Tardy seasons a help
  |  First Published: May 2006

The comparative lateness of the season should be a benefit during this, one of our quieter fishing months.

As we did in March and April, we saw plenty of impressive catches from Lake Macquarie that left most of the sceptics with egg on their faces. Especially in April, I’d heard and seen snapper to 3.5kg, jewfish to 8kg along with numerous bream up to a kilo as well as a 14kg cobia caught under the Swansea bridge.

The absence of the commercial fishing since the lake became a recreational fishing haven is certainly providing solid evidence that this type of fishery management works.

The artificial reef balls that were installed south of Galgaba Point last December will be bonus for all anglers. Fisheries management teams have performed some ‘baited camera’ surveys and the results reveal that plenty of fish feed and hover around the reef balls. It’s well worth putting the co-ordinates into your GPS for some added locations to drift over and cast light lures or baits, especially at night for big tailor and jewfish.

If you class yourself as a keen fisho then you’ll never be packing up your gear during the middle of the year. The biggest benefit during the ‘off season’ is that the boat traffic slows and many of the favourite spots can be fished without too much disturbance.

Some locations to try include the flats behind the Marks Point sand islands or Elizabeth Island; the sand and weed patches on the western side provide some of the most fantastic shallow-water fishing for bream and whiting. And don’t think the whiting go off during Winter because they’ll still be there.

Those choosing to use lures have plenty of options but will need to select lightly weighted jig heads, say 1/16oz or floating hard bodies.

Those eager to chase big monster tailor should be well prepared because some of the fish have been well over 2kg. Spots to try range from Green Point, Belmont Bay and south to Pulbah Island. Some of you may get discouraged when gulls can’t be sighted diving on damaged bait fish schools –don’t. The key is to locate the bait schools on your fish finder and troll your baits/lures a little deeper than usual; at the depth of the bait school is the key.

Land-based anglers have some great spots at their disposal. The old Lucys Breakwall at the entrance of Swansea Heads is one of the most well-known land-based spots and has produced plenty of luderick, bream ,trevally and tarwhine. Some locations to float down some green weed for blackfish include Belmont Swamp, the drains of the western lake power stations and Redhead-Dudley rocks.

Coon Island, adjacent to Swansea boat ramp, is also a land based spot for flathead, whiting and bream. The quick tidal flow can work in your favour if you use the appropriate weight sinker but don’t go too heavy, just enough to sink the bait to the bottom. There are also some excellent areas where the water eddies and holds up baitfish ready for attack by bream and tailor.


I just came back from a week’s fishing at Weipa with Michael Guest and ‘Captain’ Mark Phillips and what an experience it was. We caught 33 species including 122 barramundi from 60cm to 80cm, estuary cod to 6kg, 35 threadfin salmon to a metre, 14 mangrove jack to 2kg, Spanish mackerel, coral trout, tea leaf trevally, tarpon and many more..

We used lures the entire time with B52s, Berkley soft plastics and River 2 Sea lures working a treat.

This nice specimen of a drummer took a pumpkinseed Berkley Gulp.

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