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Quality, if not quantity
  |  First Published: September 2003



After a rather cold and wet winter, a bit of warmth will be something to look forward to.

The fishing over the cold months was not as good as I predicted, but the quality of the fish made up for the lack of numbers. Anglers who put in the hard yards were the ones that reaped the rewards.

Most of the Salts Bay stalwarts were fishing from late afternoon to the early hours of the morning for bags of four and five fish, but the quality of the catch made it all worthwhile. The luderick followed the same pattern – here today and gone tomorrow – with good bags one day and zilch the next.

Snapper have been turning up in Lake Macquarie in increasing numbers, and that’s a good sign for future fishing.

This month, with the coming of the warmer weather, the fishing should get a roll on. The lake has been swarming with baitfish and they should attract a host of fish we expect with the warmer currents.

The bream normally stay around all year, and are a great stand by for most anglers. The luderick should ease off in the warmer months, but I have seen nice fish caught up to November in previous years.

Flathead have been around in small numbers all Winter so, when things warm up, the lizard population should only get better. Schools of chopper tailor have invaded Lake Macquarie and when they are around, it’s almost impossible to get a bait down to the bottom. The schools are showing up on the sounder usually around three to four metres down but there are larger signals below the clutter of choppers, so working deep-diving lures on weighted lines through these schools should turn up some big greenbacks.

We should expect the usual action from the breakwalls, with tailor, bream and flathead the main targets from these locations. Kingfish pay a visit to the channel now and then, so tossing lures or trolling the whitewater could be exiting.

Sometimes you can get lucky. It happened on a recent run on the lake to test my new sounder. I set a couple of hoop nets baited with mullet frames, hoping for a couple of blue swimmers for dinner. When I retrieved the nets, my reward was two blue swimmers and huge mud crab.

What’s the big deal, you might say. The point is I’ve never caught a mud crab in this area of Lake Macquarie before, so hopefully I’ve discovered something new.

LOCAL CHARTERS

If doing your own fishing thing is not your go, then you might try an excellent charter service operating out of Swansea. I recently spoke to Brad Minors, who operates B&L Fishing and Cruises.

Brad came across as a no-nonsense bloke who runs a top ship, with his clients’ safety and satisfaction the number one priority. B&L Fishing and Cruises Pty Ltd operates a 13.7-metre Randell custom-built charter boat and will tailor outings to clients’ needs. Contact Brad on 49713323 or visit www.blfishingcruises.com

No 1.

Rocket Thompson strikes again with two lovely bream, the larger fish weighing 1.8 kg. They were caught at night in Salts Bay using strip mullet for bait.

No 2.

A bonus mud crab, caught in an area of Lake Macquarie not known to harbour these big fellows.

No 3

Four bream and a lizard the reward for two of the author’s mates fishing from 6pm until 2am – hard fishing.

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