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The flat ones fire up
  |  First Published: October 2005



We can all look forward to some enjoyable fishing over the next five or six months.

I have heard of quite a few captures of healthy flathead, tailor, whiting and jewfish at some of Lake Macquarie’s hot spots and the offshore scene has not been so bad and can only get better.

Flathead numbers are increasing, as are the numbers of people fishing for them now that it’s not so cold.

Crangen Bay, Nords Wharf, Sunshine, Gwandalan and other southern areas of the lake should not be neglected as they have been popular flathead haunts in previous Octobers.

As part of a ‘Fishing Theme Weekend’ in conjunction with Rafferty’s Resort, we taught patrons the fundamentals of knot-tying and fishing with soft plastics, among other things. The softies astounded the sceptics, with plenty of flathead being caught and the Berkley Gulp series working wonders.

If these numbers are anything to go by we are going to be in for one sensational flathead season. It has been four years since the exit of professional netters in the lower end of Lake Macquarie and I think these areas should produce flathead fishing at its best in the next few months.

If 2kg tailor are on your menu then try trolling between Wangi Point and Coal Point with some deep-diving lures.

Dan Hughes from Fishermans Warehouse has had best results slowly trolling models from the Killalure range, mainly in the river rat colour. Early morning is the ideal time.

If this area doesn’t produce, try further north to Marmong Point.

There’s no trick to finding these fish, just move around until you get strikes. A decent high-definition fish finder works well in conjunction with a GPS to help mark where the strikes come from and establish a pattern. Don’t wast your time and money on inefficient electronics as quality fish finders will enhance your fishing experiences and lift your catch rates.

BREAM IMPROVING

Bream catches have been a little slow recently but get set for some fierce bream action soon.

And if you thought that Salts Bay was your personal ‘secret’ bream location then you’d better find another more secret spot. Over recent weeks a lot of keen anglers have been gearing up for some serious drifting and casting sessions with their soft plastics all over that excellent of waterway.

But don’t despair, Lake Macquarie has plenty of bream havens – just work the shallows and you can’t miss.

If you prefer bait, I recommend mullet gut and mullet strips. If you’re really keen to prepare some bait to last a few trips, then try laying out a large number of gut pieces on a tray and spread some coarse salt over the lot to toughen up the gut for a longer-lasting bait.

Chicken fillets marinated in garlic also work a treat. Bream can’t swim past them.

CLOSE REEFS FIRE

October and November are traditionally periods when the shallower inshore reefs start to fire up as the water gets warmer. Locations such as The Fruitshed, Redhead Close, the 48-Fathom Mark, Dudley Close, The Doctors and Wybung all should be fished with floating baits.

But how about trying something different on these spots, such as drifting with soft plastic lures. These can very successful, especially in depths to 30 metres, which most of these spots are.

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