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Fishing- any advice welcome

Blue swimmer crabsjaninerSun, 15/04/2012 - 2:27pm
Blue swimmer crabs
Blue swimmer crabs

I have been trying to catch fish at North Arm Cove for 25 years now without a lot of luck. I’m a fair weather fisherwoman, but even when I make the effort to get up before the sun, I still don’t catch many fish, so I have reconciled myself to just having a fish when it is convenient.

We used to head up Bundabah Creek before it became a Marine Park Sanctuary Zone. At low tide you had a chance of catching a flathead and it was nice just to anchor (or drift if there was no wind) and listen to the crabs pop and the birds singing.

I usually fish from a tinny, so I like to find a spot out of the wind with a reasonable chance of a nice fish. Some people recommend fishing amongst the oyster racks. This does not appear to increase my chances and I just end up with a tangled line if anything of reasonable size latches on to my line.

My son likes to fish off Culburra Cove (near the red channel marker) if the wind is from the north or northeast. He mostly catches small whiting and bream. If you don’t have a tinny and are fishing from the shore, there is a sandy bottom just a bit further west near “Harry’s Hideaway” (the unformed section of The Esplanade). I have seen people with flathead in their bucket at this spot, but you have to be prepared to do a bit of wading. I can’t be bothered fishing from the rocks - too much lost gear for my liking.

We have tried Heros Beach on several occasions. I have snorkelled there many times and I have seen lots of sand whiting, sting rays and many unidentified fish. Catching these fish is not easy. If you use a light line with some small split shot, it is easy to catch small bream. Small whiting are also fairly easy to catch but we rarely catch anything of legal size. I have had some huge bites that have broken my line before I’ve had a chance to react, so there must be some big ones out there.

I have also tried Fame Cove. I once saw some people catching flathead near the public moorings, so we dashed home to get our gear. An hour later we were trying our luck, but to no avail. We caught a small shark, but no flathead.

My usual fishing spot is on the mud flats adjacent to Cove Boulevarde, on the shore side of the oyster racks. I catch a few tiddlers, but I mainly just enjoy being out on the water and watching the world go by. I actually caught a decent flathead last time I sat out there. I took out a small fibreglass tender and a couple of rods and some bait plus the dog, who loves fishing. I didn’t think that I would catch anything, so I didn’t have a net or a bucket. Much to my surprise I had a flathead on my line, so with no net, I flipped it into the boat. The problem was the dog, who went berserk trying to get at the fish. In one hand, I had the dog held by the collar and in the other hand I had the rod with the fish on the line in the bottom of the boat. It was stalemate- what could I do without tipping the boat. Luckily all the commotion was observed from shore and my husband came out with a canoe and off loaded the dog. I don’t know how I managed to catch that fish- I didn’t even have a trace on the line as I was fishing for bream.

I may not be a great fisherwoman, but I have a moderate amount of success catching crabs. We put our pots out just beyond the oyster racks and try to check them morning and evening and usually use fish heads for bait. We have caught up to four blue swimmers and mud crabs in the one crab pot. We mostly let them go again as I am not fond of cooking them, but my son enjoys cooking a feast for his mates.

We occasionally head a bit further afield on a fishing expedition in our 4.8m runabout. Over summer we tried the sand bars off the Anchorage, Salamander Bay and Lemon Tree Passage- I caught a working pink fishing rod on my last trip to Lemon Tree Passage. We also tried near Corrie Island and around the mouth of the Myall River, but it was just too windy. Some of the places we used to go are now sanctuary zones, so I need some help finding some new spots where you can get out of the wind and just enjoy being out on the water, and hopefully catch a feed. I’d appreciate some good advice from someone who has more luck catching fish than I do!

comment(s): 1
Flathead caught near OL86/140


I hope your luck has improved since posting this! As a new resident I'm looking forward to exploring the waters of NAC in hope of finding some great fishing spots to share with you.

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