Many morning delights
  |  First Published: February 2008

This month provides exceptional fishing with the warmest of water and early mornings before the nor’-easter rises can be a great time to be out on the water.

The beaches are full of flathead and whiting and the numbers of good whiting I have seen landed over the past month is astounding.

Offshore, snapper and nannygai are moving freely over the reefs, as are school kingfish. I am sure their numbers are picking up and as I watched a big school smashing bait off Stockton recently and the funny thing was there wasn’t a boat in sight.

I have found out why carp are used as fertiliser. No, I wasn’t silly enough to eat one and I even found a lot of quarries, creeks and small dams throughout the region – even in the suburbs of Newcastle – that hold carp over 20kg.

They certainly are not the greatest fish to eat but bury them around your tomatoes and garden veges and watch them plants thrive.

The neighbourhood kids get stuck in to them every chance they get. They don’t care what they are, they love just to hook something big and powerful. Oh, and some of the small dams throughout Newcastle and the Hunter also hold a number of large bass.

Up and down the coast there have been many reports of sharks sightings and some in unusual places, so if you’re swimming this month be careful, January and February are both known as shark months.

The estuaries, especially the Hunter River, are showing signs of some better jewfish, bream and flathead. Geoff Allen at Tacklepower is impressed with the number of jewfish taken lately and up around the first of the mangroves the spinning for bream and flathead has picked up dramatically. The further you head up river the better the chances of finding quality fish.


This month my pick would be an early-morning beach fish for bream, whiting, salmon and tailor or anchor over some proven reef for snapper and trag. Jewfish also love those early mornings to there’s a chance there as well.

Sanity has returned to the majority of our waterways as the kids return to school and the parents head back to work. One of the biggest things I noticed this year was the number of boats towing skiers, tubes and wakeboards – all great fun but a bit of thought from some of these revheads wouldn’t go astray.

I also towed my kids around and helped the fuel companies get richer but anywhere a boat was at anchor or fishing we kept a really wide distance. Others had no respect for anglers at all, doing circles around them, creating arguments and just ticking people off.

I notice the price of fuel has kept many families holidaying closer to home to fish their own waterways. The grass is greener further north or south but when it costs $100 to fill the car and plenty more for the boat, accommodation and food, a trek up the coast gets a bit rugged on the wallet.

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