This is one of the best times for fishing as the true warm currents and blue water are in close and carrying a vast variety of fish.
The Newcastle area has been fishing relatively well over the past few months. There have been kingfish, big bream and some huge sand whiting and flathead in the river and the harbour.
But this month anything can happen. Schools of huge tailor can show and stay around, as can tuna and marlin. If the amount of sprats and slimy mackerel are any indication, we could be in for a great month.
Most anglers are taking good numbers of sand and dusky flathead outside and in the river. The 40-metre to 60-metre marks wide of Stockton to Redhead have produced a lot of fish on pilchards and mullet strips.
If you’re looking for whiting closer in over the sand especially, try about 100m to 300m out from Big Ben Reef. For excellent results on whiting you can’t beat bloodworms, beachworms or freshly pumped nippers. You could also try peeled fresh-frozen prawns on a 1/0 suicide hook.
The sand flats around the harbour mouth are also a great place to start to drift. Expect flounder as well when drifting and you can also encounter squire and bream.
If the afternoon nor’-easter picks up your drift too much, try trailing a small, solidly-built bucket or a very small sea anchor.
The reefs have turned up a few surprises. The Stockton locals reckon morning live-baiting sessions are the way to go for kingfish.
The Mudhole Reef and close gravel grounds have produced plenty of bream to almost 2kg on good fresh prawns. Anchoring is the best option and late afternoons in the nor’-easter were the best – it seems the stronger the wind, the more the bream came on.
An amazing morning spinning for bream around the end of the Pelican Airport runway at the edge of Lake Macquarie showed me that the lake’s future is looking rosy. I walked to the two fingers of rocks just south of the marina and I spooked two nice school jewfish in the clearest of water.
They were just sitting out of the current feeding on what was going past on the falling tide. I kicked myself for not approaching more cautiously. I guess the plentiful small arrow squid would have attracted them.
Swansea Channel is fishing well for whiting from both sides, although Blacksmiths is firing a little better. The weed beds out from Pippy’s at the point have been getting a hammering with witches hats for blue swimmers.
This month I suggest a boating excursion early in the morning or late in the arvo live-baiting for jewfish and kings. A wide troll could pick up pelagics with small lures scoring some good tailor.
You could drift for whiting and flathead during the middle of the day, fish the reefs or drift the gravel patches or around the Dumping Ground for squire. Around North Reef you can try for bream and squid, or you could chase crabs in the lake or the harbour with the odd session spinning for flathead in between attending your traps.
Shore-based anglers could try around the harbour mouth for some greenback tailor.
Barry Latham with a 5kg flathead taken on a pilchard drifted in 40m of water off Newcastle.Reads: 649