Considering how cold the weather has become, the fishing is still pretty good. Late stayers, such as flathead and whiting, are still being caught but there are great catches of bream, tailor and school jewfish.
Newcastle Harbour, especially the Northern Channel, has fished exceptionally well over the past few weeks and may be a sign of what’s to come.
Stockton locals have been taking a good number of school jewfish and medium to large bream. The packed cleaning tables at the boat ramp are testament to this and a reliable source says the better bream were holding from the bridge up to Mosquito Creek and into Fullerton Cove in the shallows.
The deeper southern section, around the first three port markers up from the bridge, has had a lot of boating traffic of late but live-baiters have been taking a good quantity of school jewfish.
Live bait has been hard to come by but those who have put in the effort have been being rewarded. A few jew on the cleaning table were around 8kg to 10kg but the majority were around 4kg to 6kg.
This month should fish well for schoolies which will slow after that, although last year big fish were still being taken around the mouth of the river until , as long as the baitfish such as small tailor and mullet hang around.
Tailor are starting to show, not in huge schools as over the past few years but in smaller mobs of choppers with a few large fish – hence the number of school jew.
On the last hour of an evening run-up tide at the Hunter mouth it’s pretty hard not to take a good tailor by trolling small feathers and chrome lures along the Stockton breakwall and around the shipping channel markers. You will get a lot of choppers but the big ones should be there.
For something a little different or if the weather turns sour, try at Raymond Terrace around the two bridges at the junction of the Williams and Hunter rivers. This area can fish well this month because the bass move down to spawn around this area.
Bream also seem to like brackish water and a lot of anglers take them in Winter around there with hard-bodied lures that dive between 1.5 and three metres scoring best.
I know whiting aren’t the norm through June but a trip down to Lake Macquarie power station outlet showed me why the warmer water flowing out is such a hot spot. Whiting around a kilo were digging in the brown sand and mullet were thick as thieves. We managed a bucketful of mullet – great bait in Newcastle Harbour.
Other anglers were more intent on the blackfish which have been throughout all local waterways. The power station outlet race water is much warmer than the surrounding water and it’s no wonder the fishing there through the colder months is hot.
Please remember that through Winter the gates close at 6pm and reopen at 6am and there are fines for those who jump the fence. A better option is to launch a boat in nearby Dora Creek and sit in the deeper water live-baiting or floating prawns for the big bream or float out weed for blackfish.
The sad news about the dioxin contamination in Sydney Harbour has raised a few questions about Newcastle Harbour. Newcastle has been host to heavy industry over the past 50 years and I think it may be dangerous to eat fish from some places, especially the southern channels of the Hunter and small creeks that virtually passed through BHP and other riverside plants.
The western end of Lake Macquarie around Cockle Creek could become another hot spot through the location of plants such as Pasminco’s, which have a history of lead contamination issues.
Since Sydney has been hit hard by this issue an increasing number of Sydney anglers are taking the short drive north to catch a feed here. The Newcastle and Lake Macquarie tourist industry is booming and these fishos are rolling in and staying for a weekend fish. Most whom you talk to are absolutely wild and disgusted on how our Government has handled the issue.Reads: 11259