Spring is just around the corner and that means the water will be warming up soon enough.
It also means that after a six-month fit-out, my new Polycraft will be out on the water and hopefully I’ll get into some fish after a very cool Winter.
Things have been a bit cool up our end of Lake Macquarie but down south, the temperatures are above 18°. For those who don’t want to chase salmon, there is a lot on offer down there.
I hope some of you have taken my advice and fished at night in the shallows and caught a few bream.
This month I would still target them down south. The water isn’t warm enough north of Coal Point, so the bream won’t be on the chomp up there.
For those using bait, the places to head to would be Vales Point, Wyee Point and Morisset Hospital.
Plastics for bream this time of year offer an extreme challenge with strong winds and clear, and cold water making success very difficult.
Having said that, those who use metal vibes still have a chance or two of getting a few fish in the deeper water.
Flathead will be about south of Wangi Point in the deep water around Pulbah Island, mainly on the western side to Point Wollstonecraft. Gulp 5” Jerk Shads would be good lures to use.
You could also give Coal Point. My mate Ivan has been getting quite a few off his jetty there.
Towards the end of this month, I would be heading up towards the channel targeting flathead because it’s around this time that they really start to fire.
It was the same time last year that Chris ‘Macca’ was getting his bag limit (although he kept only a few fish) virtually every trip.
There could be a few tailor about this month with good places to spin and troll including Pulbah Island, Myuna Bay and up towards Valentine.
Early mornings seem to be the best bet with howling winds seeming to bring rewards to those mad enough to head out in the cold.
You will probably see Stan ‘Matlock’ Goffett out there trolling along in his shorts and shirt and the bloke next to him will be Jason Nunn, dressed in full waders and about six jumpers.
It’s amazing to think that these two blokes have accounted for hundreds of marlin over the years (the majority tagged and released), yet they get as excited as schoolboys heading out for their first fishing trip every time they go out in the lake looking for tailor.
It just goes to show that fishing can be an exciting a rewarding pastime no matter how many fish you have caught.
There could be a chance of a few whiting about near the sand islands and over towards Naru.
Soft plastics could be worth a try, along with shallow-diving lures ripped through the sand and allowed to settle and rise up before making another retrieve. Stirring the sand up this way seems to bring the fish over to investigate and once they see the lure there is a good chance of a hook-up.
It could be worth trying for a bream around the weed beds at Boydies using this same technique.
Luderick have been a bit hit-and-miss this year. I wonder if this has anything to do with some anglers catching their bag limits in the morning and then heading out again in the afternoon and doing the same thing.
When these blokes are doing this virtually every day, it’s no wonder that numbers are down.
If you want to have a go for some, try Lucys breakwall on a run-in tide.
If you don’t want to contend with the hordes at Lucys, you might consider venturing down Catherine Hill Bay or up to Redhead for a late drummer – there are a few about. Berley well and use Hawkesbury River prawns and you could be in luck.
There are a few trevally and some good bream in these washes.
You could also try for a few kingies around Catho in late August because they tend to school up around September. There could even be a few sharks ploughing through the schools of salmon.
The most prolific fish this month will be salmon. Pick any spot and there salmon are likely to be there if you want the kids to have some fun. Throwing chromies off the rocks or beaches will be a good option, as will baits meant for tailor.
Places like Salts Bay will have big numbers, mainly of an afternoon. On light gear then they can be a lot of fun. Soft plastics around 3” work well.
There have been reports of yellowfin tuna up and down the coast but if you don’t want to head out wide, the southern Farm (in 90m-plus) down to Norah Head will be producing snapper to 4kg.
Further south, longfin sea perch, big trag and morwong will be on offer with squid and pillies good baits. A good colour sounder makes life easier when anchoring.
Leatherjackets will still be about but don’t let them spoil your trip. Move around if necessary to get away from them or wait a bit to see if they move on.
Inshore, in less than 20m, tarwhine and trevally predominate but you must berley and fish light.
Redhead and Merewether should produce a few bream and trevally on Hawkesbury prawns.
The beaches will have salmon and if you don’t want them, then it could be slim pickings.
There are a few bream about and the only other real option could be trying for a jew at night around Blacksmiths Beach and the breakwall with fresh tailor fillets.
Don’t let the prospect of just catching salmon this month put you off fishing. There are still other species to be had, you just need to think smart and get out there. And if you think you see a UFO flying across the lake at night, it will only be me in my new Polycraft with the lights turned on.Reads: 7465