With the weather really staring to warm up this month we can expect water temperature to do the same, both inside the estuary and outside the heads.
This should spell the end of the season for fish like luderick and drummer but it will come as a welcome trade off for pelagic species such as marlin, mahimahi and kingfish.
As predicted last month, kingfish have shown up in good numbers along both the Anchorage and Nelson Bay Rockwalls, with fish ranging from undersize through to 15kg. The fish here are often spoilt by a seemingly endless supply of tucker such as yellowtail, pike, cuttlefish, squid, garfish, and mullet. This means they will regularly turn there nose up at lures and sometimes even a live squid thrown in their face will get rejected. To maximize your chances of getting them eating your offering, concentrate your efforts around early morning tide changes.
Dusky flathead have pushed further down stream and are now being caught in good numbers around Corlette to Wanda Headland as well as the western side of Soldiers Point Through to Garden Island.
Mulloway are still hanging around the Corlette Wreck and while you will catch a few there during the day, it’s far more productive after dark.
The good thing about the wreck is you will catch your live bait there too, which is very convenient as you can arrive an hour before sunset, catch your bait then get straight into the serious stuff.
If your land-based the breakwall at Nelson Bay will also be a good option to get connected to a mulloway this month with again tide changes critical for success.
Mud crabs have been active around the feeder creeks of both the Karuah and Myall river systems. With the new rules allowing you to now have two crab traps out you will have double the chance at scoring a few of these tasty crustaceans. Be sure however that your trap float is marked as “crab trap” with your initial, surname, and date of birth as well as postcode.
Whiting are getting better and better with each week that rolls by, and it should only be a matter of getting yourself some worms and fishing a decent looking gutter on the high tide along Stockton, Samurai or Fingal Bay beaches. If you hang around after dark you will also be a big chance for a beach mulloway this month, especially around the full and new moon phases.
Plenty of anglers have been taking full advantage of now being able to cross the spit and access Fingal Island and while it’s a bit of hike, it’s usually worth the effort. The calm protected bays on the northern side of the Island have been producing plenty of squid as well as big blue grouper. The southern side of the Island before the Sanctuary zone starts has also been fishing well for snapper, tailor and kings.
Snapper are still in good numbers towards seal rocks with the ever consistent Edith Breakers racking up fish to 6kg for anglers throwing plastics early morning and late afternoon. Charter boats have also reported reddies on the 21 and Gibber Reefs with trag coming on the bite late afternoon and into the night.
With the FAD back in the water, it shouldn’t take too long before the mahimahi find it. Generally, the first patch of fish for the year taken from the FAD are often of much better quality then later in the season with specimens to 10kg and above not uncommon.
Looking at the sea surface charts right now I can see a very promising patch of warm water around the ‘car park’ area that would certainly be worth a crack at an early season marlin. I’m sure this month there will be a few caught, which will hopefully be the start of cracker game fishing season off Port Stephens.Reads: 1263