An end to the wet season
  |  First Published: May 2013

The past few months have reminded me of the wet season in the far north.

The runoff from the last flood is still running down the Hunter River and, sadly, there has been a massive fish kill and bass, catfish, eels, carp and mullet have been washed down the river in big numbers.

I am guessing that the low oxygen level in the floodwater was the cause, or at worst a floodgate with blackwater behind it had let go way upstream. Either way, the kill was significant in size and will hurt the system for a fair while to come.

There have been some huge seas on the Hunter Coast but they aren’t a bad thing at the moment, especially if they bring on the drummer season in a big way.

Around now the water temps will begin to plummet and all our Winter fish will start to show up.

The first sign of things to come is an influx of salmon and trevally. These fish signal the start of the winter change, as do the numbers of nannygai and leatherjackets that turn up over the inshore reefs.

Tailor and bream should be along the beaches at the moment and let’s hope a few school jewfish will be there also.

Time your beach outing around the days leading up to the new or full moon for best results.

Use the freshest squid you can find for the jewfish and for the bream, worms, pipis and prawns make the best baits.

This is a great month to target snapper off Newcastle. You might not get the biggest reds now but the numbers can make up for that. Try the Marbles, the Pines and the Dumping Grounds.

If you’re really keen, the reefs off Redhead fish well at this time of year but it’s a long run up to these reefs from Swansea or down from the Hunter.

Pilchard halves, fresh slimy mackerel fillets and squid work well over the reefs. Put a live bait out for a jewfish morning and night and have one floating around under a balloon for the kingfish that show up along this coast now.

A shark will also grab a surface live bait and a lot of school sharks such as whalers and white tips can be around just before the onset of Winter.

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