Fishing with Tony Lincoln | Fishing after heavy rain

Published 11:29am 1 December 2021

Fishing with Tony Lincoln | Fishing after heavy rain
Words by Tony Lincoln

WITH the coming Summer looking damp, I thought I'd address fishing in conditions that may not be optimum for humans but can be beneficial to the fish.

Heavy rainfall flushes bait from the safety of rivers and creeks, pushing it out into open water where it becomes easy prey for predators seeking a meal.

This can occur via large volumes of rainwater making its way into the system and causing heavier outgoing tidal current or it can be due to the volume of freshwater in the system causing a dilution of the salt content in the water, causing marine life to head downstream chasing the salinity levels they need to survive.

While the water may look dirty, this quite often stimulates fish to feed more enthusiastically than in clear conditions. With their ability to sense vibration and detect scent, fish don't need clear water and calm conditions to find a feed. In addition to baitfish, heavy current flow from rains can also drag large amounts of dead food which adds to the feeding potential outside the river and creek mouths.

During and just after periods of heavy rainfall, sharks are one species known to congregate in river and creek mouths and the bays that these waterways empty into because they know that these areas will bring an abundance of food straight to them.

When waters are murky, fish may feed for longer and in much shallower water than we think. They know that the lack of clarity of the water gives them fantastic cover and gives them the confidence to feed for extended periods in waters that they may not venture into in clear conditions. If rain is accompanied by rough seas this agitates the seabed, particularly in shallow water, uncovering food which may not be usually exposed.

Unless you're made of sugar, you won't melt if you get wet. So, don't let average weather stop you from getting out there. You might be missing a shot at your fish of a lifetime.

Thanks for reading again, and remember;

Talk to old people, they know stuff you don't.

Talk to young people, they know stuff you don't.


  • Once again, not a lot of feedback this issue as the weather hasn't been as cooperative as it could be.
  • Summer whiting are still patchy but again, a few nice fish for those willing to put in the time and cover the ground.
  • A few flathead in the Pine River, Hays Inlet and the smaller creeks, with one very nice 79cm fish that I was shown a brag mat photo of.
  • Squire, snapper and some grassy sweetlip on the inshore reefs and off the rocky points around the peninsula with two nice land-based snapper in the 50s and 60s plus a few legal squire off Woody Point Jetty.
  • A few schools of mackerel spotted harassing bait in Bramble Bay on the couple of clear days we've managed to have so far.
  • Mangrove Jack are starting to fire up as the weather warms with several respectable fish caught around the Peninsula.
  • Mud crabs on the move with a couple of regulars getting a good result from their pots.


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