Offshore action heating up
  |  First Published: October 2014

The fishing is a little like the weather at the moment, it just keeps getting better. Regardless of whether you’re fishing Lake Macquarie, the local beaches or rock ledges or even offshore, things are certainly on the improve. Hopefully the chill of winter is well and truly behind us for another year.

Lake Mac

Water temps are now on the rise and so are fish numbers which is great to see. There is plenty on offer at the moment with some very good bags of flathead being landed. Most fish are around the 40-60cm size and it’s great to see many anglers releasing the bigger girls to continue with their breeding within our lake. Some good catches have come from the north part of the lake, with Bolton Point and the Toronto area producing its fair share of good bags.

Lately 3-5” plastics have been very productive, and by far the most popular for us at the shop have been the Damiki 3.2” Ghost Shads. The darker colours are doing very well in this particular range of lures.

Bait fishers have also been doing very well, with pilchard cubes producing good numbers of flathead down along the drop-over area. Now the water temps have begun rising it’s well worth concentrating your efforts in shallower waters, so anywhere from 0.5m-6m will be the pick for the next few months. Generally those 7-10 areas will start to go quiet now on the flathead front.

I’ve been putting in some effort lately getting back into the bream action and I’ve been getting some good results. I did try some deep water marks but none of them produced, so I started hitting moored boats and even a few early season shallow sessions and they both produced for us. We picked up some solid bream to 40cm on lures, with slow sinking stickbaits such as the Strike Pro Sprat Stick working well around the moored boats. Over the shallows we have been getting our best fish off shallow diving hardbody lures, and the Asakura range has been producing for us.

The bait brigade has landed some very healthy bags of bream over the past month. Prawns and pilchard cubes rigged on light running sinker rigs with small 1 and 1/0 hooks have been effective. Salts Bay has been a good location and this same area has produced some healthy blackfish bags as well over the past month.

For those anglers who have been lucky enough to land a mulloway in this great lake of ours I’m sure you would all agree just what an important and valuable fish this is to have in our local system. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Joel Edwards who has been participating in the NSW RAP-ANSA pilot mulloway tagging project. The information gathered by the anglers taking part in this research is extremely valuable with regards to knowledge of mulloway movements, growth rates and post release survival rates in NSW waterways. The program has seen over 120 mulloway tagged and released so far and Joel himself has been able to tag and release seven within Lake Macquarie. This is an ongoing program and I’ll continue to give updates of its success as they are passed to me.

Kingfish in summertime has become a very popular activity for local anglers over the past few seasons, and the catches seem to start earlier each year. I know last year saw some great results produced during October so I would certainly suggest getting out now and giving it a go if the Lake Mac kingfish is on your list of wanted species. By far the most popular technique has been downrigging squid. Large frozen California squid, live squid and even squid strips all produce at times.


The action is heating up offshore. We’ve had some cracking tuna action over the past few months with both yellowfin and bluefin tuna over 80kg being landed wide offshore.

Now as we move into warmer weather we’re hoping to see a solid marlin bite this season as well. It may be a little early for most crews at this stage but it won’t be long now when a few early bite starts to be reported and the crews start putting in more hours chasing the mighty marlin. At the moment I’d suggest your best bet would be a spread of skirted game lures in the 6-9” size range. As we move more into summer itself and the true marlin bite kicks in, live baiting the bait balls will be the best option.

Remember you don’t need a huge boat or need to run 35nm out to sea to tangle with marlin; plenty are taken off our waters in 30-60 fathoms so certainly don’t think you are missing out if you don’t have access to a 40ft vessel.

Rock and beach

The action is still a little in between seasons however some kingfish and other pelagics have started to be encountered by the guys fishing the stones. The past month has seen some very nice drummer being landed with large prawns producing great results. As the sea temps now start to rise the action for those flicking lures off the rocks will really pick up. Some very big kings and bonito are caught every year so take care and get out there and find a few.

We have some very good specials on Tweed Bait at Jayro Tackle at the moment including WA block pilchards at ONLY $11/block so check us out at 1/396 Pacific Hwy Belmont.

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