This is the time when I really start to get excited. That extra layer of clothing can get packed away until next Winter, my deep estuary gear gets packed away and I start to think of all those bream moving onto the flats for the next few months.
It’s also not long now until those tasty whiting hit the shallows and the flathead begin to come on the chew again. The kingfish also start thinking about moving back inshore and the salmon move out for another year.
The water temps are finally starting to creep up now, which is fantastic news because Lake Macquarie has been a terrible 15°-16° for far too long now.
The lake really is a nice place to spend your time during spring and this month the fishing really starts to pick up when the weather gods behave themselves.
There have been some good catches of trevally in the lake; they’re not huge but good fun on light gear. Salts Bay is the pick of the spots and the good news is that the salmon should have moved on by now, giving you a better chance at nailing some better quality fish.
The salmon have their moments but by now we are generally over the buggers and looking forward to hooking into some tastier critters.
To get into the trevally you’re best to fish with lightly weighted baits and a good berley trail. There are plenty of bream mixed in with the trevs, too.
Flathead have begun to show in better numbers now and I like to work the drop-offs and around the boat moorings for a feed of fresh flattie fillets.
Lure anglers should use a 1/4oz jig head and a 3”-4” soft plastic.
Any of the bays with moored boats are a good option; flathead are often found around the concrete bases of the yacht moorings.
Those anglers who know where to fish the lake at this time of year will generally be able to get their bag of flathead on a good day.
October is usually when the first of the kingfish show their faces. Best bet is to get hold of some live squid or yellowtail and fish them around the Swansea Bridge and the marker buoys around the drop-over.
I like to set two baits, one just under the surface and the other down deep with a bit of weight.
Rock fishing along the ledges south of Swansea continues to be productive for those putting the effort. There have been some very good bags of drummer and blackfish and I’m told that a good berley mix has been the difference between catching a feed and going home empty-handed.
As always, be sure to have a fellow angler or two with you and take all the necessary safety precautions to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Offshore fishing has been a little patchy and still very much between seasons.
There have been a few sharks about but not much else on the game-fishing front. After last year’s fantastic marlin season hopes are high for a repeat and crews are starting to look at what may lie in wait.
Mahi mahi numbers usually are not big this early in the season but it is a good time of year to stand a chance at a nice big bull mahi mahi.
Generally what they lack in numbers at the start of the game season they more than make up for in size so keep an eye out for floating debris; as it’s well worth a try if the opportunity presents itself over the next few months.
Kingfish numbers are still strong and there are plenty of good fish available. Jigging has been the most effective method for putting a bag of solid kings together.
Areas such as Texas and the Perch Grounds are producing good numbers but you really need to use your sounder to its full potential so you’re not jigging where the fish aren’t. They seem to be on one patch of reef today then gone the next to a new patch.
There are still good numbers of snapper also coming in with most boats running north being rewarded with some quality fish.
Large soft plastics are working well, as are lightly weighted pilchards.Reads: 1082