It’s a lucky dip
  |  First Published: September 2004

SPRING – that magic word that brings hope that life will get easier and more exciting with the coming of the warmer weather.

But the way the seasons have been changing over the past few years, it’s a bit of a lucky dip. However, we must accept whatever is dished up to us and make the most of it.

The Spring tides sometimes bring warmer currents to Swansea Channel and Lake Macquarie and if this happens we are in for some exciting fishing.

Bream, luderick and tailor have been the mainstays through the colder months and I see no reason why they should not continue into September, even if the currents do warm up.

Last Summer I watched one of the local blackfish specialists pull half a dozen quality luderick while fishing from one of the rock groynes in the Swansea Channel.

I queried the time of the year and the fact that they were still biting. His answer made a lot of sense to me. He said, “Mate, if the fish are here you can catch them regardless of the time of the year. I’ve been fishing for them in the channel for the last 40 years and when I want a feed, I go out and catch them”.

I learned a valuable lesson from that conversation; fish are not as seasonal as we might be led to believe and if they are around, they have to eat sometimes.

I have caught flathead while drifting the channel in the middle of Winter and trolled up tailor in the deep water around Pulbah Island in the middle of Summer. Dedicated bream fishos also target the silver fellows all year round.

So I have come to the conclusion that if you want to target a species, have a go regardless of the time of year. You never know what might end up on the hook.

The other lesson I’ve learnt, is to listen to the old hands. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know about your area, by keeping your ears open you can always learn more.


Having said all that, what we should be doing this month is targeting luderick and bream from the rock groynes around the Swansea Channel and the shallow sea grass areas.

The bream should still be around in ever-popular Salts Bay and don’t be afraid to drift a few baits close along the training walls of the channel – flathead love this area.

A boat is an advantage but not a necessity; a lot of anglers fish this area from the shore with good results.

Tailor and salmon have been cruising close to Blacksmiths Beach and should stay around this month. Fishing the gutters with whole pillies on 4/0 ganged hooks should do the trick.

For the boaties, the deep water around Pulbah Island is an excellent area to troll up a few greenback tailor. The idea is to get those lures down deep so a fair bit of lead on the line is not a bad option.

Big jewies also like this area so don’t be surprised if you come up hard on one of these. We have also inherited a couple of sharks that have been cruising the Pulbah area so it may not be a good idea to chuck the pet poodle out of the boat for its morning swim!

If you are planning a trip to a new location, a map of the area is a great help to locate spots mentioned in location guides and monthly reports. The maps produced by NSW Waterways are accurate and contain a wealth of information.

Leaflets you receive with boat rego and licence renewals carry a list of Waterways maps for the NSW coast. Map 8A is the one for Swansea Channel and Lake Macquarie and for $5, it’s great value.

No 1.

Dawson Spruce, 2, was keen to get his hands on bream and tailor caught by his Dad.

No 2.

The moorings adjacent to the Belmont Yacht Club make a great spot to flick a few lures. Big bream and flathead love the cover of the moored boats.

No 3.

South Belmont Bay – only part of the beautiful scenery and fish-filled waters of Lake Macquarie.

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