to really fire. We may not have great angling on offer every day, but there are certainly plenty of options available.
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, but so too, are upriver locations like around Rawdon Island. The upriver locations are 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 mullet 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 of course is a prime location, so too Blackmans Point, Limeburners and around the back channel in the Hastings. Mulloway will remain viable targets from the breakwalls and deeper holes upriver, with live baits or lures the way to go. Blue swimmer and mud crabs should also be on offer for those keen for a tasty feed.
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 uptide 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, with live baits highly recommended. Leather jackets should also be available if they are your chosen target.
Until next time, tight lines and good fishing to all.