Lake producing big bream
  |  First Published: August 2012

The rain continues to fall here on the east coast and we’ve certainly seen our fair share of the wet stuff for a while now with good rain since the beginning of June. Although not too pleasant while it’s falling, the rain is sure to give the Lake a very good flushing, which will be good for fishing once it all settles down.

The fishing has been a little up and down of late. Some of the action has tapered right off, and other species have come on strong. The great run of kingfish that we had been seeing in the lake has gone very quiet, which is expected for this time of year. However I continue to be amazed at the number of quality bags of fish that anglers are pulling from Lake Macquarie these days – it really is great to see.

The quality salmon and tailor catches should continue this month and I know I’ve said it before, but it really is a fantastic way to get the kids into fishing because they generally don’t have to wait long between hook-ups and the fun they have once hooked up is sure to get them coming back for more. Areas such as Salts Bay are the pick of the spots to try, but just take care as there are generally a few boats trolling and working the area. Keep an eye out and also be mindful that there are often kayak anglers working these schools of fish as well.

Salts Bay has also been producing a few nice trevally. A few anglers have been anchoring up and fishing lightly weighted baits back in the berley trail. This has seen a few guys getting up to 10 trevally a session and a few good bream are also falling to these same tactics.

There are a few effective methods for connecting to these light tackle speedsters. I like trolling two lures with one being a 3-4” soft plastic and the second being a hard body diving lure. If the fish are boiling on the surface, hold away from the school and cast into them with lightly weighted soft plastics such as Casper Clears. For the bait anglers it is hard to beat the old pilchard on a gang hook setup.

As it always does at this time of year, the Lake is also seeing plenty of good flathead around. Just remember to work those deeper areas. I’ve been pulling good numbers of flathead around the 50-60cm mark in about 20ft of water in the southern half of the lake. If the wind is up a little then I will drift and jig lures, but if it’s a still day I’ll spin the lures working the bottom and using the electric motor to cover ground.

There are good bream about with some cracking fish to 40cm in the mix. Pilchard pieces are working well for bait angler and guys working lures are doing well on deep diving lures; the Jackall Chubby being the stand out lure at the moment. Blades are also fishing well and are accounting for plenty of my winter bream this year. I have been doing very well on the Berkley Big Eye Blades and the TT Ghost Blades.

Rock and beach fishing is ok at the moment. Those braving the weather have been rewarded with some good catches of drummer off the rocks south of Swansea. The beaches are fishing well for salmon and tailor and there have also been a few quality bream landed.

Offshore and game fishing has been steady with some great catches coming in. Several Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club (LMGFC) boats have been reporting shark captures with club boat Redemption recently weighing a 131kg tiger shark on 15kg tackle and also a 117kg blue shark caught working a current line inside the shelf.

The standout results have been the numbers and sizes of hapuka the guys are getting wide off Swansea. Some crews are specifically heading wide for a feed of hapuka, and others are just dropping a deep bait down and waiting for their shark baits to go off. These fish are great eating but they do involve some effort. Many guys are choosing to use electric reels due to the deep depths that these fish come from. If you don’t want to outlay the dollars for one of these electric reels then just be prepared because it can be a long, slow, heavy wind back in from that depth.

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