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Marlin offshore, jewies inshore
  |  First Published: December 2006



The first marlin of the local season was tagged in the last week of November by a Lake Macquarie game boat and on the same day five marlin were tagged out of Swansea.

Since then the season has heated up with numerous marlin caught throughout the December and this month the action will gain momentum. The water temperature should be hovering around 23° to 25°, the water a tropical blue and alive with baitfish.

I get an adrenalin rush every time I think about this scenario. Double and triple hook-ups on marlin can be experienced and the heat of the moment will be exhilarating, to say the least, and it should all continue well into March.

Those with small trailer boats don’t have to miss out. You need to venture east only around 12km to 15km to depths of around 140m and the marlin can be found. For those who this season catch their first marlin, take the time to experience something you will never forget and to witness one of the greatest creatures on this earth swim away is a tremendous feeling.

Last issue I commented on how prolific the jewfish have been and throughout December reports of jewfish from 3kg to 13kg came from all around our region. Lake Macquarie was the best area, especially at night. Spots such as the Dropover, Green Point, Coal Point and Pulbah Island and the artificial reefs are all worth a shot, especially at night.

On the beaches there have been more reports of regular jewfish captures and the holiday season will allow anglers chasing their first jewfish to exploit the conditions and devote the time to fish long into the night.

Be well stocked with tackle, though, because there are plenty of small sharks cruising the surf at night ready to take your rig along with the bait.

Those shoals of salmon have never been too far away and have provided offshore fishers with plenty of practice. You’ll find these ravenous fish in their thousands just off Swansea Heads and south to Moonee and Catherine Hill Bay eating any baitfish from small slimy mackerel to garfish and whitebait.

I find one of the most productive lures to use is the 50mm Squidgy Fish in silver fox pattern. The salmon are certainly fun to catch, especially on light line, but the most attractive thing about their presence is the that underneath the salmon schools are plenty of kingfish.

Some of these kingies are over 6kg and can be targeted in many ways. Troll deep divers or cast and jig soft plastic lures such as the 145mm Squidgy Flick Bait.

This is always a great month for lake prawns and there’s plenty of holiday fun to be had in the wee hours with just a scoop net, a bucket and a light. The best runs coming up will be from January 13 to 17 and February 12 to 16.

KEEP IT LEGAL

I can’t end this report without giving a warning to everyone that Maritime Authority and Fisheries officers will be on patrol in force this holiday season. I have had many ,many reports from fishers and boaters who have been stopped and audited for their safety gear and fishing licences, with on-the-spot fines imposed for infringements.

Fines will be incurred for not having enough lifejackets for everyone aboard, not carrying a radio, flares or v-sheet offshore and, of course, not having a fishing licence.

Be prepared to be boarded or inspected at least once this January throughout the Lake Macquarie area. For those travelling offshore from Swansea, Waterways officers will be waiting inside the Heads for you.

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