Drummer fans excited for catches now the swells are abating

NICE: Our Berkley picture of the week is of Dave Reinhold, who caught this cracking flathead in the Hastings during a trip with Castaway Estuary Charters. Picture: SUPPLIED
NICE: Our Berkley picture of the week is of Dave Reinhold, who caught this cracking flathead in the Hastings during a trip with Castaway Estuary Charters. Picture: SUPPLIED

As most people would by now be aware, Lake Cathie is again open to the ocean after an extended period of being closed.

While this was perhaps not council's intended outcome, mother nature and the laws of physics combined to turn the intended berm scraping down to 1.2AHD into a normal manual opening of sorts.

Whilst this may be viewed as long overdue, there is strong opinion the timing could not have been worse, with a less than optimum tide phase combining with huge ocean swells seeing a much slower release of water than normal.

I hope I am wrong, but I suspect this opening may unfortunately result in significant sand ingress into the lower system, rather than the opposite and more desirable scouring out.

Once the water clears and conditions settle, we will have a better understanding how the lower system fared, and the chances of the opening's longevity. Fingers crossed however for a good outcome.

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Off the rocks, the big seas will certainly prove beneficial over the coming weeks, with hopefully many of the sanded up locations now scoured out.

No doubt drummer enthusiasts are excited for some great opportunities now the swells have begun to abate. Judging by results seen to date, we could potentially be in for one of the better drummer seasons in some time. Cunjevoi and large prawns will be the baits of choice.

Bream and blackfish should also be most active from now on.

On the tailor front, while results locally have been rather spasmodic, reports from down the coast suggest a much better grade of fish could be in our parts any time. Hopefully this indeed eventuates.

On the beaches, the landscape will have changed significantly with considerable beach erosion and the flattening of pretty well all formations.

While the beaches may look featureless and somewhat barren after a big swell, just remember you don't always need prominent formations to do well.

Quite often only a small variance in an otherwise featureless beach fires far better than a beach with a myriad of options.

Bream, tailor and late season whiting will certainly be viable targets, and fingers crossed mulloway numbers improve from the rather barren results of the past few months.

What else is making news?

In the estuary, bream reports have been outstanding, both in numbers and quality. Best locations have been the break walls and Limeburners, with mullet gut, mullet fillets and pilchard cubes being the pick of baits.

Those throwing soft vibes or plastics have also been doing very on the lure front.

Blackfish however have been inconsistent, with some nice fish one day and few the next.

Greenweed if you can find any, cabbage and weed flies have all been successful.

On the mulloway front, there are few fish around the break walls and also up river although not in the numbers we are accustomed to seeing at this time of year. Hopefully this recent stir may see some more activity.

To the south, no doubt Lake Cathie will see a bit of interest once the water begins to clear.

Generally an opening will see fish drawn to the lower reaches from both the ocean and the upper reaches, but given the events of the past six months it is anyone's guess as to how it will fish in the short term.

Offshore, with virtually no safe access for around a week, no doubt there will be plenty of boaties itching to get out.

While you are still a chance for a few late season inshore pelagics, the reefs will likely be the focus from now on.

Snapper, pearl perch and kingfish will all be viable targets, as to mahi mahi from around the FAD.

If the latter is your scene, I'd suggest getting out sooner rather than later, as NSW DPI have begun removing their FAD's for winter maintenance.

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This story Drummer fans excited for catches now the swells are abating first appeared on Port Macquarie News.