David Irvine

NSW Mid North Coast Fishing Identity

David has fished the NSW North Coast for decades and has made something of a habit of targeting various trevally species in the estuaries using bream gear. He loves helping others to improve their fishing and is a moderator on the Fish Raider forum, where he gets to contribute to a large and growing free fishing resource for anglers by anglers.

David’s Tips For NSW Estuary Trevally

  • Most NSW Mid-North Coast estuaries hold plenty of trevally, but we’re focussing on the Nambucca, Macleay and Hastings systems in this episode. Trevs are usually a year-round prospect in these systems, but the summer months usually produce better quality fish
  • There are juvenile specimens multiple species on offer, including GT’s, bigeye trevally, silver trevally with the occasional brassy trevally and bluefin trevally thrown into the mix.
  • Look for deep, muddy banks with the darker green water, rather than sandy banks. Areas where decent currents strike banks that have a combination of rock and timber structure are the prime. Places where there is a drop off from 1m to 3-4m are often productive
  • At these sizes, trevally are schooling fish, so be prepared to cover plenty of ground until you find fish. Once found, you can stay on the spot and pull fish after fish. They usually don’t move around the system much and can be relocated on or near the same spot for several weeks in a row.
  • Any time of day is good and any tide will do as long as there’s water movement – bigger tides usually fish better for this reason and the periods leading up to the full moon are a good option.
  • It’s important to fish a light drag on these fish when using light tackle. Trying to muscle them will end in disaster, but going easy on them usually results in fish heading away from cover into clear water where they can be played to the boat.

David’s Recommended Trevally Fishing Tackle

  • A 7’, 2-4kg rod with a 2500 size spin reel and 6lb braid and 8lb leader is sufficient for most of the trevally that will be encountered in these systems.

David’s Top Trevally Fishing Lures

  • The 2.5” ZMan Slim Swimz rigged on a 1/16oz, size 2 jig head is a consistent trevally catcher. Get your boat drifting along a bank and cast at 45 degrees from the front of the boat, let the lure sink close to the bottom. Retrieve with 2-3 short taps of the rod followed by reeling down as the lure sinks back and repeating. Fish will usually hit the lure as it’s on the rise.
  • 5” ZMan Grubs also rigged on a 1/16oz, size 2 jig head is a great choice when the Slim Swimz are not getting any attention from the fish. This lure has a longer hang time and can be worked more slowly, plus it will give you the advantage of a potential bycatch of bream or other species. It can be worked back the same way as the Slim Swimz are worked.
  • A 1/8oz TT Switchblade is great for deeper water. Set the boat up to drift along a bank and make long casts ahead of the boat and let the lure sink close to the bottom before working it back to the boat with relatively gentle lifts and drops of the lure.

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