Consistent estuary catches
  |  First Published: June 2007

The lateness of our fishing seasons has done nothing but make the fishing in Lake Macquarie more beneficial to the local anglers and the fishing just gets better.

Most estuary species have been reported in reasonable numbers but the most interesting part is that of the consistency and frequency of the catches.

Most favourite locations have produced bream. Salts Bay in Swansea Channel, Fennels Bay, Wyee Point, Swan Bay and Green Point have regularly turned up bream to 30cm. Those fishing with soft plastics have had a field day on the bream and have also caught some decent snapper to 40cm – not a bad by-catch.

Reasonable numbers of big whiting are also in abundance throughout the channel and all the shallow sandflats.

Although we know the best bait is live blood worms, some have experimented with small surface lures with interesting results. The 4g Smith Towadi and the Yamashita Plop & Skip have been working a treat. These Japanese lures are of the highest quality and detail and this type of fishing can be the best fun you’ll ever experience.

I recommend Japanese YGK brand Nitlon PE braid on your reel because it is softer and more castable than many other braids.

Small jewfish have been consistently taking whole fresh squid and whole pike. Those keen to target the jewies should try The Trench off Green Point or closer to Fennel Bay Bridge, or the western side of the drop-over at Marks Point.

You’ll need to be prepared to fish long hours at night and sometimes you might come home empty-handed, but that’s fishing.

The mullet are thick and the commercial netters have made big hauls from the mouth of the channel, including ones of 40 tonnes and 12 tonnes. With these mullet around, try the beaches for jewfish.

Kingfish should be around for some time yet around Swansea Bridge and the Marks Point drop-over. Live squid and surface poppers are your best bets.

Squid have finally turned up in numbers in certain parts of the lake. Try the same spots as I’ve just outlined for the kingfish, the run out tide is the better time.

If you have ever spent time chasing squid in Lake Macquarie then you’ll understand how frustrating it can be when they just don’t seem to be there, especially when you intend to chase jew or kingies with the squid you haven’t yet caught.

Again the Japanese have come up with two dynamic squid jigs that stand out from the rest. The Yamashita Golden Bait and the Yo-Zuri Shrimp Hunter have been responsible for taking more squid than any other jigs on the market. At $24.99 , they are expensive but will make a difference, especially when you are chasing the bigger squid. Try to stick with the 2.5 (10g) size.

Try jigging at night around the bridge under the lights or at Belmont Wharf just south of the Belmont Sixteen Footers.

It’s about time the crabs have shown up. The Summer season didn’t really show any consistent catches but this month they should improve.

Best spots to place your traps are in front of the Sixteen Footers, off the shore at Balcolyn, Cams Wharf, Wyee Point, Fishing Point and the western side of Swansea, just adjacent to the old fishermen’s co-op.

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