With water temperatures at their peak and the clarity that couldn’t get much better, the sky is the limit for those targeting whatever species they desire.
The Lake Macquarie sensations of the moment are jewfish, which are in available numbers and size. The largest jewfish I have heard of lately is a huge 34kg and my sources tell me that fish averaging 6kg to 10kg have been common for the night fishos.
The deeper locations of Fennel Bay, Coal Point and the Marks Point drop-over have proven over time to be the most productive spots. Live squid are the best bait with Swansea Channel providing plenty of them around 15cm to 25cm long.
The same baits will also attract the kingies that still make their home around the Swansea Bridge.
The shallow sand flats of the channel have been harbouring big numbers of whiting for the previous few months but I must say I’ve never seen them so thick, they’re in their hundreds. One customer told me he was catching fish up to 40cm on mullet strips, so they must have been thick. More conventional tactics involve unweighted or very lightly weighted baits on 2kg to 4kg line.
As for the other two estuary favourites , the trusty bream and flathead, their numbers are pretty healthy as well. Those targeting the flatties have had their best catches on whole squid and live poddy mullet. The shallows are alive with mullet.
The shallows of the western side of the lake are ideal spots for the flathead. Fishing Point, Wyee Point, Killaben and Crangan Bay are some of the better spots, to name a few.
Bream anglers haven’t been disappointed, either. I’ve told a few customers to try a small float to help suspend the bait just above the weed. It also helps to move the bait around, especially at night.
Most of the weed beds of Village Bay, Salts Bay and Belmont Bay are great spots for night breaming.
And After it was shaping up to be a lean year for the crabs, blue swimmers have been showing up in good numbers.
Previous months should have delivered better offshore fishing but better late than never, as they say.
The Swansea FAD has been doing its job and delivering plenty of mahi mahi. The only hassle is that the FAD’s popularity is proving to be a bit of a problem with up to 20 boats there at any one time.
This is where a bit of etiquette comes into play. Everyone should take their turn at five to 10 minutes of casting and then drift away to make room for other boats. The diving fraternity should also consider this – give everyone a go.
Some good snapper to 7kg have been coming from the deeper reefs around The Farm and the Shark Fin. The next six weeks will be prime snapper fishing time.
Some anglers are still using standard monofilament line in the deeper water. Take a tip and don’t go out there without braid, you’ll have a better chance at hooking more fish.
The ABT Lake Macquarie Bream Classic will be on May 19 to 21 with a $5000 first prize and cash prizes down to fifth place. There will also be activities for the kids with casting competitions and ‘small fry’ lure training courses from Adam ‘Mad Dog’ Royter.
For more info, visit www.fishermanswarehouse.com.au or call me on 02 4945 2152.
This slab of a river garfish, caught in Lake Macquarie, weighed an astonishing 340g – a horse by garfish standards.Reads: 1969