It’s the Lake Macquarie Cup1
  |  First Published: October 2009

November is a good time in Lake Macquarie.
here plenty of fish on offer this month, and at our tackle shop we get an extra day off because we will be closed on Melbourne Cup Day for our annual staff fishing competition.

It’s the only time the whole year we all get to fish against each other and there has been a lot of planning that has gone on this year.

I really want to beat Chriso, who has appointed himself ‘the Guru’ after taking out last year’s event.

I’m happier this year because I will be able to fish out of my new Polycraft and get to more areas that I haven’t been able to in previous years. With seven hours of fishing on offer, there can be a lot of ground to cover and I’ll be fishing for flathead, bream and whiting.

If we get good weather, we should all get quite a few fish.

I know Chriso and I will be fishing with lures and the water will be warm enough to target whiting on lures as well as flathead and bream.

So if you are planning to fish on Cup day I suggest you get your gear the day before as Tackleworld Marks Point will be shut on the first Tuesday in November. I’ll let you know how we go.

I have built myself a few new rods for this season and was very surprised recently when my wife asked me to build her one so she can join me out on the water.

She has never done any soft plastics fishing so I jumped at the chance to take her out and teach her. She actually listened to me (for a change!) and it didn’t surprise me that she got her first fish in under an hour – and she loved it.

I have to admit I did, too, because I got to do what I wanted to and it gave us quality time out on the water.

You tend to forget about all the hassles in life and actually get to talk to each other while fishing. You might think I’m mad, but give it a go: you, too, might actually enjoy yourselves.

here will be bream, flathead and whiting about this month as well as squire, jewies, kingies and blue swimmer crabs. The water will be getting a bit warmer now and fish will be on the move looking for a feed.

You can move away from the southern end of the lake and start trying closer to the bridge and the channel.


I would definitely be fishing during the prawn run this month because bream and whiting will be abundant through the channel as the prawns make their way through.

a deadly way to catch a good feed is to rig live prawns for whiting and bream around the sand islands. that’s if you have kept some prawns for bait instead of the table.

A good feed of fresh prawns is hard to beat, although a good feed of whiting is even better in my books.

For those unsure when to be going prawning, a safe bet is to start seven to 10 days after the full moon.

A legal-length prawn net and a decent torch or spotlight will help you to catch a feed – or quality bait.

If in a boat, you could do what most people do and head to the channel on dark and start searching for prawns on the run-out tide.

If shore-based, wading through weed beds is an option. Places to try are Black Neds Bay, Boydies and Swan Bay. Make sure you wear waders or decent shoes/boots, there can be a few blue-ringed octopus about.

If the water is warm enough, surface lures such as the river 2 sea bubble pop, Lucky Craft sammy 65, Smith Towadi and so on are definitely worth using for whiting and bream. I’d head to Swan Bay in the shallows near the island, down towards Myuna Bay, Salts Bay or the sand islands.

A run-out tide is the best, and if they aren’t taking surface lures, try using the Berkley Gulp 2” worms in camo colour or the 2” Shrimp in banana prawn worked down a bit deeper. Any of the blade lures should also be working in these areas.

If bait is your thing, obviously live prawns are best but if you can’t get any, Hawkesbury River prawns, live blood or tube worms and even mullet will work.

Flathead are going to be about this month and for those new to the soft plastics game, now is the time to be out there.

Popular places include Coil Point, Myuna Bay, Bolton Point and Swansea Channel. Lures that work well include any of the Gulp 5” jerk shads, in particular sweet and sour and the new orange tiger and banana prawn colours. Chris ‘macca’ and I have been using these colours with great success lately and it has been hard to try anything different. I know the other new colours like pilchard, vader and black catalpa would also work.

ive poddy mullet and bigger live prawns are deadly on flathead, particularly near Swansea bridge.

The other main targets this month are kingies, jewies and squid. it would make sense to get a good arsenal of quality squid jigs and start catching fresh bait.

Most people think spending money on these jigs is a waste, but Jason Nunn proved otherwise when he was fishing with Dave Buttfield for Dave’s Hooked program recently.

Jason’s jig outfished Dave’s 5 to 1 that day and the number of calls we have had asking for these jigs has been amazing.

Unfortunately the manufacturer in Japan has stopped production but we are hoping they can be sourced somewhere. The are plenty of other jigs from Daiwa, Yo-zuri and Yamashita that do the same job.

Try on the seaward side of Swansea bridge and out around the island. If shore-based, then any of the jetties around the lake at night should get you some results.

Once you have your squid then you can try for kingies at Swansea bridge or even the drop-over at times.

Jewies should be targeted around Wangi, the Trench at Valentine and even the drop-over. There will be a few about now, so put the time in and you could be rewarded.

Another option is to put in some crab pots around the lake. Belmont Bay down towards Murrays Beach are places to be dropping your pots.

Remember, there is a limit of five per person and each person must be present when bringing in these pots.

Offshore is starting to show some improvement, with squire in close the pick. Redhead and Catherine Hill Bay also have flathead and trevally.

Unfortunately, there will also be a few leatherjackets about.

Newcastle Harbour has some jewies about at night, with lures working well.

The beaches are also starting to improve with bream and whiting being the most prevalent with worms best but good quality prawns are also worth a try.

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