Things are hotting up!
  |  First Published: October 2009

The warm, clear water that has been trickling down the coast has filled the lake at every high tide and the sun has been warming the upper estuary – things are hotting up!

The warmer water encourages the microscopic food chain to blossom and then flow on through to the butter prawns, small fish and so on up to the target species like bream, flathead and whiting.

The fish certainly have a higher metabolic rate in the warm water and become very active right throughout the estuary and the lake.

From the end of October and on into the
ummer, the whiting aggregate to spawn and become very aggressive – easy targets on surface poppers and baits.

Large bream, too, are prone to getting involved on the surface over the sand flats and weed beds.

With the main target whiting, you will need some of the great number of surface lures that are on the market at the moment.

There are the popular Lucky Craft Sammy 65s and Bassday Sugapens and if your budget is a little tighter, the Hawk Splasher is a great ‘suicide’ popper you can throw three oyster racks back if you get frustrated or really keen. For the money, these Hawks are great value and durable enough to perform well without costing an arm and a leg.
he JazLure Zappa55 is also in this value category.

The lure angler these days is spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting lures for a specific technique.

But there is, understandably, a lot of confusion or perhaps indecision when it comes to the purchase.

If you’re heading to an unfamiliar area, the advice of the local tackle shop owner can be essential. Lloyd Campbell at Great Lakes Tackle in Tuncurry or Max Frost at Barclay Marine are the two guys you need to talk to for all the lures used locally, and all the up-to-date information on the local area.


I never thought I’d say it out loud, but I think we need rain to put a bit of colour back in the lake.

Crystal-clear water is not generally good for daylight fishing but during the evening the fish can go off.
arkness helps to hide the leader or line and the fish are a little less spooky.

The channels and leases close to the bridge suffer the most from clear water so further up in the system we should see better colour in the water and hopefully fewer spooky fish.

The masses of small flathead will increase over the shallow flats and weeds in the lower lake as the large females gather to spawn. Remember, there are usually a few males hanging around in groups so if you catch one, keep fishing the same area for a while, especially if lure fishing.

The clear water is good for spotting large flathead and there are plenty turning up.

Reports of good blue swimmer crabs in the lake are no real surprise.
et witches’ hats in about 3m of water along the weed fringes and drop-offs to secure a great feed. Another month and we should see the muddies back in full swing, too.
lackfish frames are one of my favourite baits in the nets and traps. The prawn runs have been
and the odd night has produced good catches. The numbers and size of the prawns should improve in coming months.

I’ve had little news from the ocean rocks and apart from a few bait sessions, I have not explored the coastal fringe for a while.

What have been trickling are reports of the number of silver trevally still hanging around. They are normally a bit scarcer by this time of the year around the rocks.

School tailor are still around the washes early morning and late afternoon. Janies Corner is well frequented by lure and bait anglers fishing the rocks and sand.

Those who have been fishing the beach have been rewarded with some big bream and dart.

The whiting are improving in size from the beaches too, but beach worms or pipis are a must.

Nelson Bay anglers Shannon and Dave made a visit to the area recently and were sent out to Chinamans
eef, where they had a ball pulling snapper to 55cm, morwong, flathead and even a 2.5kg john dory. Reads: 1369

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