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Still top-class
  |  First Published: April 2011



We have been very lucky on this part of the coast lately and I think the fishing should be still top-class as you read this.

Water temperatures are going up and down a little but not too much to put off the fish.

This month I’d think of heading offshore because April winds are usually light and from the north-east.

That means you can spend a lot of time over the reefs for squire. All the reefs and close waters at the back of Newcastle Baths have been fishing well.

The beaches are holding whiting, bream and jewfish, and a 4WD would be handy to get to the deeper channels and holes.

This will possibly be the last month that the large whiting will be around. The smaller fish stay on as the water cools but the big models bolt to warmer pastures.

Dust off the luderick gear, they are moving into the harbour and schools have been seen around Horseshoe Beach and close to the rocks around Stockton bridge.

Some nice squid can be caught from most wharfs and rock walls in the harbour at the moment.

That’s probably why jewfish have been dominating many catches in the Hunter River. Roger Prichter and some of his mates have been hooking up fish around 10kg to 12kg and have lost a few bigger models.

It’s nice to see the jewies back in the river and they should still be around this month.

A lot of river anglers have also been enjoying the nice flathead up from the Sandgate boat ramp.

Many have been taken on lures although the majority of the bigger fish have been taken by drifting along with the wind with pilchards.

This area is always a great place to some crab pots on the edges of the shallow drop-offs. Blue swimmers are common here but don’t be surprised if you get the odd mud crab also.

OFFSHORE REDS

Offshore, bonito, kingfish and squire are around in numbers.

The squire bite should get better as the water cools around the Merewether reefs.

North Reef is the best place for the kingfish.

The sailboat bait wreck has been holding some nice bream of an afternoon so don’t think of it as just a bait ground. I tend to subscribe to the theory that if there’s an area that constantly holds a ton of baitfish, sooner or later predators have to turn up there.

I have written previously about a friend who could see some sort of large fish on his sounder there so he sent down a live yellowtail and hooked a yellowfin tuna. I also have heard of some huge tailor taken over the boat wreck.

ACCESS LOSS

I am really at a loss for words as to why the vehicle track to the beach behind the soccer club at Stockton has been blocked off.

I know that in the past few years it’s been used as a dumping ground for rubbish, stolen cars and old furniture but it’s a shame that because of a few idiots we fishers have to suffer.

It’s now a long walk into the beach that’s famous for all sorts of fishing.

It was the only spot a two-wheel-drive vehicle could get to the edge of the sand and there was often a deep hole nearby with consistently good fishing.

I’ve also heard that some fishers have been lighting large fires along Horseshoe Beach and leaving a lot of mess.

We really are digging our own graves as places around Newcastle are being fenced off and we are being kicked out of areas we have fished for years.

Soon we won’t be able to fish from the shore on the Newcastle side.

Let’s all stick together and clean up our act.

We really are being pushed out of some great fishing spots; the whole of Kooragang Island is now off limits, with signs erected all the way around it.

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