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Sorting out the keen ones
  |  First Published: July 2003



Mornings have been brisk affairs easily avoided by snuggling down under the covers and turning off that nagging alarm. Early fishing sessions soon sort out the keen anglers amongst us, with not-so-keen fishos missing out on some great action right through the Winter.

Anglers have been knocking over a few nice pigs around the rocks with a sprinkling of fish coming from most local headlands. The next few months should see good numbers of these black brawlers taking up residence in the many gutters and holes around the region.

Bream, too, are still in good numbers with some honker fish poking about. Flesh baits of mullet and tailor have been accounting for plenty of fish although chucking out half a pilly should also see you getting a few.

Tailor are still cruising around the stones with good bags coming from most ledges. Better-than-average fish have been falling to fresh gars, although most anglers use blue pillies. Tailor are commonly caught on lures and are suckers for metal jigs, but will take hard-bodied minnows and popper-type lures with equal enthusiasm.

Slipping a bait for jew into the water after a heavy tailor session can prove very beneficial. Large jews dine extensively on tailor, sucking them in readily. A nice fresh tailor slab could see you tucking one of these chrome critters into the back of the rig for the trip home – a nice way to finish off a fishing session.

Beaches certainly remain productive, with some good fish on the chew. Some horse bream have been on offer in local washes on baits of pipis, worms and cut mullet or tailor. Tailor have been prevalent, with good choppers schooling into gutters chasing after the travelling bait schools. The odd jew has also been landed, with some respectable schoolies biting on big bunches of live or preserved beach worms. The best way to chase these is to pick a washy hole or gutter and fish it on the afternoons or evenings when there is a high tide change.

Estuary

Estuary anglers are knocking over some great fish, with quite a few species on the chew. Blackfish still remain patchy, with no two days returning similar results. The North Wall has been the pick of the spots so far, coughing up some solid fish for those there on the right day with the right sort of weed. I would hope the action will improve in coming weeks.

Bream anglers have been tucking into good fish at night, with both breakwaters fairly productive. Oyster lease areas in Limeburners Creek are crawling with some great fish. Anglers using artificials are still rolling good fish by working the trays and washboards with soft plastic and minnow type lures.

Some solid flathead are also getting nailed, with good numbers of flatties hanging low in the system. Flathead are a year-round proposition, providing great light-tackle action for the family.

Finally, some joy for Lake Cathie residents. With recent rains increasing water volume in the lake, the council has finally moved in with an excavator and opened the lake. It’s great to see clean water filter through the lake, replenishing the place’s natural glory. There's nothing better than seeing the Lake Cathie in pristine order, with all residents enjoying the good fishing the lake can offer.

Offshore

Bottom-fishing has certainly improved, with some nice snapper, morwong and flathead hitting the decks. Inshore reefs have seen anglers boat some handy reds, with fish to a solid 4kg being taken by floatlining an unweighted pilchard or squid down a well-established berley trail.

Targeting drummer, bream and tailor around inshore bommies and reefs has certainly gained in popularity among boaties. A few pumps on the berley bucket filled with old bread should be followed by some great tussles with porky pig and even groper. Take care when anchoring to avoid hairy situations with mother ocean and keep one eye seawards at all times, especially in a making swell or on a falling tide. Your chosen spot can become a scenario for a nightmare if the conditions change and you don’t get out in time.

Game fishos are starting to gear up for the so-called yellowfin season. With high commercial fishing pressure on these tuna, captures are becoming fewer and fewer. If something doesn't change to rectify the situation, the next generation of fishos will never get to catch one of these trophy fish.

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