The current is starting to trickle from the north and from now until the end of March this area lights up with travelling schools of everything you either want to catch and release or have on a plate. If you can’t catch fish from now on, give up.
My phone has been running hot with stories of snapper, morwong and big bream. Apart from the odd shocker low, the days have been great with little wind and plenty of sunshine. There have been many boats over the reefs from Nobbys down to Redhead, so I thought I better get out their and test the waters.
Big green-eyed squid and cuttlefish were spread all over the Stockton cleaning table when I arrived at the ramp. The anglers that caught them said two words I wanted to hear – ‘North Reef’.
My favourite haunt! So if the squid were there, so would be kingfish and maybe some big squire, morwong and even teraglin. We returned with plenty of squid and a boat covered with ink.
The beaches have typically fired for bream and although it’s hard to believe, whiting haven’t left this area all year. They’ve been big ones, loners that hang with schools of mullet and the hordes of blackfish that are still around, especially in Newcastle Harbour and off the rock platforms at the ends of the beaches.
So wetting a line around Horseshoe Beach with worms or peeled prawns should see you get a few whiting or bream, and flathead shouldn’t be to far away either.
Offshore is running hot for squire, which are on most reefs from Stockton Bight down to Redhead. You have to get through the trevally and sweep, but it’s worth it.
I was told by a few Stockton boys that if you headed out to deeper water, the sweep were less frequent.
Squire and a few lumpy snapper have been taken on the Marbles Reef and apparently the Pines was fishing full on as well, so it looks as if we are going to get a good start to the season.
In the Hunter River bream and luderick are the best shot.
A few school jewfish have come in from the bridge pylons and also in the pilot station hole, with live yellowtail and live squid the best baits.
A Sandgate angler caught a few blue swimmer crabs deeper up around Tomago, so if you want to leave others boats behind it’s something you can try.
You can get some nice bream from this area of the river at times, too – floating baits are the best bet.Reads: 1628