It is hard to believe that we are into March already but I’m not complaining, I really like the fishing options available this month.
The lake, beaches, rocks, inshore, offshore and out wide all produce well at this time of year.
I guess my favourite fish to target now are whiting, bream and flathead in Lake Macquarie.
I prefer chasing whiting fishing because a lot of us target them ‘up top’, with surface lures bringing many a large fish undone.
Light braid around 4lb to 6lb, with a light fluorocarbon leader and any of the smaller River 2 Sea poppers or surface lures such as the Lucky Craft Sammy 65, Smith Towadi and the like are the ones to use.
Don’t be too worried if you fish a bit deeper, in say 2m or so of water because whiting will still come up from these depths to smash lures.
I’ve been fishing with Chris ‘Macca’ lately and we have been using 5” Jerk Shads in 6m to 9m of water for flathead.
When we know there are whiting around, we have been using a faster retrieve than normal and the whiting have been hitting these big lures about 3m under the boat. It just goes to show you that anything is possible.
Places to try would include Salts Bay, Black Neds Bay, Swan Bay and out towards the sand islands. Fish a run-out tide and you should have a lot of fun with using lures or bait.
Flathead should be about this month, with virtually any type of lure working well.
Soft plastics around 4” to 5” are an obvious choice but some of the larger vibe lures are worth a go.
These lures are great if you want to fish areas with a high current flow, such as near Swansea bridge, because they get down quickly and cover a larger area than, say, bibbed lures.
Bibbed lures work well on flathead and quite a few boats troll them around Coal Point and Wangi with good success.
Jewfish are in the same areas here so don’t be too surprised if you manage to hook onto one of these tasty treats while trolling.
Hopefully you all went squidding last month so you have plenty of bait now. If not, there are still squid about in places like Moon Island (for the bigger green eyes) and try a drift from Blacksmiths boat ramp to the bridge, there will be plenty there.
You want these squid because the kingies will be plentiful now, particularly around Moon Island, Swansea bridge, the Drop-Over and even at places like Green Point jetty and Coal Point.
The larger fish will still be at the bridge but those fishos looking for fun on light tackle should devote some time to these other spots, they’re worth trying.
Squid are still holding up in these areas so it makes sense that predatory fish like kingies and jewfish will be there looking for an easy feed.
Don’t rule out the chance of catching a cobia because they tend to be in the lake now. Last year the biggest caught in the channel was a 20kg specimen caught by an angler fishing for flathead with fresh squid.
Bream are a go this month with lures and bait. The water is nice and warm now so they will be out on the prowl looking for a feed.
Try the shallower water at dusk and dawn and then move out to the deeper areas during the day.
If you get up for an early fish, try a few surface lures as well, particularly if there is a slight ripple on the water, because the bream aren’t spooked as easily then as they are in glassed-off conditions.
Plastics such as the Berkley 2” Shrimp in banana prawn are successful now, as is the 3” Minnow in mouldy cheese. Smaller metal vibes and Jackal Chubbies are worth trying also.
Fresh prawns, mullet gut, slimy mackerel and the like are the baits to use. Again, the sand Islands, the channel and Salts Bay are the pick areas to fish.
Blacksmiths breakwall and the nearby beach produced a lot of jewfish last month, with Luke and Chris from Fisherman’s Warehouse getting their fair share.
A few visitors to the area who were fishing off the end of the breakwall with floating pilchards hoping to catch some tailor managed three jew to 15kg in quick time one night.
The majority of fish off the wall have been 3kg to 8kg and the same goes for those in the lake. There are larger fish there but they will start to come around towards the end of the month.
There are tailor and salmon off the beaches from Blackies down to Catho, with late afternoons the best time to wet a line.
Outside there are squire and snapper to be had with Redhead holding a few fish. Out further, at The Farm, there are a few snapper about down deep.
Up top, there are dollies at the FAD with smaller chrome lures working well, as are some surface lures.
Out towards the continental shelf there are plenty of marlin still around for those wanting to spend a long day on the water. For advice on what lures to use and more, come into the shop.
On a side note, the picture in last month’s report of Jarred and Chriso aboard Jarred’s boat Magic with a marlin must have been some type of omen. Jarred fished aboard Wazza’s trailer boat Sneakin in last month’s LMGFC Big Fish Bonanza and managed three marlin for the weekend, a blue, a black and a striped – which won them champion boat tag and release and champion male tag and release.Reads: 2631