Tailor are talk of the town
  |  First Published: April 2008

Every lure was engulfed in a swirl and line ripped off the reels at a great speed – yes, the tailor are back and some schools even have the odd greenback to 4kg.

People from all around the Hunter have been talking about the tailor in the estuaries and along the beaches. It has been a few years since we have seen such a run of big greenbacks.

Along with the tailor, what I would say is the last of the flathead for the season have been going crazy on lures.

In the past five weeks I have seen at least seven flathead over 5kg landed. Unfortunately most of these spawners found their way to frying pans but it seems to be a later than usual run of big fish.

A lot of anglers have been taking advantage on the calmer days to flick squid jigs around the rocks and quiet channels. Calamari is sensational on the plate and the smaller ones can be snap frozen for baits.


We finally have a top-class boat ramp in the Hunter River on the Newcastle side. The Carrington boat ramp revamping was a long time coming but the dreaded ledge most of the larger trailers used to fall over is no longer.

There is more parking and a nice run into the water at any stage of the tide. Our angling fees and a grant of $440,000 through the Maritime Infrastructure Program made this long–awaited venture happen.

As you are reading this we will be on the last of our good freshwater fishing. The bass that usually move down the Hunter to spawn but if you hook into some they will be the large females so think about letting a few go for the future.

The Hunter should finally be fishing a little better after all the bucketing rain. Although there were whispers of a few school jewfish caught, I haven’t seen or heard of any over 12kg.

If affected by a lot of rain the Hunter fishes best at high tide when an influx of salt water fills up to around Hexham. Remember that fresh water sits above the more dense saltwater so usually a pocket of water at depth can still hold plenty of fish

The area down to the Tourle Street bridge in the South Channel and Stockton bridge in the northern channel are the most extreme saltwater areas.

The beaches have been fishing very well the bream and tailor. The northern sections of Stockton Beach from the Sygna wreck north have been good and droves of salmon should be back by now. I think they’re fun fish, especially for kids or learners. Salmon are big, strong and don’t make bad curry or fishcakes.

The close marks from Merewether through to Redhead are holding good numbers of squire and the odd bigger snapper.

Flathead should still be around the edges of the reefs. Drifting the Dumping Grounds was turning up flathead and squire but sergeant bakers were a real nuisance on the shallower grounds and a fisho I ran into at the Carrington ramp was fuming about the numbers of sweep. If you can find a patch without these two pests you should be in for a good time on better fish.

This month I would concentrate on the close grounds, especially if the westerlies come early, for squire, bream and flathead. Drift close off the beaches for the bigger flathead, flounder and the last of the whiting.

If the water temperature drops the rocks should hold the first drummer and luderick should be just about everywhere. School kingfish can also turn up around the ledges in April.

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