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Lake cobia tease
  |  First Published: March 2011



Two days after writing last month’s report about Lake Macquarie cobia, I got a call from a rather excited mate, Norm.

Sure enough, he and his mate had hooked up to three large cobes. The problem was they were using light gear and managed to get only one to the side of the boat and missed the gaff shot, so three decent-sized cobia remain swimming around in the lake.

The largest fish they put at about a metre and the other two were a bit smaller, but he was rather animated when he was relaying the story to me.

He said that next time the ‘big gear’ was going out in the boat with him.

I haven’t managed a cobia yet but I’ll still be trying this month as they will be about in the lake and with the water temps as high as they are, I’m sure they will be around for a while.

There are plenty of jewies around and I have now downsized the gear I’m using to cast 5” and 7” Jerk Shads and the 46mm Berkley Big Eye Blades in ayu, nugget and baby mullet colours.

The majority of fish have been jewies and flathead with bream and whiting hitting these lures hard in the deep water although I have caught the odd painted grinner and flying gurnard in the deeper water as well.

The bream fishing is only going to get better from now on.

I’m looking forward to the Autumn bream sessions at night although there are plenty of fish around for those that go looking during the day.

The better places have been out at Salts Bay, Black Neds Bay, Swansea Bridge and back towards the Drop-over. The best baits have been live prawns, for those that can get them, otherwise fresh prawns, strips of mullet or mackerel and squid.

Early mornings fish well but if you can manage a night session it will definitely produce better quality fish. Head down towards the southern end of the lake at night to spots like Wangi, Pulbah, Crangan Bay and Summerland Point worth trying.

If lures are your thing for bream, the surface action will really start to fire up now. The sand islands around Coon Island Caravan Park are worthwhile early mornings for good numbers of bream but there will also be some very good-sized whiting that will gladly take a surface lure. The 3B Pop Dogs from Berkley work well and the price is right.

Soft plastics for bream and whiting include the 2” Gulp Shrimp in banana prawn and camo colours and the 2” Sandworm in camo and new penny. They work well down along the flats towards Murrays Beach.

LAKE TAILOR

There are reports of tailor about down around Pulbah Island, Belmont Bay and off Coal Point.

Most have been taken on deep divers and although there are always different opinions on what works best, you can’t go wrong with trolling minnows in colours like red head/white body, green/yellow and orange/black. It also pays to have a few metal lures handy in case the tailor surface near you and you can cut the motor and cast to them.

There have also been a few decent tailor caught at night by those chasing jewies with fresh squid around the Trench at Valentine and at Green Point.

There are some big schools of choppers that can be a real pain when using soft plastics. Take a few of the older softies you don’t use much any more and have some fun with them on light gear.

If you want to have some real fun on light gear, there are plenty of bonito around Moon Island, down towards Catherine Hill Bay and up towards Redhead.

If water in the lake stays warm there could be a few around the Drop-over and down around Pulbah Island.

You can cast small metal lures or troll around the island. Bonito are good bait so get them while they around and salt them down for later fishing sessions.

BEACH FARE

The beaches will have the usual suspects such as jewies and tailor, but there will also be more bream about.

Fish the gutters down at Blacksmiths Beach early mornings and late afternoons for good-sized fish. If you can get fresh beach worms, you’ll have a good chance at some of the stud whiting about.

Out at the FAD off Swansea, there are plenty of mahi mahi with the larger ones caught on live bait. Otherwise spinning for them or fresh Hawkesbury prawns have done the trick of late.

Expect a few leatherjackets to pilfer your gear so make sure you are well stocked before heading out.

In closer, there are plenty of flathead off Newcastle with fish off the gravel and smaller snapper around the 48-fathom reefs. There are also a few squire around the reefs off Redhead/Dudley.

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