Boom times ahead for the lake
  |  First Published: August 2005

It’s been a long time since many anglers were confident of catching a decent fish in Lake Macquarie but the scene has just started to change for the better.

Since the removal of commercial fishing in Lake Macquarie three years ago, we have witnessed an encouraging turnaround in the size and number of fish caught throughout the system.

Each season just gets better and better with unusual catches like mangrove jack, diamond trevally and cobia, to name just a few.

How about the consistent numbers of catches of 900g to 1.6kg tailor being trolled up on anything from white feathers to Mann’s Stretch 10 bibbed lures in areas from Green Point to the south-western side of Pulbah Island? What about a 7kg kingfish caught in Swansea Channel? And I can’t forget how jealous I become when, on average once a month, I hear about a great catch of snapper from 30cm to 3kg and even 4kg.

The last one I saw was from a customer from Valentine who caught a 3.9kg fish while working on his Dad’s boat on its mooring. This reddie ran him around the mooring rope a couple of times and he was lucky to net it.

The bream have increased in numbers and I bet you this Summer will be the best on record, as it will be on whiting.


Our licence funds, some of which financed the buy-out of the Lake Macquarie commercial fishos, are going to another terrific project that will further enhance the lake’s fishing – artificial reefs.

The 120 ‘reef balls’ are concrete domes 750mm in diameter, 500mm high, weighing 70kg to 90kg and have a series of ‘swim-through’ holes. They will be placed in a series on the sandy bottom just south of Galgabba Point, south of Swansea boat ramp.

They will cover an area of one kilometres in six separate reefs. There will be no exclusion zone but there will also be no GPS waypoints publicised. The reefs should not be hard to find with your fish finder or by the number of boats that will frequent these spots.

The Swansea FAD was also a hit throughout the season with plenty of mahi mahi, marlin and tuna there for the taking .The FAD has been removed for cleaning and maintenance and will be redeployed in October.


August can be one of the most rewarding deeper-water fishing times on the calendar, depending on the notorious westerly winds that can keep you at bay. However, snapper, kingfish and perch are among the species that frequent The Farm, a reef system running north-south in depths from 80 metres to 120 metres. It’s only 10km to 12km seaward and there are other prominent reefs inshore.

Anyone not having fished in this depth of water before must consider using 20lb to 30lb braided line with a nylon leader, coupled with a level-wind overhead reel such as an Abu 7500C3 or a Shimano Charter Special.

Normal monofilament is next to useless as these depths will create too much ‘belly’ and lack of sensitivity. For the GPS co-ordinates of The Farm reefs, call me on 02 4945 2152.

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