We certainly saw our fair share of inconsistent weather in 2012, all the way up to Christmas and New Year.
It is a trend that we have seen here on Lake Macquarie for the past few years and there was hope that this time we would be back to a ‘real’ Summer but that has not yet been the case.
The lead-up to the New Year has been hard to pick with some days wet and cool yet there have been quite warm and dry periods for weeks at a time.
Fortunately, fishing has been hot and Lake Macquarie has been producing some very good catches.
We are a little spoilt at this time of year with the great fishing on offer on our doorstep.
The sand flats are producing some outstanding captures with bag limits (20) of sand whiting to 45cm and bream (limit 20) to 42cm falling to live worms and live prawns.
There have also been silver trevally to 2kg taken in the same areas.
The best method for those wanting to target these tasty whiting in particular is to use live worms and only a small amount of lead to get the bait down into the zone.
Flathead continue to be good with bait fishos working the Coal Point/Wangi area putting good bags together.
Pulbah Island is also producing its fair share of quality flathead and, as always, those anglers working the Drop-over are producing a few.
Lure anglers are doing well at the moment but the best results are coming from those fishing away from the holiday crowds, and that means very early morning sessions or as the sun says farewell each day.
The southern parts of the lake have bream to 1.2kg in the shallows and guys working diving hardbodies are producing the goods.
The bite at the moment for lure anglers certainly seems to be far better in the afternoon and some days it’s hard to locate any fish at all until after 3pm. However, once they do turn up we are generally in for a hot little session, with the fish usually willing to hit lures until sunset.
Jewfish numbers remain strong in the lake. Most are not huge but are great fun. A lot have been around 3kg-4kg but there are some solid fish to 12kg.
The northern half of the lake has been fishing far better for jewfish Live bait is working very well, as are soft plastics around 7”.
Various colours are producing but white and black/gold are two of the standouts.
`Now is a great time to work on the Lake Macquarie kingfish.
There are some great fish about and if you want a crack at one then live bait is as good a way as any, especially squid or yellowtail.
Lure casters should try 7” soft plastics in pearl/white.
Any of the main channel markers around the Drop-over hold fish but remember to tighten that drag because kings hit fast and head for the markers in no time.
Offshore fishing continues to improve for local game fishers. Shark captures have been very solid with blues, tigers and makos and sea temps are rising.
By now there should be a few early season marlin and hopes are high of a repeat of the cracking marlin season of last year.
Trolling skirted lures is a great way to search for billfish but when you come across a bait school it is often more productive to secure some livies and slowly troll them around the school.
Those tasty mahi mahi will hopefully come on the bite in numbers. The past few years didn’t produce very well around the Fisheries FADs but those who happen to find other FADs further offshore can see a better run of fish and it always pays to drop a live bait near any objects floating out wide.
Or you can flick lightly weighted 5”-7” soft plastics (bright colours are best) around any floating items and you will soon know if the mahi mahi are there.
Rock and beach fishing is also firing well with good whiting and bream off our ocean beaches and some great bream in the washes along the rocks.
Working metal lures around the ocean rocks should also produce some good bonito.Reads: 601