Mulloway magic
  |  First Published: August 2013

We are well and truly into the chilly stuff now and I must say that I absolutely love it. I probably couldn’t handle it for too much longer but it has been a great winter on Lake Macquarie and the fishing has been fantastic to say the least.

I have only lived here for around nine years now and I cannot remember having so many good mulloway on the chew. And the flathead, well they have been huge and in good numbers.

Did I mention how cold it’s been?

The Lake has really turned it on this winter and we have seen some great fish taken. The mulloway have been the standout with loads of fish taken and well and truly dispelling many myths about them with the majority of fish being taken during the day and on lures.

There have not been too many huge mulloway, but they have made up for it in numbers, that’s for sure! Some guys are landing half a dozen mulloway in 3-4 hour sessions, which is great fishing in anyone’s books. The majority of these fish are in that 4-10kg range with the odd larger model among them. Those brave anglers doing all-nighters with live baits are also being rewarded with several good mulloway ranging from 1-1.2m and fresh squid has proved to be a top bait for these anglers.

Flathead have been the other standout fish in Lake Macquarie over the winter months. We have found some cracking fish from the southern parts through to the northern areas of the lake. The key is to find the bait in the 8-12m depth areas and work under the bait schools. We have managed loads of good fish from 50cm through to high 80cm. We have concentrated on getting some great pictures and releasing all these big girls this year and it’s a great feeling to know you won the battle but released them to hopefully do it all another day.

Fresh squid strips on 2/0 and 3/0 hooks are working well for the bait fishos and mullet strips have also accounted for their share of fish in the cooler months.

For us, the standout by far have been the soft plastic lures in the 4-6” range and the 5” Damiki Armour shad has been the winner hands down. As for colours (regardless of what lure you use) we have found the greens, whites and dark colours with glitter have been the producers.

There are also still plenty of salmon around, with Salts Bay continuing to be the pick of the spots. They are venturing well in the lake with fish being caught down as far as Mannering Park. There have also been some very good trevally caught in the lake and fish to 50cm have been landed, which are great to see and a welcome catch for those who are lucky enough to find solid fish like this as they are a great sport fish.

The bream fishing continues to fire and there have been some big fish to 45cm landed. Some anglers are doing well at night with a good berley trail and lightly weighted squid strips proving effective. The lure anglers have been finding some good fish in Chain Valley Bay with blade style lures working well.

Offshore fishing has been a real mix throughout winter. The kingfish have been great with some good fish and plenty of them. Deep water jigging and deep set live baits are again proving to be the most effective way of getting into some solid kings.

The deeper offshore reefs are producing and will continue to do so until the water warms and the fish move inshore. The offshore reefs are also producing the odd large mulloway to those soaking live baits with some great fish to 20kg being landed.

For game anglers, there are some good sharks being landed. On the troll, some small albacore tuna have been landed and the odd yellowfin tuna are among them. For one very lucky angler on a recent offshore charter, the capture of a small and rare Broadbill was a welcome addition to the days tally. The fish was released in great condition, which was great news.

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