Whiting, flathead kick in
  |  First Published: November 2005

Newcastle anglers love this month and with a bit of luck the whole Summer season will pick up from here.

Whiting and flathead are the first to appear in big numbers. I have been reporting for the past few months that the flathead have been around and a few small whiting have also been taken.

This is the month their bigger cousins come to town. Along Stockton and Redhead beaches they will hold up and then enter the river and Lake Macquarie.

Out on the reefs there have been a few nice bream around.

North Reef, one of my favourite spots, usually fishes well for squire and bream this month. Talking to all the gun anglers at the Stockton ramp, drifting with fresh prawns and mullet fillets beats being at anchor. Drifting covers more water and you can work the reefs’ outer edges for great results.

If you insist on anchoring try berleying and use prawns. Bream and squire will still be taken but a lot of wrasse and small cod do come into play. Some reefs off Merewether have very large gravel fringes which fish better than the hard ground, with flathead and even whiting bonuses on the shallower sections.

We should get some afternoon storms this month and lure-fishing the estuaries will be great fun. That period of build-up to the storm can set the scene for some great fishing in saltwater as well as fresh. Fish respond to the barometric changes and bream and flathead in the shallows of the Hunter River can become very active.

Flicking lures on shallow sand flats for flathead will usually be good before the storm, as will working drop-offs around wharves and rock walls for bream.

My pick spots this month include the close reefs as the squire and snapper move in closer to spawn; the sandy headlands and beach holes for the whiting and the first few kilometres of the training walls at the mouth of the Hunter for flathead. But don’t forget the bream, which should be around most structure in the harbour.

Prawns should be the No 1 bait as they move around a fair bit this month. Live prawns make for one of the most perfect baits. Try pipis for whiting out on the beaches and use lures and poddy mullet for the flathead.

This squire was caught while drifting around the edges of North Reef. Strips of mullet and prawns are the best baits.

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