It’s certainly no easier getting out of bed at the moment, that’s for sure. Temperatures are low in and out of the water during the next couple of months but those brave (or silly) fishing people who keep putting in the hours will continue to reap the rewards.
Like a good mate says, ‘You won’t catch them sitting on the couch’.
The good news is that for those who are out and about on Lake Macquarie at the moment there are some good fish to be encountered.
There have been some great tailor catches with some fish to 60cm but they are patchy and can be thick one day and gone the next.
Trolling has worked for a few guys and they then generally turn to sight casting once they find the schools.
Salmon continue to be caught throughout the lake. These fish are a joy for some anglers and a pain for others.
Certainly if you are trying to catch something else they can be a pain because each salmon takes some considerable time to catch and release.
But they are great fighting sport fish and can provide hours of fun and a great way to get the family into some fishing action on the lake.
There are solid numbers of flathead being caught in the usual deeper areas such as off Wangi and Coal Point.
Halved pilchards fished along the bottom are catching their fair share, as are soft plastics. Heavy vibes jigged off the bottom are fishing particularly well this season.
Some great fish to 95cm have been landed already and I’m sure these captures will continue.
Remember to rig accordingly when chasing flathead. Leaders of 10lb are a minimum and go up to 20lb if you’re targeting bigger fish. A strong leader is especially important if you happen to bump into a jewfish or two along the way.
There have been some excellent bags of bream taken recently.
Around the Swansea Bridge has been very productive with some good bags coming in after dark. Be sure to rug up because it is freezing out there at night if there is any kind of breeze blowing.
You don’t need to worry about getting right into the pylons. Anchor up on the lake side and use enough lead to sit near the bottom in the strong current.
Don’t bother to berley because the strong current ensures this is a wasted exercise.
Peeled prawns or a pilchard cut into thirds have been working very well.
You really need to keep hold of your rod at all times and you will lose a few baits to pickers but there are some good fish in with the pickers.
I have been doing well fishing for bream on hard lures. I’ve been working deep-diving lures under boat hulls and also over the cockle beds.
The fish I’ve come across have not been big but there have been good numbers of 26cm-30cm bream.
There have been some great kingfish catches in the lake over the past month or so. Most fish have fallen to live squid slowly trolled along areas like the Drop-over and Coal Point. Kings to 8kg have been taken and are most welcome surprises for a lot of anglers.
The numbers have dropped off this month but there may still be a few lurking around for those guys working hard for them.
Offshore there has been some very good kingfish action for those fishos live-baiting and jigging the deeper reefs. Kings to 10kg have been boated although most fish have been around 4kg-8kg.
You really need to have had your Weet-Bix if you want to give this style of deep jigging a go because it can be torture on the body. But the results can be mind-blowing for those regulars that have it down pat.
A number of keen anglers have been heading up off Port Stephens to chase snapper and they have been nicely rewarded with some great reds landed.
Game fishing crews have been putting in the hours in search of yellowfin tuna. It can be a great time to chase them and trolling a spread of lures is the best way to locate schools. Norah Head Canyons are one of the prime spots to concentrate on.
Once they come across fish some crews bring the lures in and begin cubing with pilchards or striped tuna, which can often nail that bigger yellowfin.Reads: 1035