Flathead will become much more active this month, as water temperatures inside the bay rise each day. The best areas to find them will be towards the back end of the port, particularly the Karuah River system, from the bridge up to Allworth. Other areas worth a look will be North Arm Cove and the shallow flats around Lemon Tree and Tanilba Bay.
Last month I mentioned that if previous years were anything to go off, we should see a few kingfish showing up inside the estuary. Sure enough, they did, with a few fish caught off the Nelson Bay rockwall and many more lost. The good news is the kings are just starting and should only get better.
If you want to give them a crack, pick an early morning tide change, preferably the high. Arm yourself with an assortment of stickbaits and poppers. You could also get a few live squid, which are dynamite on the kings, and send them out suspended about 2-3m under a float.
Mulloway will be a possibility along the Nelson Bay rockwall, Corlette Wreck and the deep water around Soldiers Point. A live yellowtail or slimy mackerel is your best chance to get connected. After another fantastic year, luderick are tapering off, but you should still be able to manage a few this month fishing the high tides along the rockwall or Little Beach jetties with fresh weed or cabbage.
There’s still some good tailor around the beaches. I’ve been hitting Fingal spit on a weekly basis, casting 30g stickbaits just before dark. I haven’t missed landing some with quality greenbacks and the odd thumping salmon too. Box Beach and Samurai are other good areas worth a try at some afternoon or early morning tailor. If you’re not a lure person, a ganged pilchard or garfish will also work a treat.
A few good catches of school sized mulloway to 20lb were reported after dark along Stockton and Samurai beaches. The anglers had the most success using whole beach worms on 4/0 long shank hooks. The good thing about fishing this method for mulloway, is you often end up with a great mixed bag of bream, whiting, salmon and flathead – common by-catches.
It’s a quiet time off the rocks, however you can still rustle up some good pigs and bream around the white water. Cast lightly weighted cunjevoi or peeled prawns. Tailor are another option from the stones at the moment, mainly around the headlands. You might even run into a king or a few early season bonito, especially when throwing lures.
Bigger kings are starting to get about, particularly around Fingal and Broughton Island. Afternoon and early morning sessions have been accounting for plenty of reds, with good reports coming from anglers fishing unweighted baits around Fishermans Bay and Fingal Island. Soft plastic anglers are having the most success inside the lure-only zone around Edith Breakers.
Out wide and Allmark Mountain have been producing a few kings. Live baits or 300-400g knife jigs are doing the damage. It always pays to have a bottom fish while you’re at the mountain too, with the chance of long fin perch, snapper, gemfish and the occasional bar cod on the cards.
Flathead should become a lot more active this month.
A nice school sized mulloway taken on a whole beach worm.
The author with a quality tailor spun on Fingal Beach.Reads: 537