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Nambucca Trip 2011


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Took the family up to Nambucca Heads for the annual 2 week trip. High hopes and solid reports from Bloopin had us champing at the bit to get stuck into some quality fish. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t so kind and the first week saw massive amounts of fresh pushed into the system and Bowraville many KM’s up river put on flood alert. Grrrr

The first few days started really well though with a couple of cracking session on the poppers in arvo’s where we hit 25 breambo’s to 36.5 cm a few flatties and whiting. The best of the breambo’s are pictured below and how hard to the they go in the shallow stuff darting back into the weed beds and snags for cover. NW pencils and Suga Pens doing most of the damage.

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We also found trevally schooling up big time and whacking our poppers. They were only small but heaps of fun on the sill string. Not sure what type of Trev’s they were...we actually thought mini GT’s perhaps? (maybe a raider can identify for us).

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So with the surface on fire early in the week our high hopes were very short lived as the skies opened for a few days and it didn’t take long though for the system to be completely stuffed with the fresh taking over and the river looking like the leftovers you get after finishing a bowl of coco pops. The rest of the first week was really tough and we couldn’t get anything to take a plastic, popper or hard body now matter how hard we tried. I did manage to get out with Lizard boy and the family a few days and we did catch a few fish but nothing to write how about other than his 28 cm bream that put him in the lead in the juniors section of the Family fishing comp. However, some of the other clan pulled out the yabbie pump and smashed a heap of XOS whiting one arvo with several high 30’s taken and one that went 41.5cm that would go on to take out the family fishing trophy in the adults section. (grrrr you can imagine our delight to see it going to a bait capture and yes by girrrrl – well done Elle, top fish….)

So with the river barely fishable, there was plenty of opportunity to stretch the old muscles with a ski, knee board and wake board but the water was pretty brown as you can see by the colour in the back ground of Lizard boys wakeboard shot below. The movies got a run and girls went off for a spa day and hit the Bellingen Markets which surprising hadn’t been washed away given the place almost always floods should someone flush the toilet twice...

Check the water colour about 300 meters from the entrance.

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So by half way through the holiday we’d really battled to fish consistently and were looking forward to our fortunes changing. It was time to hit the sweet water after good reports by Bloopin well before the water turned to mud….so we trekked up to Macksville and headed way up river to within a couple of km’s of Bowraville….Tough work again on the surface but we did manage a couple of low 30’s on the NW’s early morning before switching over to the spinner baits. Best Bass this year fell to a spinner bait after Coyote pulled one that went 41cm and when like a freight train on the 3lb silly string….

(Note the water colour)

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The next morning we’d organized something a little different as we’d been invited out by the brother of guys we know that works in our local tackle store in the shire. 6 am start at Coff’s and out we headed in his 6 m alloy plate, to run into a school of spotted mack’s where we hammered one that went probably 75 cm before spooking the pack and sending the packing. The swell was a good 2-3 meters so our planned run to the shelf had to be halted so we targeted the waters a little closer in. There was a distinct brown water line that before you ran in to the 28 degrees temps and purple water marlin fisho’s die for. After trolling about I hooked into two solid tuna the best being this yellow fin below which was my first ever ‘fin’ which we cooked up for the family to share that night …yummm….

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But the best was yet to come….prior to going lots of talk of Spanish, big Dolly’s and recent Wahoo captures had us salivating and it wasn’t long before one of the large outfits went off with a screaming run zzzzzzzzzzzzz….just as we thought it had run out of puff it double in speed and volume ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…..holy crap we were attached to what we’d assumed to be a monster Hoo……

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Some 15 minutes later we got a look and as she saw the boat took off again in a other screaming run……after masterful taming the massive beast we were getting ready for a gaff shot but with Coyote and I never swinging a Gaff in our lives we scissors, paper and rocked it and Coyote was given the task of Gaffing. After getting the Hoo along side, he grabbed the leader and the hooks pulled straight out….Ahhhh a free swing monster Wahoo was now languishing next to the boat….Coyote swings wildly with the gaff and misses and she starts to swim away….Ahhh he then has another long distance shot and nails her in the back part of the tail and she lights up thrashing around with our friend grabbing onto Coyotes feet to stop him from being pulled out of the boat….calm resumes and she’s dragged into the boat who massive high fives all round….a 26 kg Wahoo off Coff’s, that is frigin crazy considering we were nowhere near the shelf let alone the Coral Sea, Fiji or Hawaii…..

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The rest of the holiday did seem a little more tame with the exception of the flash hail storm that came through and left 15 minutes later with us all receiving light hail damage to the cars and our $35 gazebo’s being torn apart. This also smashed up the river again and made the fishing pretty tough for the best part of the second week.

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We did get out for a few more plastic sessions with the best results coming off the racks where coyote nailed this 68 cm lizard which put him in equal lead as best fish. But no matter what we tried we couldn’t claw back the lead from a 41.5 cm whiting.

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We let her swim for another day

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So this year’s trophy went to Elle for her 41.5 cm whiting on Nipper and the juniors went to Lizard Boy for a 28 cm bream on an SX40 carrying on the Poddy Trapper dynasty after his brother Jnr Jnr Poddy Trapper took out last year’s juniors.

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So even though the fishing wasn’t quite up to spec in the Nambucca estuary as we’d hoped, we were still doing a hell of lot better than those some 4 hours north in Brisbane, so you won’t hear me complaining….fingers crossed, next year’s sees the estuary sort itself out with not too many rain dances occurring cause trust me next year we’ll be all over the Nambucca system, ‘Like a Fat Kid on a Cup Cake’!!!!

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Thats an awesome effort mate in those shocker conditions you had in the river, lets hope those trev's stay in the system and grow up a bit, that was the first year ive seen so many of them in Nambucca and Kalang :thumbup:

I really started to work out how the bass were feeding towards the end of the trip and like you are itching to get back there and have another crack, there are some absolute crunchers in those upper reachers.

Crongats on the HOO!!!!!!!! :yahoo: She's a corker and to catch of the east coast of NSW is bloody sensational.

Hav'nt been able to get out for a session since ive beeen back in the bay but itching to have a crack at a few whiting in the shallows over the next few weeks, i will be in touch :biggrin2:


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Well done mate !

Heading up north myself as soon as the weather forecast looks promising.

I have never fished Nambucca but would love to this time. What is the ramp like and do you have to cross a bar get out of the river? Managed the bar in South West Rocks for the last two years? What does it compare like to Nambucca?

Is there anywhere I can read up on fishing Nambucca?


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Cheers boys for the comments....we did our best to make the most of the tough conditions.

Well done mate !

Heading up north myself as soon as the weather forecast looks promising.

I have never fished Nambucca but would love to this time. What is the ramp like and do you have to cross a bar get out of the river? Managed the bar in South West Rocks for the last two years? What does it compare like to Nambucca?

Is there anywhere I can read up on fishing Nambucca?


Hmmm the Bar at Nambucca is one of the worst on the east coast of Australia :thumbdown: the pro's do it all the time but over the two weeks I was up there I wouldn't have attempted it once....but the swell was well up...Best to shoot up to Coff's or back to Scott's Head beach launch would be my advice. But the river is awesome...plently of good ramps one near the golf course, one near the RSL and one near the tennis courts to pick from. The town will empty out once school goes back and the river will be very quite with the exception of oyster farmers and mud crab guys.

There are jews in the system up near macksville, the bridge would be worth a shot. Bass up in the reaches, just find the fresh. Lizards around the weedbeds and drops offs and heaps of bream on the surface around the weedbeds, floating oyster racks and old timber racks. Plus as many whiting as you want on the sand flats nippers and worms are the go or you might get them on popper too.

Nippers are easy to find if you have a boat and in plentiful supply.

They even had kings and jews off the wall before we arrived by floating a whole squid on an outging tide.

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