ALTHOUGH Winter has arrived, there is no need to stow the rods in the shed or drain the fuel and cover up the outboard.
This is the time to target luderick and bream and I predict a good season for these critters – they have been around in various numbers all year so can only get better in the colder months.
A lot of gloom-and-doom people already have Lake Macquarie dead and buried. One person claimed he trolled all day in the lake without catching a tailor. My answer is that he is not the first person to do it and won’t be the last. There is a hell of a lot of water in the lake and if you don’t have the know-how to find fish, then you can go home empty-handed.
The old saying that 10% of anglers catch 90% of the fish is true in our area as well as anywhere else. The fish are still there so if you’re not catching any, it’s time to fine-tune your angling skills.
If your ambition is to bag out every time you go fishing, forget it. If it’s to catch half a dozen for a feed, it’s by no means setting the bar too high.
Here are a few locations that may help to get you started if you’re a visitor.
Lucy’s Wall, on the southern side of Swansea Channel and a few hundred meters from the heads, is a popular location for bream and luderick. When the fish are really on the bite, standing room could be a problem.
From Lucy’s Wall west toward the Swansea bridge, still on the southern, side is the ever-popular Salts Bay. The remains of an old breakwall, clearly seen at low tide, lies between Salts and the main channel. This sunken breakwall is a popular spot for boat fishos.
Salt’s is a great spot for quality bream and luderick. But it’s not as easy as it sounds; the fishos who frequent this area work hard, mostly at night. The bream at time of writing were pretty fussy in what they ate. A mate fished Salts for three hours in the afternoon run-in tide for six keepers but he had to try six top bream baits before he got his first bite. All six fish were caught on pink nippers, the last card in his pack, so it pays to have a variety of baits.
Up the channel towards the lake past the Swansea bridge and the sandbar on the northern side is the village of Little Pelican. The water in front of Little Pelican, from one to two metres with seagrass and patches of sand, is a popular spot for bream. I have also seen schools of luderick feeding over the seagrass so anyone with a bit of know-how should catch a feed of them here.
The rock groynes near the end of Pelican Aerodrome are popular with land-based anglers and produce some nice bags of luderick and bream. I have also caught the odd flathead from the bank on the southern side of the groynes, drifting baits along with the tide.
The seagrass flats out from the Swansea Lake Road boat ramp, towards Wangi Point, and an area on the southern side of Wangi Point, are also worthwhile. Most anglers seem to bypass these areas, opting for the deeper waters of the lake, but I have seen a lot of luderick and bream there and caught a few nice ones.
Fishing for luderick from the end of Lucy’s Wall. The angler is standing on a piece of grating set in the rocks – the author is sure it would have a fisho’s name on it.
The rock groynes near the end of Pelican Aerodrome are popular with land-based anglers. Quality bream, luderick and the odd flathead are regular catches.
Ross Hunter landed this 4.5kg flathead from Blacksmiths Beach. He switched to beach fishing after spending a night on Lake Macquarie in a broken-down boat.Reads: 5150