I asked a few fishos who have helped out with this column from time to time what their New Year resolutions were and most had the same answer. They all had sworn to do more fishing in the future. Not a bad idea and my resolution is the same.
I have been raving about the jewfish that have been taken in the Hunter River over the past two months and still more reports of great captures roll in. David Cunningham and his deckie, Terry, have been fishing the Tomago-Hexham area for a few really good jewfish and some whopper flathead.
Large baits such as fresh squid, whole mullet, yellowtail or slimy mackerel usually do the trick. David realised that with the high salinity levels, a lot of the fish usually seen in the harbour at this time of year are holding higher up in the river. As I write we still haven’t seen any real rain to get those prawns moving, so the fish are staying up where the food is. NSW Fisheries’ decision to hold the prawn trawlers off for a while before Christmas was very good for the fishermen in the Hunter River.
Whiting and a lot of enormous flounder have also been around.
The bass have shot up to where there is just enough water to cover their backs, Geoff from Freddy’s Fishing world got up into the Gresford high country and sampled some great fishing. A few Morpeth bass diehards told me there are also a few hanging around the Tocal area of the Patterson River. The Williams and the Hunter aren’t firing for bass currently but I don’t know why. There are still a lot of mega-carp around – so many it’s worrying. They don’t seem to mind saltwater, either, with fish caught near Tomago boat ramp.
Freddy’s Fishing World at Broadmeadow has just stocked its shelves with some of the best soft plastics, including the Storm lures that have gathered a vast number of followers chasing jewfish and huge flathead. The colours match the baitfish and they sure do work – just keep them away from the tailor.
Hopefully the bigger greenback tailor will travel through this month along with bonito, maybe a few striped and northern bluefin tuna over the next three months.
Reports of some real hoodlum kingfish are being whispered around the traps with a school spotted hitting the surface at the North Reef Buoy off Newcastle – kings up around 30kg. Hopefully they’ll stick around for a while.
With any good news there is always a little bad. Being holiday season, we fishos take a mighty risk leaving our cars and trailers around boat ramps. Not so long ago, the hoons around Raymond Terrace smashed the windows of every car parked there. They hurled huge boulders through side windows – it wasn’t pretty. And for what? Loose change or just a few kicks. It’s hard to reason with, isn’t it? Imagine: After a great day’s fishing you return to the ramp to see this sort of thing.
Jewfish are willing to grab baits and lures. This 14kg model was taken from a Hunter coast reef on 6kg line on a ganged pilchard.
Chris Phillips with a nice tailor trolled from a wash. Tailor should move through this month –try early mornings and evenings for best results.Reads: 2098