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Hot times on the water
  |  First Published: December 2012



Things are looking good for anyone looking to spend the holidays exploring Lake Macquarie. The fishing could not get much better.

The extra boat traffic and the crowds at the ramps do take the shine off things a little for me but it certainly is a great time to be out there having a fish.

For those that are more interested in a hard-core fishing session rather than battling crowds, all I can say is try to plan a late afternoon or very early morning trip through the holiday period and you will certainly still find plenty of fish.

The water temps have picked up nicely and the fish are on the chew.

Bream numbers are really up this year and we have been having a great time fishing for them with shallow-diving hardbodies and poppers.

There is just something very special and a whole lot of fun about getting a kilo bream in 60cm of water on 2lb line.

All of the flats are fishing well and a productive option is to work the wind-affected banks.

I have also found a surprising number of solid bream still holding in the deeper sections of the lake.

Generally by now they would have ventured to other areas but this year I’ve found numbers of quality bream in all kinds of places, which is great to see. It also means less pressure is being applied to the more common spots.

Bait fishos are also doing well on bream with some solid bags coming from Salts Bay.

This month the fishing will be much more rewarding if you time your trip to avoid the holiday crowds and berley well. Peeled prawns are producing good results, as are small pilchard cubes.

Whiting are thick this year with some impressive catches taken. Anchor up just on the edge of the shallows around the sand islands and flick out unweighted baits if the conditions allow. It’s great fun and you will be rewarded with a good feed. The kids have a blast catching whiting of any size, too.

HUNGRY KINGS

Kingfish catches are probably the big talking point at the moment. We look forward to this time every year and this season is promising.

There have been plenty of 70cm-80cm fish taking lures and bait. No doubt the best bait is live squid and for the lure anglers 5”-7” soft plastics are doing the trick.

Remember, these are solid fish and you don’t need to fill the boat to get a feed. So keep just one or two and pop the rest back for next time.

There has also been some very hot jewfish action in the lake over the past month and this should continue for some months.

Some bait fishos have managed up to nine jewies in a session. Unfortunately, some anglers are keeping far too many fish and all they are doing is giving local anglers a bad name.

It’s one thing to have a successful day on the water and keep a good fish or two but nailing up to nine jewfish and several large flathead in a session and posting pictures of the dead fish all over internet forums may make some guys feel good about their efforts but unfortunately all they are doing is harming the fish stocks for the future and giving the sport a bad name.

It really is disheartening to see this go on when the majority of local anglers are doing their part to promote the sport in a positive way and manage our stocks sensibly.

OFFSHORE

Offshore fishing is looking promising. There have been some fantastic shark captures recently with some quality makos and some tiger sharks to 400kg in the mix.

The trailer-boat brigade from the Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club have been doing very well and local boat Redemption has been getting into the thick of it.

When not shark fishing the boys have been doing well on the offshore kingfish grounds with some very productive days jigging in the deep.

Those keen to grab a feed for the table are in luck as well. Things are certainly not firing on the inshore reefs but there is a feed to be caught for those that put in the time.

Flathead have been taken around the reef edges and some good bream and trevally from the harder ground.

The rocks are worth a shot at the moment with some good bags of bream from the washes. There have also been a few kings and they should improve as the water continues to warm.

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