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Bountiful flathead
  |  First Published: November 2007



Our favourite time of year for fishing and boating is just about here.

Flathead reports have been excellent over the past month although the water has been cool. November will bring on a bountiful harvest; the lake has been without professional fishing for almost five years and the results are certainly showing.

All the sand flats throughout Swansea Channel will be worthwhile. Pay special attention to the area around Coon Island, a known big-flathead location. Soft plastics or live baits will produce results.

Without commercial netting, flounder catch rates have been increasing. The popular way to target these fish is by simply drifting throughout the deeper areas. Belmont Bay, Green Point and the southern end of the lake all will be productive.

JEWFISH HEAVEN.

Those who live for fishing into the wee hours for jewfish won’t be disappointed. Reports have been coming in thick and fast with fish up to 20kg with plenty of schoolies up to 7kg.

Fresh lake squid are the go, although specific locations are kept close to the chests of most successful anglers. Spots to target include deeper drop-offs like those at the back of Swansea Fishermen’s Co-op, Green Point and the ever-faithful Coal Point headland.

Squid are starting to come around thick and fast with some bigger specimens being caught at Swansea Heads.

SHALLOW BREAM

My contacts have been consistently telling me sightings of schools of bream swimming in the shallows of the Swansea Channel so this bream season should be a bumper. Salts Bay, Swan Bay and Myuna Bay will all be targets for keen lure fishos and they shouldn’t be disappointed.

One spot that mostly gets left alone is Swansea bridge. This has to be one of the best artificial structures in the lake.

It’s so simple to fish along its well-encrusted pylons which offer a natural feeding chain for bream.

Soft plastics or bait can be worked with some unexpected results. Mixed catches include bream and snapper and some big kingfish can reduce your tackle box stocks.

BOAT PREPARATION

When your boat has been in storage for some time without regular maintenance, it is almost inevitable that you will be faced with some problems the first time you go to use it.

First up is the all-too-common seized steering. Let me paint the picture: You’ve packed the boat ready for your weekend fishing trip and after you have launched and started the engine, as you try to depart you discover that the steering has locked up.

What’s happened? The mechanical steering cable where it joins the front of the motor has frozen in the steering tube due to lack of use and poor lubrication.

The repair can be costly. To reduce the cause of this problem, simply lubricate the steering rod periodically at the front of your motor with light machine oil – not grease – and move the motor from side to side when not in use. Every couple of weeks is ideal.

This problem won’t occur if you have hydraulic steering.

Next come fuel problems. It’s simple: Don’t use fuel more than six months old. It becomes stale and can cause internal damage to your engine. Dispose of it and top up with fresh fuel.

And don’t forget your battery. Batteries should be periodically charged while the boat is not in use to maintain their condition and quality.

Lubricating the trailer wheel bearings will also avoid those awful roadside traumas you see happening so often. It’s good practice to jack up the trailer, spin the wheel and rock it from side to side to check the condition of the bearings.

If you experience some growling sounds or looseness when you rock it, the bearings should be replaced. Don’t take the chance.

Local Linc Johnston loves targeting bream by the Swansea bridge – an often overlooked spot.

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