Lake fulfils its promise
  |  First Published: November 2005

In last month’s issue I mentioned how promising Lake Macquarie was looking for the upcoming flathead season but I thought I’d do some investigative fishing of my own.

If one Sunday morning’s session is anything to go by, it’s safe to say that anyone who says there are no fish in the lake is just not trying, not using the correct equipment or not fishing with the right approach.

It’s easy to say these things but if you follow the simple rules of lake fishing you can’t go wrong: Use light line, light rods and small tackle.

Choose 2kg to 4kg main line (I use 3kg braid with 2kg fluorocarbon leader for lures and bait). Use a 3kg to 6kg light graphite rod and a spinning reel with at least four ball bearings and a retrieve ratio of 5:1 to help the lure action and make faster retrieves.

When fishing with bait it’s an advantage to leave the bail arm open because fish in calm, shallow waters such as Lake Macquarie are extremely sensitive and the slightest weight on the line will deter their bite.

I can’t stress this enough – fish light. Let the fish take the bait and don’t strike too early.

Move around: Be prepared to spend maybe an hour or less at one spot and then move to another, maybe targeting a different species. For example, drift Belmont Bay for flathead and snapper for an hour and then have a troll for tailor for an hour, then target whiting and bream on the sand flats.

If you follow these basics you can’t go wrong. I proved it with a proud mixed bag of flathead, flounder, snapper, whiting, bream and squid while using these basics in a four-hour session.


Over the past two years November has been pretty quiet on the game fishing front but all signs are pointing to an early season.

David Kennedy, on Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club boat Intrudin, and other skippers, have enjoyed some early season signs off our coastline. Small striped marlin and striped tuna in warm southbound currents are hot tips for an early game season.

Because of the Swansea bridge maintenance work, the start of the LMGFC Summer season has been postponed to October 1, by which time the bridgework should have finished.


If history is anything to go by, the State Government, the Department of Primary Industries and the Marine Parks Authority will have their way and install marine sanctuaries along our coastline, which will most certainly close out many of us from some of our hot spots.

This looks most likely to happen but if you go by worldwide information that marine no-take zones do not increase fish stocks or sizes, then why put them in? It is the easiest and most cost-effective way for a government to solve a supposed problem.

Why not install $10 million worth of artificial reefs along our coastline or a myriad other alternatives? This is the cost required to structure a buy-out of professional fishermen in the Port Stephens and Forster regions earmarked for no-take zones.

Newcastle ECO Fishers will host a conference in February 2006 with committees from other sections of the cost invited to attend to form an action plan to negotiate an acceptable outcome for all parties concerned .

Newcastle ECO Fishers will also set up a website with a chat board to keep everyone informed. A public meeting will be called soon.

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