Quality flatties on offer
  |  First Published: May 2014

After a great summer’s fishing on Lake Macquarie it’s now time to turn our attention to the next few months of cooler weather and cold water species.

This is the start of the prime fishing period as far as I am concerned. I love the period each year from May through until Father’s Day. The water temperatures drop right off and the fishing heats right up! The lake really comes alive with a great deep water bite, and offshore also turns it on for everything from snapper on the reefs to tuna out wide on the Canyons and beyond.

The Lake

There are some great options here for most anglers during this time of year. The warm water species have now well and truly moved on and we have plenty of other great options on offer for the next few months.

There are some great salmon already being caught throughout the lake, with our clients scoring some great fish on the Sea Iron marine-grade stainless metal lures. These are proving very effective among the schooling fish throughout Salts Bay, with the early morning and late afternoon periods proving to be the most productive. There are some very solid fish in these schools and remember they are a great light tackle sportfish so don’t go overboard with your tackle and this will ensure you get the most fun out of them. As always, it’s a great fish to get new anglers into the sport so the kids love to get into a few salmon. For those who prefer bait fishing, lightly weighted pilchards are certainly getting plenty of solid hook-ups as well.

Some good bream are being landed throughout the lake at the moment and we have found them in slightly deeper water now. We have had good success with hardbody lures in the 2-3m areas of various bays in the lake. Chain valley Bay has also started to produce some good bream, with fish to 40cm being taken on small blades and soft plastics slowly worked along the bottom.

The increase in tailor schools also means the increase in some very good flathead and mulloway catches. You will find good mulloway hanging on the edges of these tailor schools, and flathead also lay under these same schools, cleaning up the scraps left behind by the tailor feeding on smaller baitfish. For the best results on flathead you must ensure your lure is on the bottom. Even if the weather picks up a little, just increase your jighead weights. Jigging large soft plastics is very effective, with good numbers of flathead on offer and fish to over 80cm on the cards.

For the mulloway your best option for luring is to throw 3-5” soft plastics and try to work the mid water column. Several colours have been stand-outs, with clear/whites working well, black/gold, black/silver and the new 5” Madeye prawns doing very well.

Bait fishers are having great success with whitebaits rigged on 1/0-2/0 hooks on a short 45cm trace and just enough lead to get the bait on the bottom. Stick to this and you will have more than enough flathead coming on board.


The action has slowed for those anglers chasing pelagic fish such as marlin and mahi mahi. The mahi mahi season this year was fantastic to say the least. Most boats on most occasions were returning from a day’s fishing at the Fisheries FADs with a nice feed of fresh fish, and it was good to see so many legal size fish coming from the FADs this year (they have been a little disappointing in the past couple of seasons).

With water temps now cooling right off, the mahi mahi bite has cooled off as well. The marlin die-hards will now turn their attention to wider grounds and larger tackle, as there should be some good blue marlin out and about on the wide canyons and beyond. Generally a lot less marlin than you will see on your summertime inshore runs, but the fish are usually much larger and mostly stubborn blue marlin out wide. Time to spool up the 37kg outfits and hold on!

Yellowfin tuna numbers should also start to increase now and we can expect a much better showing from them out around the same grounds as the blue marlin. You will generally be fishing wider grounds during these cooler months for your gamefish, so ensure you keep an eye on the weather and stay in touch with a few other boats as well. If you’re targeting yellowfin for the day, ensure you have a good supply of pilchards on board. The best plan of attack is to troll a spread of lures until the fish are located, and then you are ready to lay a pilchard berley trail and float out a rigged-up pilchard amongst the burley pieces.

As for lures, you will find greens, pinks and purples are good colours and 6-8” skirted lures which are slightly heavier than your usual marlin lures are the go. Be sure to mix the spread up a little and include a weighted metal jet head lure in the pattern.

Rock and Beach

Anglers who brave the colder weather are also being rewarded with some solid bream being caught in the ocean washes. Prawns are proving very effective and are doing most of the damage, but pilchard cubes are also accounting for their fair share of the action. Anglers flicking lures are getting into some hot salmon fishing, and metals and stickbaits are proving to be go-to lures for these fish.

Just a reminder that our new shop is now open so if you get the chance, pop in and say g’day at Jayro Tackle 396 Pacific Hwy Belmont NSW. We have a big selection of tackle and fantastic bait on offer.

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