Early game season?
  |  First Published: October 2007

The signs of Spring are finally here with pleasant daily temperatures as well as sea currents bringing the warm-water creatures to confirm more appealing fishing conditions are coming.

In late August, Blacksmiths and Caves beaches were peppered with thousands of thumbnail-sized bluebottles washed up by the strong south-east winds. Bluebottles are a strong sign of warm currents so it’s possibly safe to say that we have some warmer currents farther offshore

Is it possible that these could signs of an early start to the game season?

The reports from August featured some healthy catches of yellowfin tuna from just beyond the continental shelf off Swansea and Port Stephens. Most of these fish ere 15kg to 30kg and were caught by trolling lures and cubing. Some fish were also caught out off Broken Bay and Sydney.

Many anglers reported sighting plenty of schools of sauries (garfish-like baitfish) in the blue 19° water. Some free-swimming marlin were also sighted. The first marlin of the season could come be claimed sooner than expected.


Over the past two months I have had numerous reports fishos putting out crab traps while wetting a line in Lake Macquarie and, more often than not, most have came home with better than expected catches of blue swimmer crabs.

The most favoured locations were Green Point, Wyee Bay and Point Wolstoncroft. So with the better weather upon us, try to take the time to plant some witches’ hats. Remember, only five are allowed per person and you must have your name and address printed on the floats. Any other forms of trap are banned.


Big whiting should be about in numbers by now. In recent months some anglers explored the possibilities of whiting in the clear lake waters with mixed results. Most of the well-known sand flats of Swansea Channel produced some reasonable catches of whiting to 35cm.

Although the water temperature is still around 18°, the whiting are in numbers but they tend not to feed as ravenously as they do when the water warms. It can be frustrating when you can see so many fish cruising the shallows but they seem smart enough to avoid capture.

So what to do? Fish as light as possible, and I mean light. Try going down to as little as 1kg or 2kg leaders. This will test your fishing skills but, after all, this is what fishing is all about, isn’t it?


Special mention must be made of the team that scooped the pool at the recent Lake Macquarie Game Fish Club’s presentation night . Running Bear, a Mariner 43, took out highest point score for champion boat tag and release and Jason Nunn was champion angler, tag and release. The crew members were owner George Clift, skipper Duncan Manderson and Jamie Morgan. They received a total of 10 awards for the season as well as winning the tag and release section of the Big Fish Bonanza tournament in February.

The majority of the marlin were caught using skirted lures. They also put their results down to persistence, fishing every second weekend and attention to high-quality equipment and terminal tackle.

• If you have questions on any boating/fishing topics, fishing locations or equipment-related issues, email me and I’ll be happy to help you out.

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