Here’s to calm
  |  First Published: March 2003

Hopefully we can look forward to some of that calm Autumn weather.

The high winds and dry weather that has persisted through the previous months has not been kind to anglers. The trend through the Summer was one or two fine days, then back came the wind.

The water temperature was also hard to predict, with changes of 4° to 5° overnight not uncommon, particularly offshore. On the inshore drifts, spiky flathead around 20cm long have been in almost plague proportions. These little suckers have also invaded the Swansea Channel.

The seagrass areas around the creek mouths, and the shallow flats of Lake Macquarie, are alive with baby flathead and bream, so the breeding cycle looks to be in good shape. Perhaps releasing the big female breeders is beginning to pay off, lets hope it continues. Or perhaps the net ban is really kicking in.

This month quality whiting and bream will still be off Blacksmiths Beach, and tailor should be coming into the gutters within reach of the beach anglers. Good bags of tailor have been nailed in Lake Macquarie and I can see no reason why this trend should not continue through the next month or two.

The warm water currents were late coming in this year and when this happens the water temp usually stays up through the cooler months. This is great flathead weather.

Drifting Swansea Channel using whole pillies or strip baits is the way to go if you like bait-fishing. But we are seeing a greater number of anglers lure-fishing for just about every species. The invasion of the soft plastic lures has changed our lure-fishing habits forever. They are simple to use and, rigged in the right manner, are almost snag-proof and they catch fish.

The appearance of juvenile pipis along Blacksmiths Beach is quite a pleasing sight. Hopefully the restriction on taking these little shellfish is finally taking effect. Pipis are excellent bait for bream and whiting from the beach, but use them where you gather them – it is illegal to take them more than 50 metres from the beach.

The Lake Macquarie Responsible Fishing Association has welcomed the establishment of a Lake Macquarie Fish Management Advisory Group to advise NSW Fisheries on the development of a sustainable recreational fishery for Lake Macquarie.

This management group could be a first in NSW and sounds like a huge step in the right direction. I will supply more information as it comes to hand. Meanwhile, to Bill Hasson and his group, all the best and keep up the good work.



Tom, a Blacksmiths Beach regular, bagged a few nice whiting and a lone bream.

No 2.

Tom attends to his rods, set for bream and whiting in the shore break.

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