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Get into fantastic fishing
  |  First Published: March 2014



Sometimes you need to pinch yourself to make sure it’s real and that often happens when you live here at Lake Macquarie. I never get tired of seeing the gorgeous water colours along Swansea channel, and the great thing is that the fishing isn’t too bad either.

To be honest, lately the fishing has been fantastic and so has the weather. It’s all happening here at the moment with a good kingfish run for another season, plenty of bream on the flats, whiting schools hammering surface lures and the marlin bite in full swing. And that’s just the start of it! The good news is that the fishing should stay this way for a little while still.

OFFSHORE

Offshore fishing is HOT at the moment for our local anglers. I generally start off my report with the lake action but this month it’s all about the offshore scene and those stick-face fish (marlin) we love to catch during the warmer months off our East Coast. At this time of year they can be found feeding on bait balls, sometimes in shallow waters only 20-30 fathoms. This makes for some great fishing for the trailerboat anglers who can’t reach the wide grounds of the Shelf and Canyons. In saying that, it is still very important to keep an eye on the weather and put safety first, even when the bite is not far offshore.

The bite at the moment has seen action for our fleet of boats as far south as Terrigal and as far north as Port Stephens and everywhere in between. Water temps are now well up over the mid 20s. Baitfish such as slimy mackerel are plentiful and so are gamefish such as marlin, sharks and mahi mahi. The Fisheries FADs have plenty of mahi mahi action although the fish are mainly undersize. Still, they are great fun on bream gear, and there’s always the chance of a bigger fish. A drifted live yakka will often do the trick.

For those wanting marlin you basically have two options. You can troll a spread of skirted gamefishing lures or you can slow troll live slimy macks on a circle hook around the bait balls. The Car Park off port Stephens is a prime place for this method but be warned it’s called the Car Park for a good reason.

Most anglers chasing marlin these days are happy to take a quick few photos and send these fish back on their way to fight another day. If you’re new to the sport the idea of putting in all this effort and money to catch one fish only to let it go may sound a bit crazy, but once you experience the thrill of fighting one of these beasts you will find it much more satisfying to swim them and see them off for next time when you’re on the big blue.

LAKE

The Lake is fishing equally as hot as our offshore waters. Some fantastic kingfish are being taken from the Swansea bridge area and also within the lake itself. Remember that kingfish love structure so things like bridges, channel markers and so forth are their thing, and this is where you will have the best chance of getting into a few. There are plenty of rats in the mix but also no shortage of quality kings to 85cm being landed on drifted live squid. Some anglers are also seeing great results trolling live squid off a downrigger.

Those anglers looking for a nice feed of fresh fish will love to know that the whiting are going crazy over surface lures. This action should continue as long as this hot weather and a warm water lasts. Damiki Umpa poppers are working well, and clear colours in all brands are again proving very popular. Whiting to 40cm are being taken, and on light gear in 1-2ft of water this makes for some very exciting fishing.

There are also good numbers of bream in the shallows with 30-36cm fish very common, and some real thumpers to the magical 40cm mark also being encountered. Straight through fluoro line is very effective for this style of fishing as the waters are very clear. The transparent fluoro line makes the lure appear very natural, and the fish are less likely to be spooked. Shallow running hardbody lures are the go for this style of fishing, with the new Pro Lure S36 doing well for us on our recent trips.

Bait anglers have been hooking into plenty of bream as well. Drifting through shallow areas with your bait suspended under a float just above the weed is producing the goods and it’s not much trouble to get a quick bag of solid bream doing so.

Some great flathead have been landed as well, and I’ve had more than a few nail my shallow running hardbody lures while I’ve been chasing bream on the flats. Bait anglers have found some nice flathead in the deep hole of Pulbar Island and also drifting through Belmont Bay. Just remember that if your bait is not on the bottom you’re wasting your time. You need just enough lead to be sure it’s bouncing along the seabed and you will see some great flatties.

Squid action in the lake has been pretty crazy this past month and I expect it to continue. They are abundant throughout the lake with great numbers from the Swansea channel and even well into the lake. I usually drift one out the back while I’m lure fishing. If you do this you’ll get a tasty feed of salt and pepper squid in no time at all.

Just a reminder that we have opened our new tackle shop at Unit 1/396 Pacific Hwy, Belmont. For trading hours and updates check out our website at www.jayrotackle.com.au.

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