FISHING: Hunter firing on all fronts

THE Hunter’s estuaries, beaches, dams and rivers have been firing in the past week, by all accounts.

Anglers have been catching some cracker whiting along the beach from Blacksmiths to Belmont, says Jason Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point.

‘‘There’s good fish up to 40centimetres and a lot of fish about 35 to 38centimetres. A few bream and dart are mixed in,’’ Nunn said.

Tailor are an afternoon proposition on the beaches but the mornings don’t seem to be producing any tailor.

On the rocks, there’ve been big tailor and kingfish at Redhead and Dudley. Catherine Hill Bay and Snapper Point have kingfish, tailor, trevally – all of the species that you would associate with that area.

Whiting in Lake Macquarie are plentiful but not showing the same condition as their beach cousins.

The estuaries are producing mulloway, and kingfish have been hooked on surface poppers and squids at Swansea Bridge and The Dropover.

Mixed bag

NUNN believes an upwelling of green water wide off the shelf is the reason for several offshore shark reports, mostly makos.

‘‘There were a couple of marlin caught off the Southern Canyons so the water may have been marginally better down there,’’ he said.

There’ve been a few reds, trag and kingfish but catches have been inconsistent ‘‘because of a lack of participation’’.

Geoff Ruse, from Freddy’s Fishing World at Broadmeadow, reports some booming flathead being caught in the lake.

‘‘A guy came in and had three photos of flathead in the 90centimetres, so there’s been some rippers,’’ Ruse said. 

‘‘But I recommend we put those big breeders back because they’re not the best eating and they put in millions of eggs every year.’’

Don’t forget zoning

PORT Stephens has been firing for flathead at the Corlette groyne, said Ross Duffy, from Salamander Bait and Tackle.

Flathead have been good throughout the Port, but other hotspots have been The Shortcut near Corrie Island, and the back of Soldiers Point towards Karuah River.

School jew and bream have been caught off the Nelson Bay breakwall. Blue swimmers are up Tilligerry Creek.

Sand whiting up to 35centimetres are in good numbers around Jimmys and Nelson Bay beaches. On the oceanside, Fingal and Stockton beaches have also been good for whiting and bream.

Duffy fished near Broughton Island this week.

‘‘We got some nice reds up to three kilograms fishing the shallows around Broughton Island with floating baits,’’ Duffy said.

 ‘‘There’s a few big kings around the Sisters reef and there’s been trag on the 21 and Gibber reefs.’’

Marine park officer Andrew Field confirmed big catches of whiting on poppers and lures around Pindima and some good flathead taken on lures towards The Shortcut and Pindima. 

‘‘A lot of guys do well throwing surface poppers and little lures around the mangroves around high tide,’’ Field said.

If you’re fishing at Port Stephens, remember to carry a marine park zone guide.

You can pick up a brochure, buy a GPS data card which shows the zones on the marine plotter, or download an application on your iPhone or iPad.

Success with jews

NEWCASTLE Harbour has plenty of mulloway, bream and flathead, Ruse said.

‘‘I don’t think the trawlers have been working in any serious way yet and maybe that’s helping a little bit because a lot of people are getting jews,’’ he said.

‘‘When the juvenile jew are chasing the prawns they often get picked up by trawlers.

‘‘We haven’t had any rain to move the prawns down the rivers, and last year they wouldn’t have had a lot of work because the rivers were flooded.’’

Jackal lures score

INLAND, the dams have been firing well, Ruse said. 

‘‘A lot of guys have been doing well at Glenbawn and Lake St Clair using TN50 and TN60 Jackal lures.

 ‘‘They’ve been absolutely braining them. Also spinner baits and plastics such as Atomic Plazos have been doing well around the weed beds.

‘‘On the surface guys have been using Sammies, Siglets and Jitterbug lures.’’

The rivers have been low but the fish fiery. ‘‘I’ve been picking a few up on Cotton Cordell [Pencil Poppers].’’

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