Reel Action TV Host Michael Guest shares his tips for fishing Crowdy Head

I often wonder what the fishing was like way back before we had the modern conveniences and technologies of today. The Light House at Crowdy Head is a stark reminder of our maritime history, watching over the Pacific since 1878.

The Lighthouse sits proudly perched on the Crowdy headland with 360-degree views; west to the Manning Valley, south towards Forster, north looking at spectacular Diamond Head, but it’s the fishing opportunities that lie to the east that bring me to Crowdy.

You can only imagine the wild weather that has battered the stone structure over the last 143 years. It’s easy to picture the block layers and builders back then casting hand lines into the surge hoping for a fresh feed of snapper.

The Harbour at Crowdy Head
The Harbour at Crowdy Head

The boat harbour has excellent launching facilities, catering for up to four boats at a time when it’s busy. The ramp is very well protected, however like all ocean harbours the north easterly wind and swell can make things a little difficult at times.

There are plenty of shallow inshore reefs that hold great numbers of Snapper, Tailor and Mulloway. My fishing in recent years has been to target both Snapper and Tailor on lures. The backwash created around the headlands provides fantastic cover for big Tailor; they’re not a fish that likes the bright sunshine so shaded areas are a prime location.

Metal lures, hard bodied shads, poppers and stick baits all work well for Tailor. If you haven’t tried surface lures for tailor then it’s a must, they’re an aggressive predator that will react to splashing across the top with a spectacular bite.

The best bite times are sunrise, sunset and the daily tide changes. If you can coincide a tide change and a low light window then that’s even better.

It pays to take your time and carefully pick the safe places to fish either from a boat or shore based. Even from the boat a longer rod that allows a bigger cast will give you a safer distance to sit away from the danger area.

Beach fishing is a cracking option for those who like to get sand between their toes with the lower light of dawn and dusk prime bite times.

Sunrise snapper Michael Guest Crowdy Head

Catching Snapper on soft plastic lures has become a great option and a very effective way to target inshore fish. Crowdy has plenty of Snapper rich ground on offer all within a short boat drive from the harbour.

One of the best methods is to simply drift across an area of broken reef casting lightly weighted soft plastics towards the drift direction. Jig heads in 1/4in to 3/8in size with heavily scented soft baits slowly working through the water column are irresistible to hungry Snapper.

This style of fishing is a sustainable practice with 90% of the fish mouth hooked. This allows you to get a quick photo before releasing a trophy fish while keeping a fresh feed to take home.

There are so many fishing options in and around the Barrington Coast and Crowdy’s another great place for the travelling fisho to check out.

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