February is a good month: The fishing is good and I also become another year older and, hopefully, just a bit wiser. I often make mistakes and I can live with them as long as I can learn from them.
I make sure I have a journal of my fishing sessions which includes the tides, times, moon phase, location, etc.
I also include things that I did wrong or what I used differently that might have caught me fish that otherwise would I mightn’t have, such as the incident I mentioned last issue.
It takes only a few minutes after each trip and can provide you with a wealth of information that you can use when heading out next, or even the following year. Sometimes I need all the help I can get.
There can be a lot on offer this month in the lake and out wide.
Lake Macquarie will have the usual fish on offer and there could also be a few imports thrown in if the water stay as warm as it has. We could see the odd cobia this month, although I think March will be the time for them.
This time last year one lucky angler scored a 15kg cobia while fishing for flathead in the Swansea Channel.
Stan ‘Matlock’ also had one come up behind his lure while trolling for tailor and Macca got a couple when he was chasing jew also around the same time.
If you are hoping to get one of these tasty creatures, they have been seen at Swansea bridge, the drop-over, down towards the hot water near Myuna Bay and up near the Trench at Valentine.
Generally, they aren’t as big as the cobia found in northern waters and the same rigs you use for jewies will be fine.
Jewies are still around and freshly caught squid are the best baits with livies and strip baits also working.
Night is the best option so get your squid earlier in the day and you could be rewarded.
I can’t believe the number of jewies that are still around. I got one on a soft plastic the other day at the Drop Over in 1m of water using a 5” Jerk Shad meant for a flattie.
Bream are another big drawcard this month. They should fire early mornings and late afternoons in the shallows on surface lures.
‘If there isn’t too much weed on the surface, then get those poppers and surface walkers out as you will have a lot of fun throwing them about. Any of the sand flats, as well as places like Bolton Point, Styles Point, Green Point, the channel and Salts Bay are worth a flick.
Good bream plastics are the Gulp 2” Sand Worms and 2” Banana Prawns on lightly weighted jig heads in areas with not a lot of current flow.
When the tide is really moving, increase the jig weight to get the lure down to where the fish are, or simply move to another area.
Bait fishers should be going prawning to obtain quality baits; bream and whiting can’t resist a live prawn.
If you can’t get out prawning, use mullet gut, strip baits, squid and some people even have success with chicken breasts.
Whiting are still in big numbers and there are some big fish. Focus on the sand flats around Coon Island Caravan Park, fish the tides and get some blood or tube worms of keep some live prawns from your previous night’s prawn session.
If there isn’t too much surface weed about, get those poppers and surface walkers out as they are still proving to be great fun and very successful.
I recently got my hands on some of the new Berkley scented squid jigs from our Berkley rep, Mark Olsen. Company reps talk up all new products and we can sometimes get a bit jaded but Mark was on the money with these.
I went out with Macca on a few trips and we managed our bag limits in no time. I had one rod with a cheap squid jig on it and the other with the Berkley jig and the Berkley won hands down.
It was great to get fresh squid for a feed as well as a good supply in the freezer.
I have also changed my paternoster rig. Instead of a small snapper lead I use a 3/8oz jig head with a 5” soft plastic. It made sense because of the number of follows and takes we were getting in the lake from squid while chasing flathead on these plastics.
I might rethink this technique when chasing green eyes out at Moon Island, though, as a kingie decided to scream off into the distance with my lure and squid jigs in tow.
There are plenty of green eyes out at the island and the other usual spots they are found so get out there and get a good feed.
Kingies will be about at the bridge, the Drop Over and possibly over towards Coal Point. Poppers such as Halco Roostas will work well and fresh squid will be a better option if they aren’t taking anything on the surface.
Some boats have had good success trolling fresh squid down deep on downriggers.
Offshore there should be dollies about the FAD taking surface lures or smaller chromies on light gear. They won’t be overly large fish but a lot of fun nonetheless.
There are marlin out at the continental shelf and there have been a few yellowfin also.
The beaches have good numbers of whiting with the odd tailor and jew.
Early mornings and late afternoons, spinning with chromies is working well on tailor and for those wanting to try for a jew, night is your best option. Fish the tide changes with fresh strip baits or even a big live tailor.Reads: 1452