Blue swimmer crabs are prime anywhere downstream of Rawdon Island in the Hasting River

Nice catch: Our Berkley Pic of the Week is Brodie Thorn with a solid bass he recently scored on a surface lure. Photo supplied

Nice catch: Our Berkley Pic of the Week is Brodie Thorn with a solid bass he recently scored on a surface lure. Photo supplied

While the arrival of summer is generally great news for many, the start of our warmest season of the year carries plenty of concern this time around given the effects of the current drought.

Fingers crossed we get some long overdue significant rainfall in the not to distant future.

In the estuary, flathead numbers remain consistent, with fish again taken from most areas between the breakwalls and Beechwood. The pick of the baits has been either whitebait, yabbies or prawns, while all manner of lures have proven effective.

Whiting numbers and quality are also on the improve, particularly around Blackmans Point and up the Maria River.

From a bait perspective, live worms and yabbies are the morsels of choice, while for lure enthusiasts, poppers and surface walkers will begin to come into their own as the waters warm and prawns become more active.

Bream numbers have been a little patchy, although we have a few reports of nice fish from the south breakwall after dark, with both mullet and squid strips working well.

On the mulloway front, best reports have come from up river, with a few nice fish taken on both lures and live baits between Rawdon Island and Hibbard.

For those keen on a great feed of crustaceans, blue swimmer crab numbers remain terrific in most parts downstream of Rawdon Island.

Off the beaches, a few isolated chopper tailor have begun to show up although not in large numbers as yet. Around Middle Rock seems to be as consistent as anywhere.

Bream numbers, while not high, have included some reasonable fish to around a kilogram, which is a little unusual for this time of year, but certainly welcome.

A few nice whiting are also on the chew with beach worms by far the bait of choice. Not so good however, has been increasing reports of red weed showing up again in several locations. After last summer's inundation of the local area, fingers crossed we do not see the same levels this year.

Off the rocks, the odd tailor has shown up around the Lighthouse, although most fish remain only in the chopper class.

To the north, a few bream and blackfish have been taken by those putting in the time around Plomer, while diehard drummer enthusiasts report there are just enough pigs around to keep you interested. If we get a serious bit of swell anytime soon, a late season run is not out of the question.

Offshore, fishing has been quite consistent when conditions allow. Snapper have been reasonable with some nice fish being taken on both baits and lures. The reefs in around 40-50 metres off Port and Plomer seem to be fishing well, with a few pearl perch and pigfish also on offer.

Wider off Plomer, some nice kingfish are about with live slimeys being the bait of choice.

On the pelagic scene, a few mahi mahi are about and should improve noticeably over the next couple of weeks. No doubt the FAD will be well patronised.

Until next time, tight lines and good fishing to all.

This story Feast of blue swimmers in the Hastings first appeared on Port Macquarie News.