Early tailor run will keep your lines tight
  |  First Published: June 2008

With the colder part of the year upon us, it’s encouraging to know that there are still so many fishing options on our doorstep.

Firstly, if you are like me and enjoy the thrill of trolling for tailor in closed waters, then this is a good start. Since the removal of commercial fishing in Lake Macquarie in 2002, the tailor stocks and many other species have increased both in numbers and size. Fish to 1.5kg can be taken with the average coming in at around 1.2kg.

Last season I did focus a little on this type of fishing. Not too much has changed since then but let’s refocus on the technique.

It’s pretty straightforward. The most common locations to find them are in the open waters of Lake Macquarie itself. Try searching for diving seagulls that are in turn gathering up fragments of baitfish left behind by the tailor chopping through the schools. If this sign can’t be found then use your fish finder to locate the pods of bait. Sometimes the tailor will be feeding in the deeper waters.

Some of the best tailor have been caught in the south western regions of the lake.

The stretch of water between Wangi peninsula and north to Coal Point (with Fishing Point in between) has proven to be the most productive ‘triangle’ to troll over the previous couple of years. Other locations include the Green Point drop-off, along the eastern shoreline of Coal Point and sometimes in the open waters of Belmont Bay.

Pretty much any deep diving lure with a depth range of 3-8m will do the trick and it’s a good practice to have a white feather surface jig and a diving lure combination working in unison so as to cover two depth variances. Also, it’s good practice to have a rod rigged up with a chrome lure in readiness for casting to a passing school or jumping tailor.

The other benefit to trolling in these locations is that reef patches and rises in the seabed can be identified. These can be logged into your GPS for future fishing trips when chasing snapper and jewfish.

On some occasions, some anglers have reported catching some decent flathead and sometimes small jewfish using this technique. Good luck!

Snapper can be targeted also in Belmont Bay on any of the sunken wrecks which some of you should have the GPS marks for. Fresh squid should be your bait of choice.


Some other winter options include some good land-based situations.

Redhead rock platform, which can be accessed by driving up to the top of Redhead bluff and walking down the ‘goat track’, offers some near perfect drummer holes. I have fished there for almost 25 years and have found the northern platforms of the area to be more productive. Fish here for snapper, tailor, kingfish as well as drummer. These low-lying platforms are also great for luderick. There are some very low platforms that can only be accessed in a slight sea with a light westerly wind.

If you are keen to chase bream then you are in luck. Marks Point Headland, which is accessible by driving to the end of Marks Point Road and then walking down a small track, is an ideal spot to fish in a southerly wind. Bream, flathead, whiting and the odd tailor can be caught. Pretty much any tide can be productive, but you’ll need to use a slightly larger sinker – around a number four ball or bean.

Murray’s Beach, which is a new estate just opened up five minutes south of Swansea, has a large public wharf that is hidden away. This is ideal for the kids and some impressive fish have been caught over the past few months. Fish, including small snapper, flathead and bream are all there for the offering. Just fish lightly with fresh mullet or whole prawns that are ideal baits for this spot.

Blacksmith’s breakwall is a very popular fishing location in Lake Macquarie, so much so that it is suffering from overuse. Many forms of garbage and refuse from plastic pilchard bags, bottles, fishing line and other packaging are left behind for the environment to clean up! Unfortunately, the environment can’t ‘clean it up’, so it’s quite simple, clean up after yourself and take your rubbish with you and show some respect for our environment – or suffer the consequence of the loss of another favourite fishing location!

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