While I was on holidays up north recently with my new Polycraft, a few things happened which made me think about holidaymakers who visit our area.
The first day up there it was magic offshore, with fish everywhere and sore muscles that night. We were excited about the coming days but the wind blew non-stop for the rest of the trip, shutting down our options until things were almost unfishable.
The only thing that saved us was a visit to a local Tackleworld store for some good advice from blokes who live there. They put us onto spots out of the wind for a few fish.
For those planning to visit our region, make sure you visit us at Tackleworld Marks Point, where we can help out with what is going on at the time.
If you want to do a lot of planning www.newcastlefishing.com is well worth visiting. It’s full of locals (and others) with a wealth of information who are willing to help.
Or you could join a fishing club in the area, such as Charlestown Anglers, which is a very family-friendly club with plenty of organised outings and the presentation night is a big event. They meet at Charlestown Golf Club on the first Tuesday of the month, visit www.charlestownanglers.com.
Lake Macquarie this month should really start to produce some quality fish for those who put in the time.
Jewfish are worth targeting this month with some good fish around at the moment. The number of jewies caught in the lake this year has surprised me and things don’t seem to be quieting down.
Night is the right time with fresh bait vital. If in a boat, try using any of the new Yo-Zuri or Yamashita squid jigs and do a drift from Blacksmiths boat ramp towards the bridge or head down towards Murrays Beach.
If drifting near the bridge, use a paternoster rig with a couple of squid jigs on it.
Out at the island there could be some bigger green eye squid if you want to put out a bigger bait for some of the larger jewies that have been hanging around.
It was around this time last year that a couple of 20kg-plus fish were caught. Places to be trying would be Green Point, the Trench at Valentine, the drop-over and over towards Wangi.
For those who like a challenge, soft plastics or some of the larger vibe lures will work down towards the southern end of the lake in the deeper water during the day.
Bream will be on the move this month with more fish expected to be up our end of the lake.
Salts Bay would definitely be worth throwing lures around as this can be a cracker of a spot if the fish are there. Chriso and Luke suggest the Berkeley Gulp 2” Shrimp in banana prawn and the 2” Gulp Worm in camo.
If hardbodies are more your thing, any of the vibe lures will work.
A few spots to head to would be include shallow areas such as Galgabba, Swan Bay, the sand islands and even up into Black Neds Bay, where lures will work.
The water might not be warm enough to see any major surface lure action but it could be worth a go. Any of the smaller River 2 Sea poppers will work.
Remember to slow your retrieve if targeting bream on the surface. Sammy 65s and the Bassday Sugapen will also work on the surface.
If you can’t find any bream there, you should move down towards the warmer water near the hot water outlet.
Myuna Bay and surrounding areas will have water of 20° or more so fish will be actively looking for food and a lure will work. If you want to sit and soak a line then sound around and look for structure.
Early mornings and late afternoons, bream will hunting the shallows and as the day brightens will move into deeper water, so move accordingly.
Baits in these areas are Hawkesbury River prawns, mullet strips and mullet gut, as well as slimy mackerel fillets and the like.
The same areas will also be worthwhile for whiting. Again, I don’t think that they will be actively taking lures on the surface, but it could be worth trying.
You will probably have more luck on the 2” banana prawns Gulp Shrimp and the 2” Worms.
Another trick worth trying is to use a deeper-diving crankbait ripped through the sand and allowed to suspend before a further rip and so on. Any whiting in the area will see the sand being stirred up and come to investigate.
If you want to anchor and use bait, fish light line to about 3kg and keep your sinker size as small as possible. Live bloodworms are best and tube worms second. Peeled fresh school prawns will also be useful as there will be a few prawns around the weed beds at this time of year.
We seem to be seeing the end of the tailor in the lake now, but there will still be a few around. Trolling offers the best chance, as you will cover a larger area. Try deep-divers with the Rapala hot tiger and green parrot the pick.
Flathead and flounder will definitely be about and for those that haven’t tried fishing with soft plastics yet, now would be the time to start.
Most learners make the mistake of taking bait out with them. They try using ‘plastics’ for a while and then get into old habits of putting the ‘new stuff’ away and go back to bait.
It might take a little longer to catch your first fish on a soft plastic than on bait, but once you get the hang of it you will be surprised at how quickly you go to your plastic outfit instead of your bait rod. Quite a few people I know took a good year before they got their first bream on a plastic (me included) but flathead are a different story.
It makes sense to start using plastics while there are plenty of willing fish around. The better lures are any on the Gulp 5” Jerk Shads or the Shimano soft stickbaits, just match the jig head size to the conditions. It might seem like its complicated, but it isn’t rocket science.
Another lake target is the squire. There are a few around the Drop-over, Green Point and Belmont Bay taking fresh squid at dusk and just after, or try 5” and 7” Jerk Shads.
If you are trying for a jewie, fish in close around structure on dusk and then move to deeper areas later.
Blue swimmer crabs should be starting to show up in numbers so drop your witches’ hats around Belmont Bay and down towards Murrays Beach.
October is a great month to be out on the lake so enjoy.Reads: 2924