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fishing with the big man


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@big Neil

After what seems like years of messages finally managed to sort out a fishing trip with Big Neil. A quick meet-up the night before to discuss plans and we were set for an early start hitting the main Nambucca river, the aim of the day everything starting with jacks and GTs. We started out slowly working upriver hitting the jack snags straight away Neil showed he was no stranger to accurate casts didn't take long before i had a take, 


A nice trev to start the session things were looking good, 

unfortunetly the fish decided to stop playing the game, the casts kept going for no result, Neil did comment he can be a bad luck charm and is often referred to Jonah. With the big lures not producing for a couple of hours and the best bite window for jacks done, we switched tactics to bream chasing with small hardbodies I landed a couple of bream and finally Neil put a fish in the boat it was what we locally call a flea sized bream but atleast it broke the doughnut for Neil, he tossed it fast before I could get a photo.

The fishing continued to be slow we changed to soft plastics the hits started coming more regularly Neil managed to get another flea on the boat, then working some deep timber I hook up to a better fish, the fish gave a solid fight on the light gear 


another nice trev 

We kept searching hoping to put Neil onto a better fish, I was actually having a decent session with flathead and bream no real big fish after awhile we figured out Neil's rod was to soft to get a good hookset with the plastics, a quick swap to one of my spare set-ups and it was time for Neil's fortunes to change. As we approached my favourite trevally tree I kept super quiet as to not jinx it, a perfect cast and Neil is on, the fish gave him quite the run around it was great to see the smile on the big fellas face, and the relief I felt when the fish was in the net


Neil's first GT, not a coral sea giant but on 6lb line in timber they're fun fish

A couple of casts later still pumped by the GT Neil's lure gets smashed.... the fight was over as quick as it began leaving Neil scratching his head with a slack line.... A nice jack saying hello

The fishing continued to be tough, we got a few small bream and flathead each, with time running low we made a last ditch effort fishing a weed lined mud flat opposite the boatramp. It's funny how it works but in a quick half hour to finish the session we caught nearly as many fish as we did in the entire day 

we got a mix of small to legal bream and crescent grunter 


another new fish for Neil and not something I catch a lot of, with that day 1 was over which had Neil with hid first GT, bream on a lure and crescent grunter.

Day 2 we started a bit later and headed up the Taylor's arm of the river we again started by focusing on jacks and cod, it was a really slow start although Neil got nailed by what I assume to be a big cod early on.

It took quite awhile but I finally hooked up to get day 2 underway


another trev break the doughnut, we moved onto some gravel beds for a few small bream but Neil couldn't catch a break when we reached the next bit of deep snags he put on one of his lures from home we both put casts on a deep snag that looked to fishy not to produce Neil's lure went first and he had another jack run in unfortunetly for the same result, seconds later my rod loads up, it hit and ran like a jack but when the fish came up I saw brown instead of red


I'm never disapointed with a cod like this, he measured 45cm


and threw up an eel

With the big gear not producing after the cod and seeing even Neil's patience was fading decided it was time for a drastic move so we pulled the pin and headed downstream for Newee creek

Didn't take too long and Neil was onto a fish 


a respectable bream for a doughnut breaker, we actually started catching a few fish for awhile mostly small to legal sized bream and i got a nice flathead


still far from a redhot session and no great quality but after hours of fruitless casting it's just nice to put fish in the boat

With a massive wind front coming out of nowhere we had to head in early but not without a stop on the same flats as the day before, Neil wanted to try and catch a few more crescent grunter 


although they're not very big they hit really hard for their size and sometimes it's just about putting fish on the boat and end on a high.

Unfortunetly with the bad weather day 3 didn't happen. Despite the fishing was a bit slow for his visit it was great fishing with Neil he's a top bloke and a pleasure to fish with, hopefully we'll get a chance at round 2.

cheers for reading 




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Another great report Dave. I had a great time and it was really kind of you to show me the ropes in your backyard. I would definitely like to put more time in on the Nambucca. It's a really well presented area and offers heaps of potential, for novice and experienced anglers alike. Like most types of fishing, reward comes from persistence and developing a good understanding of the locale and the habits of the quarry. To that end it was a privilege to have a highly skilled local willing to guide me on the journey. Thank you for sharing your expertise and willingness to put yourself out, for the benefit of a fellow Raider. I've always said that the main benefit which can be gained from being a member of this forum is to meet fellow anglers and share the skills which we have each developed. Pleasure to meet you Dave.

Sincere thanks mate, bn

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12 hours ago, James Clain said:

Nice fishing Dave and BN. Well written report. Nice to hear of some Taylor's arm action. Is it as good as the main Nambucca river? I can almost hear you saying thats a jack with that photo of the awesome cod!


I think the entire system spells QUALITY fishing James. Plenty of gravel beds, drop - offs and fallen trees to capture the entire range of species that abound the river. I remarked to Dave that all the fish caught were in absolute perfect condition.


Cheers, bn

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