Well I can safely say that the ‘flood’ novelty has well and truly worn off and most fishermen have been itching to get out and wet a line.
Our waterways in the early part of July were still recovering from the dirty floodwaters of the devastating 1-in-40-year storms that Newcastle experienced, leaving massive amounts of damage throughout.
But to every negative there is a positive. All our estuaries and waterways have received the best flushing in many years. Nutrients have been regenerated and stirred up from the sea bottom which in turn provides a healthier feeding medium.
In some locations the bottom contours would have changed slightly with the bottom sediment being swept and swirled around.
Our local beaches are a good testimony to this. Just have a walk along some of our beaches and you will notice that the dunes have had significant sand loss and shift caused from the huge, unforgiving seas.
So all is not lost. We can look forward to some exciting fishing throughout August.
Those who did brave the cold, wild fishing conditions came up trumps with some outstanding catches.
Local Christian McInerny fished some of his secret sunken wrecks in Belmont Bay during the turbulent time. On each of his three afternoon fishing outings, Christian experienced murky, cold water while chasing snapper but achieved his 10-fish bag limit of snapper on each occasion, with most fish averaging 38cm.
He fished from around 3pm and late into the evening, floating pilchards and prawns.
Because of the removal of the professional fishing component, Lake Macquarie’s fishability is increasing each year and it is becoming an estuary fisho’s dream destination. Reports like Christian’s and others of just-legal kingfish, for example, are becoming more frequent.
So most months of the year, including August, won’t change a great deal because these two species will frequent the lake year round.
Locations such as the Marks Point drop-over, Belmont Bay boat wrecks and the Green Point drop-over are some of the spots to try. Use your fish finder to locate the areas where the deep meets the shallower ledges. These are the spots where the baitfish congregate and in turn the larger predators will be looking for a feed. For GPS waypoints of the boat wrecks, call me on 02 4945 2152.
Each year luderick fishing gains in popularity. Our coastal estuaries and ocean rocks offer plenty of luderick action and Swansea Heads is probably one of the most popular spots to try.
If you not geared up for it, be prepared to spend around $180 for a rod/reel combo and some terminal gear and you’re in! These fish are great sport and not bad eating. You can also expect to get hooked up with some big drummer and bream, which isn’t a bad thing.
Two of our staff members Luke and Chris, ventured up to South West Rocks recently to chase cobia. They returned home with six specimens, the largest intact and uncleaned to get a more accurate weight.
After weighing the cobia at a healthy 23kg, the fish’s gut was cut open. The stomach was full and solid and when opened, revealed a 5cm red rock crab still intact and three small stingrays around 7cm in diameter. The tail barb of a stingray had punctured the cobia’s stomach lining and was protruding into the gut cavity.
When cleaning the fish I catch I always find it interesting to find out what the fish have been eating. This information can be extremely helpful when trying to understand the feeding patterns of your targeted species.
So the cobia is sometimes referred to as the ‘crab eater’ and they are believed to follow stingrays, manta rays and large fish or sharks. I guess the evidence proves the tales but this was a true case of cobia indigestion.