Iluka – Iluka Bluff, Woody Head and the Clarence River June 2022

June was a cracking fishing month on the headlands and also pretty good in the Clarence River. The bream fisherman where getting good catches.

I caught plenty of jewfish at Woody Head, Iluka Bluff and Frasers Reef. The start of the incoming tide seemed to fish best for me and the GULP Squid Vicious soft plastic in the nuclear chicken colour, rigged on a 3/8th ounce, size 2/0 hook jighead worked best. I was generally fishing with a 40lb leader.

When fishing for jewfish I often caught some ambitious, chunky, bream. They are often lurking in the wash at the base of the rocks. I also caught some decent tailor and trevally, when I was casting metal slugs around at dawn or dusk.


Yeppoon – Double Head and Bluff Rock – 4 August 2012


It was back to Yeppoon for the weekend. The weather was perfect – no breeze, gentle seas, a big tide and it was just after full moon. I decided to start at Double Head again, but this time on the south side. There is a great platform on the south corner and the locals tell me the Mackerel often come past here. Low tide had been at about 5.00am and it was now just after 6.00 am. There was only about a metre of water around the base of the rocks. I started with the big rod and big Jerkshad soft plastics, just after first light.

After 30 minutes the sun was up and I had not had a bite. I swapped to the light rod and dropped down to a GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour, on a 1/8th oz, 1/0 jighead. I moved along the base of the rocks and hooked a couple of small Pike. I then moved down on to the southern corner and caught a small cod, then a slightly bigger one, then another. Then it wall went quiet.

At about 10.30 am, I decided to move across the bay to the next headland – Bluff Rock and fish the northern side. This is a little more difficult to reach and the bottom is rockier. But on my second cast, with the same soft plastic, I pulled up another Cod. As I moved around the rocks I lost a fair few jigheads, but I kept catching more Cod. After about five more, I felt a decent hit. In true Cod style, it wedged itself under a rock and I could not move it. I loosened the drag and after a couple of minutes it swam out and I landed it. It was the best Cod of the weekend at about 40cm.

I dropped down to a smaller soft plastic minnow, in the same colour and kept casting into the sandy patches, between the rocks. Just after 1.00pm, with the tide now running out, I got a solid bite and I landed a decent Bream – which measured 34cm.

At this point I gave up. I had had fantastic scenery, weather, conditions and plenty of fish. No medals, but a good day!

Iluka – Frasers Reef & the Rockwall – 28 March 2012


No trophy fish yet but plenty of fish around, if the weather would let me get at them. Wednesday morning brought heavy showers and grey skies and a 10 knot southerly wind. The wind had been from the south for a while and the swell was around 2 metres. It was too hard to fish Woody Head or Iluka Bluff, but with a morning low tide I could get out on to the rocks at Frasers Reef.

I walked out on to the rocky promontory just before 6.00 am. Even with a fair swell you can fish the northern edge of these rocks but as usual in these parts, you lose plenty of gear.

I started with the heavy rod, 30lb fluorocarbon leader and a 3/8th 3/0 jighead. I chose a big soft plastic again – the GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour. I lost my first rig to the rocks on the first cast. I re-rigged and moved around casting into the foamy water. After a few casts I felt a solid bite and pulled up the plastic minus its tail.

I put another on and cast back out. This one was hit on the drop but there was no hook up. Then, as I carried on the retrieve, the fish came back for a second swipe and I got it. I played it in on the swell and pulled it over the rocks – a 50cm Tailor – the first Tailor of the week. I was hoping for a few more, but I never found them. I presume they are cruising the headlands all the time, looking for the bait schools. If they are right in front of you, you may have a few minutes to cast at them – then they move on. When I gutted it, it had an empty stomach, like all the other fish I had caught this week. I have not seen any bait schools and maybe there is not much to eat.

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There were no more fish that morning and the swell continued to build so in the afternoon, I decided to fish the Iluka rockwall. The wall is quite sheltered from strong southerly winds and there is currently a good gutter forming where it meets the beach. I was using the light spin rod and started with a few GULP 4” Minnows in various colours. These did not arouse any interest so I swapped to a GULP 3” Minnow Grub in the Pumpkinseed colour. I think the grub tail can sometimes stir a bit more interest when fishing in the surf. I was using a ¼ oz 1/0 jighead to overcome the wind and swell and I was rigged with 12lb fluorocarbon leader. After a few casts, I lost the tail on the soft plastic but when I re-loaded and cast out again, I felt a solid tug and then a good run. I had the fish hooked and it took a bit of line. The swell was a challenge, but eventually I pulled another good Bream clear of the rocks.
Then the rain arrived again and I gave up. Only two fish for the day – hardly spectacular but enough to keep me at it!

Brooms Head – Red Cliff – 22 Sept 2011


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Perfect conditions again, a big contrast to the wild weather of this time last year. I decided to take advantage of the calm waters and have a fish off the rocks at Red Cliff, a few km north of Brooms Head. As its name suggests, it is a large red cliff with a rock platform beneath. The platform offers some excellent fishing spots on the lower half of the tide.

I arrived at about 9.15 am and the tide had been low at 8.50 am. The water was absolutely crystal clear and was able to hop from rock to rock until I reached an outcrop that looked over a couple of holes that were probably about 3 or 4 metres deep. With my polarized sunglasses I could clearly see the Bream sheltering at the base of the rocks in the calmer water. There was virtually now wind.

I decided to cast out towards a spot where the waves were breaking over a rocky promontory. I was fishing with a 1/8th 1 jighead loaded with a GULP 2” Shrimp in the Pepper Prawn colour. This is always a good one to start with and I notice it’s a favorite with a lot of the ABT pros. Hungry Bream can’t resist it. As I hopped it along the sandy bottom towards the rocks, I felt a couple of bites and then a solid grab. I landed a small Bream around 25cm, followed by a couple of slightly bigger ones and then a really solid, 34 cm fish. They had all come from the same spot and perhaps they wised up, because things then went quiet.

I moved round to the other side of the rocks and cast in to some calmer water. I could see the lure float down to the bottom in between a couple of submerged bommies. As soon as I lifted it off the bottom, a small Bream darted out and grabbed it. I wound him in and cast out again, this time they didn’t wait and I was on to a better fish before the lure touched the sand. I landed it and decided to keep it – it was 33 cm long. As I wound it in, it had a couple of other Bream following. After a couple more casts I caught a smaller Bream and then this spot went quiet.

I moved round onto another rocky outcrop and caught a couple more small Bream before calling it quits. It had been a good session and a great opportunity to clearly observe the way the Bream break cover to attack the soft plastic lures. I stopped fishing around 11.30 am.