Bream, whiting are surf stars
  |  First Published: February 2007

With the holidays over and the water traffic less busy, it’s time to get out and seek out the fish.

Bream and whiting have been the major players in our region over the holidays with beach fishing a major drawcard. Beaches from Stockton south to Redhead mean miles of water to fish and finding a quiet spot shouldn’t be too hard. Whiting this Summer seem to be on steroids and even fish just under a kilo have not been rare.

Bream also have been moving freely along the beaches and anglers have been having a ball with them, especially during the evening. The best baits for the bream and whiting have been pipis and worms with peeled prawns the next best option if you can’t pull worms from the sand. Surprisingly, salmon have lingered late this year and could become a year-round proposition going on current trends.

The Hunter River has also been producing well. The Pro Bream final in early December produced some great captures around the harbour and the fish should still be around as you read this.

Don’t forget to take a few witches’ hats or dilly pots because the crabs have moved in. Put them out from the boat ramp at Sandgate on the Northern Channel down to the woodchip terminal.

Flathead seem to have been moving all over the place with reports one day of good numbers up around Tomago, then someone will hit a patch in the Harbour. Drifting with pilchards or flicking lures along the edges is the best option if you can’t get some live poddy mullet.

My son and I fished recently for flathead under Nobbys light. We fished for a good two hours with livebait between Big Ben Reef and the light and every hook-up was a Port Jackson shark. They fight well, especially when they’re about 1.5m long and my 11-year-old son thought it was fantastic. He showed me we all seem to take a different angle on the way we look at fish species.

These sharks are protected so we carefully put them back in. My son said it was one of the best trips we have had for a while so if you’re a dad, take the time to think as your offspring would and look at the kids’ smiles when they catch something. Salmon, carp, wobbegongs, Port Jackson sharks – to them it doesn’t matter, only the size and the amount of action.

My young bloke was a little disappointed not to be able to take one home to show his Mum but we got some good photos, which kept him happy enough.

This month I would be looking to fish the beaches through the week when they’re not so busy. You should be able to find worms or pipis right on the spot and if you can’t, some quality peeled prawns on sharp 1/0 suicide hooks should work through the day. Change up to a 2/0 as the sun sets and have a larger rig with a squid or mullet out for a school jew or a big flathead.

The Newcastle Ports Authority is reminding anglers that any shipping has right of way over small boats. Two anglers cut across the path of an incoming ship not long back, as did a sailing boat. Both skippers were cautioned on these occasions but a hefty fine is in the offing for anyone disrupting the movements of the ships. If a ship is moving in or out, stay out of it’s way. Most of us do the right thing but a few don’t seem to care until they pay the penalty in the form of a fine or even a collision.

If you’re heading down to lake Macquarie, drop in at the new BCF shop at Bennets Green, you can see it from the highway. I’m sure the guys there will set you on the right path to getting a few fish.

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