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Autumn looms, but the fishing remains hot
  |  First Published: March 2015



Well it’s coming to an end all too quickly for another year. Summer is just about done and dusted, but what a season it has been. There was plenty of hot weather and plenty of hot fishing to go with it around Lake Macquarie over these warmer months.

The next couple of months also provide some fantastic fishing as a rule, and I see no reason this year will be any different. It is also a time of year when we generally start to get a little more settled wind patterns for the next 2-3 months, before the dreaded winter weather starts to kick in. Water temperatures have pretty well peaked now, and it will basically start to fall after this month, but don’t be put off as there is still loads of great fishing opportunities out there for those anglers keen to get into a few.

The Lake has fished very well over the summer months, with plenty on offer. There are loads of mulloway throughout for those that know where to look, and a variety of techniques have been producing the goods. Live baits and large soft plastics are by far the 2 most effective methods, but quality California squid have also been scoring well for anglers. As for lures, many of our clients are using the Smash Bait 8” plastics with great results, and all the colour options appear to be working.

Remember, it’s not all about cold nights and long, dark hours to get into a few Lake mulloway. I would very confidently say that those that fish for them and are good at it, would score more during the hours of 6.00am-6.00pm than after dark. It is far more important to work out productive locations if you want success on Lake Mac mulloway.

Kingfish have been about in both size and numbers again this year, which is always great to see. Swansea Bridge has been very productive, with 2 very different methods being equally effective. Some anglers are scoring well working large poppers, while others are having luck working micro jigs through the area. Jigs of 20-30g are doing the trick.

Kings are also about in good numbers inside, with Coal Point and Wangi both producing, and the channel markers about the dropoff holding quality specimens to 90cm. Down-rigged live squid are certainly a favourite for Lake Mac kings, that’s for sure.

Squid numbers have risen sharply again. This is great for those looking at securing some quality live baits, but also for others like me who are more interested in fresh salt and pepper squid for dinner.

Bream have been exceptional this past month, and should continue to bite. They are in good condition and generally in that 30-35cm range, with some more respectable fish nudging 40cm. Lure anglers have been having a great time with them. Soft plastics worked around moored boats and jetties along the shoreline has been successful, and those fishing shallow diving hardbodies around the many flats throughout the system have also done well. Remember, for best results, fish as light as you can and success will come your way. You will be surprised about the quality fish you can still pull in on 2-3lb fluorocarbon fished straight through.

Bait anglers have also been rewarded, and fishing lightly weighted peeled prawns is producing top bags of bream. Many bait soakers are also scoring whiting over 40cm in these same areas.

Offshore fishing has been great around the wider grounds off Swansea. There have been plenty of mahimahi present again this year. Trolling small skirted lures has worked, as has fishing live yakkas around the fish traps and FADs. Not only a very striking fish to look at, the mahimahi is also one of the better eating fish in the sea, so be sure to look after your catch in a saltwater ice slurry and you will be sitting down to a very nice meal at the end of your day out.

Marlin fishing has also been good, and there should still be a little more left in the season just yet. As mentioned in previous reports, there are a few ways to entice a bite from one of these magnificent fish. Trolling a spread of quality game lures is certainly one way to do it. Generally the marlin will be blacks and stripes, so lures should be around 10” for those trolled closest to the boat, and then as small as 5-6” for those being run from the ’riggers and shotgun positions.

If the marlin are schooled up and feeding on bait balls of slimies, then you are far better off to load the bait tank with fresh livies and slow troll a pair around. The marlin really can show up anywhere during summer and they are not just on the wide grounds either. There is often fish in the 20-30f area, out around the FADs and traps, the shelf, and then as wide as the canyons will all have marlin in residence when the bait is present. Keep an eye on the sounder and your surroundings.

Rock fishing has picked up nicely, with plenty of bonito and some solid kingfish in the mix. Casting metals from the rocks is a very effective way that many locals use when chasing these summer pelagics. Make sure you have a good mix of colours, as it seems 1 day they are hitting pink and the next it could be green or blue. Many anglers like to catch live baits when fishing the stones and float one out under a balloon while they concentrate their efforts on spinning up the usual bonito and smaller kings. It is generally the larger offering of a live bait that scores those kings that really give you a workout off the rocks. They never give in easily, which is most of the appeal with these brutes.

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Danielle Goddard with a cracking 40cm bream that took a liking to her Asakura lure.

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Young Lachlan Kay with his first-ever bream on a hardbody. It was landed on an Austackle Ranger lure in black.

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Allan De Sylva with a very nice mahimahi. Not only a great fish, but from a 13’ tinnie it makes it so much better.

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