The cold weather of winter is definitely upon us, so it’s time to pull those beanies out of hiding. Cold weather means 1 thing for me — snapper. Nothing beats an early start, up and in the water while it is still dark, and back before 9.00am with a tasty feed of reds.
A favoured food of the local snapper population is squid — nice little bottle squid for a feed of squire, or a big 1 wafted down the berley trail for a trophy sized knobbie. The boat fishos relish winter, as the water cools and the currents slow up out wide, making bottom bashing a lot easier.
In the river, on the rocks, and off the beaches, everyone will be on the lookout for mullet and what is following behind feeding on them — the mighty Clarence Valley mulloway. Find the mullet and you can guarantee a few big silver slabs won't be too far behind.
Spinning for them has produced some great lure makers in the Clarence Valley, with specialised mulloway lures in their stables. Some of the local favourites are the Jewie Jewels by Croaker Lures and the 80g diver by Get Bent Lures. Spinning these mullet schools with big hardbodies is definitely a great way to connect with an XL Clarence mulloway.
Generally speaking, most use rods from 10-12’ in length, with 50lb main line in mono or braid. For leader, it’s 50-80lb of whatever your favourite brand is.
Out on the headlands, there should be some nice sized greenbacks getting around in the washes. Spinners are dependable for a couple of choppers, but if you want to chase a big greenback you can't go past poppers. They seem to draw a better class of fish and my favourites are the River2Sea Bubble Pop 130, and the Get Bent Pencil Popper, depending on conditions.
Beach fishos will be donning their waders in the chase for tailor. Casting out pillies and strips of bonito on a set of gangs should see a few fish hit the sand.
We should now encounter some better quality bream in the lower reaches of the river. If you like to chase bream with bait, you can't go past good old gut — mullet or chook, it doesn’t matter — although mullet gut with the onion in it will hang on better and stand up pickers longer. All those walls and reefs in the lower reaches like Browns Rocks and Middle Wall should be good producers. These same spots will also be good for lure fishos using soft plastics and blades worked deep.Reads: 628