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Year-round fun on the lake
  |  First Published: September 2006



In 2001 the State Government bought out Lake Macquarie commercial fishers with licence funds so, theoretically, anyone with a recreational fishing licence is a shareholder in this and all the other recreational fishing havens.

So for those of us ‘shareholders’ who fish in Lake Macquarie, how good does it feel to be able to say that the fishing in Lake Macquarie is great all year round?

In last month’s report I gave examples of catches and the reports just keep coming. From month to month the evidence these reports indicate that each season of the year offers different species to chase with confidence.

Over previous years we have seen plenty of tailor this year is a pearler. For example, two families with little fishing experience visited the lake for first time with a team of kids in tow and the fish didn’t stand a chance.

Armed with some deep-diving lures and the good oil on where to go, off they went in search of the greenbacks. Some hours later they returned, a 20-litre bucket in hand with some pretty hefty tails hanging over the rim. Their first question was, “Can you fillet these, please?”

I saw a catch of tailor any local would be proud of – six fish averaging 1.4kg. The kids had a ball and an enjoyable meal of filleted tailor.

As well as fish aplenty, some aquatic predators have taken up residence around the western shores of the lake. It is to be expected that when you remove professional fishing that sharks are to become more prevalent, and they have.

Hammerhead and whaler sharks have been sighted by many boaters. These have ranged from 1.8m to 3m – yes, 3m – and why wouldn’t they like their new home? Plenty of food and warm water being supplied from the power station outlets.

But then we are their predators and some keen anglers have taken up the challenge. Armed with wire traces and large baits, unfortunately some of the sharks have fallen to those same hunters.

This could be cause for the minister to introduce a ban on so-called ‘lake game fishing’ similar to the ban last year on Stockton Beach when a band of fishers targeting sharks encountered small white pointers.

PIGS ON PLASTICS

There are so many options available this month and one that still attracts is having a throw for a drummer.

Local Andrew Buresch spends many hours of his weekends trying new fishing nearby areas with his favourite soft plastics. He never ceases to amaze me with the number and size of drummer he catches.

The picture hereabouts shows a nice fish caught on his favourite lure, the pumpkinseed Gulp Minnow. Andrew fishes the whitewater off Swansea and surrounding rocks with much success.

But beware when undertaking this type of fishing. In the past two months there have been numerous boating incidents and near-fatalities when boaters have ventured too close to the rocks in search of fish, only to suffer grief with rising swells or engine failures. The fish are not that important!

DEEP JIGGING

September is also a month when deep-water jigging can be approached with confidence at many of the marks along the continental shelf. Off Port Stephens and Swansea there are some great ledges that hold some big kings, bar cod and hapuku.

Don’t be afraid to try this method of fishing as the results are certainly rewarding, although they can put a strain on your back.

Some 50lb to 80lb braid is the go plus 250g to 450g metal jigs worked on a short graphite rod and a reel such as a Shimano Trinidad 30 or Stella 20000.

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