February is a great month in Lake Macquarie. The lake, beaches and offshore all perform well at the moment, and if we have good weather then things will only be better in March.
Squid will be in the channel, with mornings being the better times to target them. When drifting for squid, have a hand line or spare rod with a squid jig suspended just under the boat. This is a good trick as when you get a squid others tend to follow it up, which will improve your chances of keeping the squid in the area.
If you catch a few squid and the tide is right, try using fresh live squid as bait around Swansea Bridge for a kingie – they just love fresh squid.
There are plenty of flathead throughout the Swansea Channel over the drop over. To target them, use 5” jerk shads or some of the larger Squidgy Wrigglers. Make sure the jighead is the right weight to get the lure down quickly so you can cover a lot of ground during a drift. This is especially important when fishing areas with a decent current flow.
Other spots to try for flathead are the southern side of Pulbah Island, Coal Point and Wangi. The drop over will have flathead, but there will also be a lot of school jewfish there of a night (you could use some of the fresh squid you caught earlier in the day). Squire and the odd cobia are also known to show up here.
As the water is now nice and warm, throw around some surface lures at the sand islands. Places like Swan Bay are ideal for whiting as there are quite a few about and generally it’s the larger fish that have a liking for these lures. Likewise, bream also have a penchant for poppers and a slow retrieve should yield better results. The smaller River2Sea poppers are working well in the darker colours for bream and the clear ones for whiting.
If you want to stick to bait then fresh blood- and tubeworms are the go.
The beaches have jewfish in good numbers, particularly Blacksmiths Beach and the breakwall. There will also be tailor and salmon available around Awabakal Street in the many gutters along this stretch. There are some good sized whiting in these gutters as well as the channel side of the breakwall.
The breakwall gets a bit crowded at night, particularly on weekends and even though we have just gotten over Christmas, the number of glow sticks bobbing up and down gives off a good light show. If you do head out there, make sure you take your rubbish with you, as the place gets filthy with all the garbage left behind. You wouldn’t do it at your place, so why do it at ours.
Further South towards Catho, there are tailor, salmon and trevally about and spinning off the rocks with light gear can be a bit of fun. The smaller metal lures in sizes from 15g up to the larger ones of 65g work well, with the best colours being blue or red.
Out at the FAD, there will be some small mahi mahi with the larger fish out towards the shelf.
Out at the shelf, marlin are about, which should provide for good fishing during the interclub competition held this month. George Clift has got himself a new Running Bear so Jason and the boys are dead keen to get out and get amongst the marlin. They will be trying very hard to get the LMGFC Champion Boat tag and release for the third year in a row, and I’ll keep you posted with the results.Reads: 1941