South Ballina – Mobs Bay – 4 January 2021

Christmas means time spent with family (or perhaps not, if COVID border nonsense turns it upside down). My general view of visiting relatives is – glad to see them, glad to see the back of them. I ate too much, drank too much and just as I reached my fattest, the aircon broke down. The wind and swell did drop off on a few days during the Christmas break but the estuaries appeared to be fairly brown and murky after an east coast low had passed through.

I finally got away for a fish at South Ballina in early January. I chose Mobs Bay at South Ballina – quite near to the mouth of the Richmond River. I had chosen to fish the top of the tide as I felt the water would be slightly cleaner and saltier at this stage. I started about an hour after high tide at about 2.30pm.

I was fishing with my new Samaki ultralight rod. I started with a GULP 3″ , Nuclear Chicken coloured Minnow soft plastic on a 1/8th ounce, size 2 hook Gamakatsu Round 211 series jighead. I like these jigheads for small soft plastics and they certainly improve my hook up rate on bream, tailor and whiting. I am not sure they are as effective when used with a bigger soft plastics or when you are specifically targeting flathead.

I waded around on the flats and caught a few very small bream. There was plenty of bait fleeing my soft plastic lure, as I hopped it along in the shallow water. The water was clearing up but was still stained brown by the tannins leaching from the surrounding teatree swamps and cane field drains.

I fished hard but it took two and a half hours to find a keeper size flathead. It grabbed the GULP Nuclear Chicken coloured soft plastic minow, very close to the base of the rockwall that runs across the front of Mobs Bay.

At about 5.00 pm the midges, mosquitos and a lack of fish overcame me and I headed home. My first session of 2021 had been uninspiring but at least I dodged the relatives and more mince pies.

Brunswick River, Richmond River – flathead and bream – October 2017

In October I could not find anything much on the beaches and was still only catching tiny flathead in Mooball Creek. I had a couple of sessions fishing on the Brunswick River rock wall at Northhead, where I dropped a couple of small chopper tailor when fishing with a Gulp Jerkshad.

In desperation I drove down to fish the mouth of the Richmond River at Ballina. Things looked more promising here and I caught a few good-sized bream on the inside of the north wall. I was using 3”and 4” Gulp minnow soft plastics in my favourite Pearl Watermelon colour. I also watched a large flock of cormorants herd a school of baitfish into the shallows and then feast on them.

 

 

 

Ballina – The Richmond Estuary – 25 March 2012

Sunday

After far too long working, I am now back fishing and I decided to start with a trip down to Iluka, to fish from the rocks. The weather does not look very promising this week, but sometimes you just have to go for it.

I left Brisbane on Sunday morning and decided to stop off at Ballina on the way down. The wind was howling but I had never fished the Richmond River, so I pulled out my soft plastics rod and reel and wandered out onto a promising sand bank on the north side of the Richmond River Estuary. It was about 10.30 am and the tide was running out. I found a stretch of mangrove lined shore and walked along the edge casting and retrieving a GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour on 1/8th 1/0 jighead.

The Mullet were everywhere – they were so thick that the plastic kept knocking against them as I retrieved it. Every now and then it would come back with a few Mullet scales on. I worked my way along the bank and I was surprised at how clear the water was, considering how much rain has fallen recently. I felt a few hits but I think these were just the curious Mullet or whiting.

After an hour or so I felt a solid bite and struck. There was not much weight but I had a fish – a tiny cod. I put it back, packed up and headed on to Iluka. Hopefully the weather will be kind enough to make fishing the rocks a possibility when I get there.

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