The problem with covering off estuary fishing is that from state to state in Australia estuary fishing is so different. With that said I’m going to cover off the most popular type of Estuary fishing that targets Bream, Whiting, Flathead, Jacks ect…
Estuaries on the East Coast of Australia are full of great fish to target and catch. The fact you can fish a calm, comfortable and very beautiful waterway and still have the potential to catch a fish as long as your leg is very cool.
These days I fish the Tweed River near my home in Northern NSW which offers a wide range of fishing options. For the most part though I love fishing surface for Whiting which often offers up Bream and Flathead too. Bait fishing is still a great option too with so many quality fish being caught every day on packet prawns. However, you greatly improve your chances of a feed if you use fresh or live bait like worms or nippers.
These days I’m kind of addicted to chasing whiting on the flats. The key to surface fishing for whiting in my local system and it probably works in most systems on the east coast is the time of tide. I have found the last 2-3 hours of the run out tide is by far the most fruitful. The technique is pretty easy once you know how and once you get your first fish your confidence will sky rocket. It really is awesome watching four or five whiting fighting over your lure.
I have mentioned all the lures below that you can purchase if you like, that work really well but for now I’ll just give you a few tips on how to actually get Whiting to eat them. Once you have cast your surface lure you want the lure to be retrieved at a steady pace and you want it to move from side to side at almost 90 degrees if you can. The old walk the dog routine I guess.
If your rod has a little flex in the tip all you need to do is flick your wrist from side to side to get a nice action. That's pretty much it! It really is that simple. You don’t need a boat as you can walk the flats in your local estuary. The by-catch of Flathead and Bream is fun too.
In shallow water you will often see Flathead get airborne when hitting your lure which is obviously awesome. One tip on Bream though is they often sit behind the lure trying to suck it up and you can literally hear a kissing sound. If their not connecting throw in a few pauses and that normally gets them hooked up. Exchanging a treble on the rear of a lure to two small assist hooks is a good trick too.
I use a 1-3kg rod, a 2000 size reel, 6 pound braid with 8 pound fluro carbon leader again just in case a big mother Flathead takes a liking to my lure which is often not enough but a good happy medium I think. The gear I have listed below includes some light rods and reels, braid, leader and a solid selection of surface lures for Whiting fishing.