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No run means no fun
  |  First Published: July 2017



As the currents slow up even more this month to 0.5-2 knots, they dictate the terms of your offshore fishing and can hinder your fishing on the close reefs.

If there is no current and no wind, there is no real point in fishing these reefs. You don’t cover any real ground with drifting. Your berley falls straight down and there is no current to bring bait to waiting predators, so the predators move to areas of the reef where there is more current. You really need to find wind or current to have some fun, which can mean heading wider.

There is normally more wind and swell out wider, and this can really help a struggling fishing trip. Fishing wider also opens up more fishing avenues like jigging. Slow pitch jigging, high speed jigging and octo jigs are really fun, productive ways to fish deeper water and normally trigger a great reaction bite.

Bottom bashing with two-hook paternoster rigs still catches good fish in deep water. I like to mix my baits up on these particular rigs. A combination of pilchards, strip baits and squid always seems to tempt the fussiest of eaters into a bite.

Offshore

It’s all about the snapper, pearl perch and tuskfish this month, with good numbers of sizeable fish being caught right through the Tweed region. Plastics and drift baits are doing all the damage this month on close reefs. Slow pitch micro-jigs and bottom bashing paternoster rigs work better out wide. Good numbers of pearl perch and Venus tuskfish have been caught on 80-200g slow pitch jigs out around the wire weed on the 24s, 36s and on the backside of the close reef bommies.

Good snapper and Venus tuskfish have been caught on plastics around the Fidos, Five-Mile, Nine-Mile, South, and Kingscliff reefs. Micro-jigs, octa jigs and bottom bashing work better on wider reefs like the 24, 36 and 50 fathom reefs. Kingfish have been caught on the Nine-Mile and Windarra banks. High speed jigs, stickbaits and live baits are all working well. There are still a few cobia coming through with the whales and they’re being caught on live baits on a downrigger on the 24s, 36s and some closer reefs.

There have been a few squid hanging around on the close reefs like Fidos and Kingscliff. There are a few tailor at the back of the beach breaks, the desalination outlet, Kingscliff, Cabarita headland, Hastings bommie and Black Rock. Metal lures, small hardbodied lures and poppers are working best. Heaps of baitfish are hanging around Point Reef, Snapper Reef, Kirra Reef and Kingscliff Reef if you need troll baits or strip baits.

Estuary

Lots of school mulloway are around the estuary at the moment and they are fun to target on light gear, with 3-7” plastics, 1/4oz bladed lures and large hardbodied lures working best. The hole at the Piggery, the hole at Terranora, Boyds Bay Bridge, Barneys Point Bridge, Tumbulgum Bridge and the Brunswick rock walls will all produce fish this month.

All the bigger mulloway are being caught around the rock walls and river mouths on live pike and 7” plastics. The bream are schooling up in good numbers, with most rock walls, bridges and holes holding plenty of bream. Drift baiting in a good berley line is still proving best for a good feed and some light gear fun. Small plastics, bladed lures, hardbodied lures and small crab lures can be dynamite and lots of fun on these little silver brutes, especially when they head for structure.

Big flathead have been caught on 2.5-7” plastics, and lightweight jigheads work best for catching the bigger females. It’s always worth having a few more casts around the area where you caught a big girl; there are normally a few decent males sitting around the females at this time of year.

GTs and bigeye are around Jack Evans Anchorage during the day, but they seem to go to the bridges on the run-in tide at night to feed up on the herring.

Live herring, small plastics and bladed lures worked well on the run-in tide are irresistible for these species. Boyds Bay, Cobaki, Barneys Point, the Highway, Kingscliff and Hastings Point bridges all hold fish. Chopper tailor are also frequent visitors to these bridges. A 10-30g metal worked at high speed around the bridges, current lines and in the river mouth should put you onto one of these toothy critters.

Beach

The beach gutters have been fishing well, with good numbers of solid mulloway, tailor, bream, flathead and the odd dart caught recently. At night the top of the tide and the start of the run out tide are fishing much better than the day tide. Whole beach worms, live pike and butterflied pike have been catching the bigger mulloway in these gutters. Ganged up whole pilchards are catching the bigger greenback tailor. The big silver sea bream have mainly been smashing strip baits, half pilchards, beach worms and pipis in these gutters.

Having a good combination of baits is the key to beach fishing, and increases your chances for a feed. Running a berley bag helps a great deal and keeps the fish in the gutter in front of you.

A few tailor have been caught from Kingscliff breakwalls, Cabarita headland, Hastings Point and Black Rock. These areas will continue producing fish over the next month.

Freshwater

The dams, weirs and areas where the fresh meets the salt are all still producing good bass at the moment. Diving hardbodied lures and jig spins are best. Remember it is strictly no-take on bass at the moment as they are all trying to breed up, so please take care handling this species.

Next month we will see more great weather with nice, calm days. The wind should die off over the coming month, which will make it easier for all offshore fishing. This can also make for some very cold mornings on the rivers. We will see more whales, snapper, pearlies, tuskies, cobia, tailor and mulloway working their way along our reefs, beaches and estuaries. July is such a great time of year to rug up and get amongst all the winter species.

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