THE NAMBUCCA VALLEY, with its vast stretches of coastline, uncrowded beaches and accessible rocky outcrops, is an angler’s dreams come true. And complementing this piscatorial scene is a diverse and prolific estuary system and meandering river.
The options are unlimited: You can choose a day on the continental shelf or fishing the closer inshore reefs; spin or troll for pelagic around the rocky headlands; chase bream, flathead and whiting in the estuary; or head upstream in search of Australia’s premium freshwater fish, the mighty Australian Bass.
Excellent fishing can be had from the Vee Wall at the mouth of the Nambucca River and a variety of species can be caught all-year-round. The accompanying map shows by letters where the main varieties can be caught:
B (BREAM): Available May through to August and again in December and January. The best baits are mullet, mullet gut, chicken gut, prawns, yabbies, beach worms, soldier crabs and pippies.
D (SILVER DRUMMER): These can be caught off ”The Wall” (end of Wellington Drive, Nambucca Heads) or around the Headlands, and take mainly cunjevoi bait.
F (FLATHEAD): These can be caught from November through to March. They are caught best with live bait, fish flesh, prawns, yabbies and even bread. A favourite spot for catching these is off the Island Golf Club Wall, and at Deep Creek entrance to Valla Beach (about five minutes drive north of Nambucca Heads).
L (LUDERICK) (Blackfish): Luderick abound from May through to August, and catches in the hundreds have been reported in past years. They like fresh green weed or cabbage weed (found off “The Wall”) and also will take yabbies at night.
M (MULLOWAY) (Jewfish): Mulloway are often found in December and January and later on in the year in April through to July. They like live bait, octopus, squid, fish flesh and beach worms.
T (TAYLOR): Taylor can be caught from May through to August. They can be taken with pilchards, garfish, fish flesh and lures, especially the “Wander Pilchards”.
W (WHITING): These can be caught from December through to March off the sandpits, in the deep water on the run in tide, off the beaches or on the drift. They like worms, squid, prawns yabbies and pippies.
The river estuary and coastline system of the Nambucca boast other species as well, including:
RED BASS: This great fighting fish is found in several localities, mainly Warrell Creek, Deep Creek and off ‘The Wall”. Live bait or the Abu “Killer” lure produce the best results.
SNAPPER: These fish can be taken from rocks and beaches, especially after a southerly blow, and are prevalent along the entire coast
line. Mullet, mackerel and squid are popular baits.
GARFISH: Catches of Garfish are common, mainly on the sandpits with the incoming tide. The mouth of Warrell Creek is one of the best spots.
For the more adventurous angler, an offshore trip is well worth the effort. The only restrictions are on black cod, spotted cod and Queensland or black groper, which are now protected in NSW waters.
However, numerous species abound, including:
SNAPPER: Plentiful from the reefs off Scotts Head, Nambucca Heads and Valla. Mackerel, squid and mullet provide the best bait.
PEARL PERCH: These fish are indigenous to this part of the coastline and are favoured by professionals and amateurs.
TERAGLIN: These have been taken off Nambucca, mainly on squid, mackerel and mullet bait.
KINGFISH: These can be caught from the inshore reefs.
MACKEREL: Trolling for mackerel is common, mainly as bait fish, and 22 kilo fish have been caught.
FLATHEAD: This species is found in numbers on the ‘desert’ off Fosters Beach and out from Valla Beach. The often provide a big proportion of the deep sea angler’s catch.
SAMPSON: Literally tonnes of these fighting fish have been taken from a reef just off Nambucca Heads.