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Festive fishing season
  |  First Published: December 2016



The Earth’s rotation just keeps on getting faster and we’re at that time of year once more – Christmas is on our doorstep. As always, we’ll want to mix in a fair bit of angling while enjoying family time and the festivities of the season. Here are some of our holiday options.

Lake Cathie

With the lake open for a good period this season, it promises to be a beauty with nice clean water. Lake Cathie is perfect for all fishing activities. Whiting will be a main target and bait and lure fishos will have a ball on these. If you’re taking the kids for a fish, try nippers and beachworms. Rig your line with a small pea size ball sinker running to a number 4 long shank and you’ll be in the game.

For the lure fisho, this lake offers second to none surface action on whiting. Very shallow in most parts, a well worked Sugar Pen or popper will do the job. This is a great lake to bring your kayak and open up a few more options for fishing.

Other locations where whiting will be on the menu will be the sand flats of Camden Haven and Pelican Island on the Hastings – all of these locations can be fished shore based. For those staying in the area, don’t forget Lake Cathie also has a great population of prawns. Pack your scoop nets and lights for some evening entertainment.

Hastings River

The Hastings and Maria arm looks the best it has for some time – it gets me thinking that barring any major rain event, this Christmas break is going to be a great one for fishing. If you’re bringing your boat to Port, you’ll be able to capitalize on this. The sand flats will hold whiting as mentioned, flatties and bream. Pelican Island, Blackmans Point and Little Island up river near Dennis Bridge will be worth a try.

The deeper sections will be good for school mulloway, especially if it’s a good prawn year. For those dedicated bream and bass anglers, cicadas will hopefully be singing. Casting into tree-lined edges with imitations, you should have some great action. The Maria River should be great for this style of fishing with plenty of overhang. Bass fishers should try the Wilson River, as this area really fires when cicadas are at an unbearable noise level.

There have been a lot of mud crabs in the Hastings and I can’t see that changing in the near future. Properly marked crab traps should get you a feed. Try to enjoy. As always, please look after your own traps. Other people like to catch a feed too and believe me, fisheries will be monitoring crabbing this season, as will I. If your trap is illegal or not marked, it will be reported.

Fisheries have been doing a great job in this area recently and I’ve seen them on the water removing illegal traps, so if you’re doing the wrong thing, beware. Blue swimmers haven’t really reached the peak they were at last year, but if you’re trying for them, place your nets around the banks from Hibbard Ferry to the Dennis Bridge for prime swimmer areas.

Offshore

I hope for offshore gamefishers the current run of yellowfin continues. Recently, the crews from the Port Game Club have been getting into fish from 50-75kg. Sam Young caught a cracker fish from the vessel Calypso at 75kg – the biggest so far recorded. That’s a great yellowfin, well done. The fish have been fussy with different techniques needed. Trolling lures and livies as well as cubing all have their moments.

These fish have been wide out past the ridge, so specialised vessels are needed. Anglers have also been getting cracking mahimahi, so it’s shaping up nicely for a great summer of game fishing. Other offshore action will get you fired up with consistent snapper, kingfish and reef fishing we have encountered. The inshore grounds from Plomer Bay to Camden Haven are viable target areas.

Those of you who love targeting sand flatties take note, anglers at the ramp have been getting great bags from the northern beach grounds. That’s a wrap for another year – have a very merry and safe Christmas, and get your rod bent!

1

Mitch Lowe with a 59kg yellowfin.

2

Sam Young with 75kg yellowfin caught aboard Calypso.

3

Shane Banks with a nice red caught on a lure.

4

Natasha showing Ryan how it’s done – they got this double hook-up on mulloway.

5

Should be plenty of these over the Christmas holidays.

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