The holiday season means a lot of people will be heading off on big adventures and wherever you go, at times it is going to be madness out on the water.
The number of boats on Lake Macquarie will increase tenfold and not all of their operators will behave properly and number of ‘ramp rage’ incidents also increases.
Too many boaters get out there after having too much to drink and all sorts of problems and accidents occur. Enjoy yourselves but don’t become a statistic.
Maritime, Fisheries and the Water Police will be out checking boats, gear, fish and so on so be ready and make sure you have all the equipment required by law.
Some of you might not have used your boats for a while should plan ahead by getting motors serviced and checking wheel bearings. Far too many people have a holiday ruined by not checking these things before hitting the water.
December is a great time to be fishing in the lake and offshore.
The water is warm throughout the lake and offshore the temp should be between 21° and 24°.
Bream, flathead and whiting should be high on everyone’s hit list.
The number of whiting in the lake and nearby beaches has been amazing and it has been a long time since we have seen such numbers.
Most have been caught on live worms (blood, tube or beach) and live or very fresh prawns. Surface poppers such as the River2Sea Bubble Pops, Lucky Craft Sammy 65s and Smith Towadis have also worked well.
Most whiting have been caught around the sand islands, from Coon Island Caravan Park down towards the fish co-op at Swansea, Swansea Channel and in Black Neds Bay.
Swan Bay is also a whiting spot although at this time of year there will probably be too many party boats so get in there very early before they all turn up.
Slime weed might limit your areas to fish but move around and you should get away from it.
Bream will be around in numbers and those who like to throw lures at them should enjoy the following months. Any of the quality hard-bodied lures such as Jackals, Atomics and Ecogear should be in your tackle box, as well as the mandatory Berkeley Gulps in 2” and 3”.
The spots I mentioned for whiting will hold bream, as well as over towards Coil Point, Green Point and Salts Bay. Moored boats will be worthwhile trying.
Early mornings and late afternoons are good to fish these areas. As it gets hotter during the day, move out to deeper water.
Fresh mullet strips, mullet gut, Hawkesbury River prawns and live worms are baits to use.
Night is the perfect time to fish the shallows as bream readily come in to feed.
Fish with a light sinker or even unweighted and don’t be afraid to move close in to 1m to 2m depths, you are more likely to catch fish there.
With lake water around 22°, flathead are likely be lying in deeper water. Chris ‘Macca’ and I have been getting them in 8m around Coil Point and in the middle of the lake on 3/8oz to 1/2oz jig heads and 5” and 6” Gulps.
You will still get flathead in the shallows, but more likely at dawn and dusk. Live poddy mullet are the pick for those bait fishing; otherwise mullet strips or squid are worth trying.
If you get some large live prawns during this month’s prawn run, use them in the channel where flathead will looking for an easy feed of prawns.
Squire and jewies are also an option this month. Try near Wangi, The Trench at Valentine, Green Point and the drop-over.
There are a few squid about now, so catch these and use them fresh to give you a better chance.
Blue swimmer crabs are about so set your pots around Belmont Bay down towards Murrays Beach. There is a limit of five pots per licensed angler and all must be on board when checking the pots.
The beaches and rocks have been a bit patchy but down towards Catherine Hill Bay there are kingies for those who put in the time.
The beaches have a few bream and whiting and it could also be worthwhile trying for a jew around Blacksmiths Beach.
Jason Nunn won the Fishermans Warehouse Tackleworld Marks Point Melbourne Cup Day staff fishing competition’ in very trying conditions. On a day when it hit 35° with winds up to 35 knots, he managed 24 mostly bream and whiting.
Chriso was second with 23 fish, 20 of which were good whiting. I started off OK but the other boys were better able to adapt to the conditions, although I got the biggest fish of the day. If the whiting Macca caught got any bigger, the Boga grips were coming out! We have something special planned for next year when anyone can get involved.
Have a safe and happy Christmas and if you are struggling to come up with gift ideas for yourself or someone else, the new Tackleworld Christmas catalogue has plenty to choose from.Reads: 2002