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Warming up for a hot bite
  |  First Published: October 2008



It’s been warming up to be a hot bite and October will be on the boil!

Each year, Lake Macquarie fish sizes and numbers become more healthy and this season will one of the best on record if my predictions are correct.

The much-chased after tailor in Lake Macquarie have been leading most anglers astray. Normally we would see plenty of tailor to 2kg being caught throughout August and September.

This didn’t occur until just recently when some more encouraging numbers of fish have been caught. Some bag limits have been obtained by locals frequenting some of the more favourite locations, mainly early morning and late afternoon.

Best catches have been by trolling in close to Fishing Point and Coal Point and just wide of the Swansea Caravan Park, just on the line of the drop-over. Fish hard throughout October because I bet the tailor will still be around.

Plenty of big flathead have been caught throughout the Winter months by those who put in the time. Fish over 70cm have been caught on live baits and cast and trolled lures.

It seems that the hot water outlets at the power stations have provided a warmer environment for the flatties and the anglers have taken notice.

OFFSHORE

Some locals have come home with bag limits of small snapper to 1.5kg from the inshore and deeper reefs off Swansea.

Some of the more productive locations include the Catherine Hill Bay wreck, the Southern Farm and the Fruit Shed, while plenty of big flathead were taken on the drift at the Swansea gravel patch.

Some of the better results were from fishos who didn’t put down much berley out of fear of attracting those tackle-stealing leatherjackets. You might not think there would be too many jackets left because the trappers have been regularly harvesting tonnes of fish but there is no shortage.

So maybe keep in mind not to berley too much and move around to different spots if the jackets cause you grief.

There have been some encouraging game reports for in the lead-up to the season. Water out wide to 18° has harboured a few marlin and yellowfin tuna.

The large schools of salmon that have taken up residence can provide a marker for those wishing to chase large kingies. Most people travel straight past these schools without thinking of stopping and dropping down a metal or soft plastic lure but the reward may well be a hook-up of a decent hoodlum or trevally.

Some fish have been unstoppable on 10kg to 15kg outfits.

WHOSE ROCK?

Back in the lake, Lucys Breakwall at Swansea Heads continues to be a luderick hot spot – literally. Some anglers have laid claim to their ‘sacred’ piece of rock and abusing others who dare to fish there. Fair go, everyone is entitled to fish these spots and nobody pays rates on these sites.

Lucys is a great spot for all the family with Salts Bay Beach and the breakwall and numerous species can be caught, from trevally to bream and flathead. The sand patches also hold big whiting that can’t resist a bloodworm.

OTHER SPOTS

One of the few disadvantages about living here is that we are not blessed with an expansive offshore reef system to play around.

Many locals travel to the Port Stephens area and I have enjoyed fishing Broughton Island for over 30 years. Those after some great fishing challenges try their luck in this fantastic area.

I organise an annual Broughton trip with mates to chase snapper and this year we caught a large number of fish on 5” and 7” Berkley Gulp Jerk Shads, especially in the peppered prawn colour.

CHASING SQUID

From this month onwards, squid grow in numbers and some of the best spots to jig for them are in the Swansea Channel. Drift between the bridge and Blacksmiths boat ramp or simply have a jig suspended over the side of the boat wherever you are fishing because there are squid throughout from Wyee Point to Belmont and Green Point.

The squid are top eating and great kingfish bait to be used at the Swansea bridge.

With the busy season unfolding, be aware of the increasing numbers of law enforcement officers checking fishing licences, boating licences, registrations, safety equipment and breath-testing for alcohol.

The author with one of the snapper caught on his annual trip to Broughton Island.

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