The scene settles down
  |  First Published: February 2013

With the kids on their way back to school it is good to be getting back to some normality on Lake Macquarie.

The waterways here certainly see more than their fair share of boat traffic over holidays and the fish do go a little shy. The good news is that after the crowds have moved on, it doesn’t take too long for the fish to get back on the chew.

Lake Macquarie is fishing particularly well for several species, especially solid jewfish and kingfish.

The majority of these fish that I know of have fallen to large lures, while a few kings to a metre are also taking live squid.

The prawn runs have been pretty good with some great catches for those anglers putting in the hours in the channel at night.

The bread-and-butter species have turned it on with some great bream, flathead and whiting taken recently.

Bream have mostly been somewhere around 30cm but there have been some real cracking whiting and flathead.

Plenty of whiting over 40cm have been taken by lure and bait fishers around the sand islands near the Drop-over.

Flathead are firing in a variety of locations. Some fishos are pulling good ones from 1m-2m of water while others (myself included) have been landing solid fish from as deep as 10m.

Lures around 4’-5” are doing well. Some kayak anglers have also had good success trolling very deep-diving hardbodies for flathead to 70cm.

There are also quite a few blue swimmer crabs around. Just remember that crabs are no different from fish in that they are much more likely to fall for well-presented fresh bait than a stinky old piece of rubbish just dropped over the side.

Despite what some angler may say and think, crabs really do prefer fresh bait.


Offshore anglers have it all at this time of year. It’s well worth putting in some hours for a nice feed and a little fun on the local mahi mahi, which should be around the offshore FADS.

There is ample bait offshore, which is a great sign for game fishers. Big schools of slimy mackerel are common at this time of year and jigging up fresh bait to slowly troll for a marlin is a great way to spend your time over the next month or two.

There are good kingfish on offer for those live-baiting or jigging the reefs but to be honest, this month really is all about marlin.

The Norah Head Canyons and the grounds up to the Carpark off Port Stephens are the main spots to pull marlin skirts or troll or drift a live slimy.

Remember there are plenty of better eating fish in the sea than marlin so enjoy the fight, take great pics and pop them back to hopefully do it all over again.

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