This month we are hoping for some mild weather so we can tangle with our typical Winter species – bream, luderick, drummer, nannygai, trevally, leatherjackets, snapper and morwong.
The fish should be quite easy to find ad the slight south westerlies that normally occur at this time of year make for some comfortable time on the water before the onset of the wild westerlies later in Winter.
As I write the rains is hammering on the window and it’s not great weather to be fishing anywhere but recent reports have been quite encouraging.
Squire-sized snapper are about in pretty good numbers and a few have been caught from the rocks just behind the Newcastle baths.
This is a very snaggy area but well worth the effort to fish.
Use baits with as little lead as possible or discard the lead completely. A pilchard on a two- or three-hook ganged rig should mean you don’t catch the bottom too much.
Here you can get squire, bream, tailor and salmon and at times a lot of leatherjackets.
When the rocks are awash with slight wave action, change your approach and this area also can also yield good numbers of groper and drummer.
Crabs are usually climbing around these rocks so groper bait isn't an issue and cunjevoi is plentiful here for the big drummer that cruise the area.
Even though the river water is discoloured, there have been good numbers of bream.
Flathead are usually further into the system looking for baitfish and warmer water, try the areas around Tomago, Hexham and Sandgate for best results. School jewfish also seem to be thicker at this time of year in these areas.
Around the mouth there still should be tailor and salmon, with kingfish on the very close reefs such as The Pines, Marble and Granite.
The Stockton bait wreck can be covered in bream in the afternoons so don't forget this wreck doesn't just fire for yellowtail, garfish, sprats and sweep. I have heard of all sorts of fish taken around the wreck over the years.
It makes sense, too. A bait ground must attract predators such as bream, tailor and jewfish, you just have to be Johnny on the spot.
Luderick are turning up in greater numbers. The wall at Horseshoe Beach and the wharves along the foreshore are packed with anglers staring at their floats and throwing handfuls of weed and bread into the water.
I know a young guy who fishes close to them and floats down prawns for the bream that the luderick fishers also berley up. He has caught some kilo-plus monsters in this manner.
Weed is all over the rocks from Merewether down to Redhead, while the rocks closer to town are usually stripped bare first.
In the basin there have been some nice flathead and bream. I believe the water is far warmer in this area and it holds flathead nearly all year round.
Try anchoring just out from the lengthy Lee Wharf and berley for best results. Always put a big bait down or have a good solid rod handy because jewfish are often taken around the stumps and old pylons.
A lot of local anglers know that big estuary perch and bass move down the system to the brackish water around now, and we often seem to run into them in Newcastle Harbour.
Outsiders might find it hard to believe that so much fresh water comes down here but it’s a big catchment and the bass and perch look for the correct salinity to spawn.
I have heard of fish encountered as far down as the ferry wharves along the Stockton side and all along the rock walls upward of this area. Email me about your bass and perch encounters.
Remember, it is illegal to possess a bass or estuary perch from Jun 1 to August 31.
Wide offshore has been quiet. I am not sure if it's the weather or the water temps, but not much has been encountered.
Boats trolling in close have returned with tailor, salmon, the odd just legal (65cm) kingfish and a few bonito. But a lot of boats have remained in the driveway or at the marina due to the weather.
Some big trevally, nannygai and snapper should be on the wider reefs soon.
This month is going to be hard to predict but I would be hugging the coast and trolling up tailor and salmon for the sheer fun of it, and getting onto the rocks in search of drummer and groper.
In the estuary, berley heavily for bream, soak some weed for the luderick and cast or troll the walls in the harbour for monster bream with the chance of a bass or a perch. Realise that these fish are the future for upstream Summer fishing fun and must all be released in good condition.Reads: 641