GALLERY: Big Fish waits 

LAKE Macquarie Game Fishing Club  have been forced to postpone  their Big Fish Bonanza tournament a week.

The iconic event  which kicks off the local   tournament season each year was due to run this weekend.

But predicted adverse conditions left LMGFC with little choice.

 Big seas and high winds are forecast   and organisers decided it would be wiser to wait a week.

A lot of sand has been ripped off local beaches  and deposited on Swansea bar over the last seven days.

That combined with low tides    in the morning and afternoon each day this weekend   would make a hazardous bar crossing even more dangerous.  

‘‘We’re itching to get out, but it’s been a waiting game,’’ Jason ‘‘One For’’ Nunn, who will fish on Running Bear, said midweek.

‘‘There’s been a lot of sand deposited on the bar and tides aren’t that favourable.

‘‘The big question once they decide to run will be whether to fish out wide, where the current is running four knots with super-warm water, or in close, where we’ve seen stacks of juvenile blacks up and down the coast.’’

‘‘No one’s been able to pre-fish out wide, so we don’t know if the bait is stacking up out there and whether there’s any stripes about.

‘‘Maybe this big weather will have slowed the current down. It will be interesting to see what happens.’’

 Pretty bad timing  

  THE Big Fish postponement is unfortunate we enjoyed our first good marlin bite of the season last weekend before the weather blew up.

Several boats out of Port Stephens reported double-figure hook-ups fishing in close off the Gibbers, north of Hawks Nest.

Billistic got 10 fish, as did Freedom, while Diversion reported eight and Obsession released seven.

‘‘There’s been really strong reports coming down the coast since December, from the Gold Coast, off Coffs, South West Rocks and it looks like they’ve got to here now,’’ Paul  ‘‘Ringo’’ Lennon, from Tackleworld Port Stephens, said.

‘‘There’s been good bait about and good water.

‘‘They got mainly little black marlin, from 15kg to 40kg, last Saturday. 

‘‘It will create a stir.

‘‘I bet there’s a lot of Victorian boats already on the way up.’’

Newcastle hook-up

 NEWCASTLE Game Fishing Club held a successful social day last Saturday.

Larry Curtis, fishing on Ningaloo, tagged four juvenile blacks just south of Nelson Bay.

‘‘In late 2012, we had the boat north of Fraser Island and we were getting 12, 13 juvenile blacks a day. These are the same fish here now. They’ve moved down,’’ Larry said.

 ‘‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen this weekend. We’ll have ordinary water for a while and I suspect the bait will break up.’’

Newcastle Game Fishing Club incorporated last year and has 84 members.

It’s hoping to affiliate with the NSW Game Fishing Association in July.

Until then, experienced  boats like Weapon, Iona, Gametime and Rocket, all based in Newcastle, will compete for their old clubs this tournament season.

‘‘We’re all respectful of our old clubs,’’ Larry said.  ‘‘We’ve been getting more and more inquiry and demand for a game fishing club to operate out of Newcastle, so this seems the natural way to go about it. Until we’re affiliated, we can only fish socially and not as a club.’’

The next tournament  will be the Nelson Bay Shootout  in two weeks before  the annual Interclub showdown the last weekend of February. 

Jew, bream move in

ON the non-game fishing scene, any time you get seven inches of rain means it’s prime time for jew and bream in local estuaries.

There will be a lot of colour coming out of the Myall Lakes system, Newcastle Harbour and Lake Macquarie.

So, anywhere along the line between fresh and salt should be productive as jew and bream move in to feast on what’s being pushed down. 

Fish of the Week winner Andrew Bateman got nine jew off his kayak in Newcastle Harbour last Friday. He kept one.

Local beaches will take a week or so to reform but, once they do, there will be a lot of species feeding on what’s been stirred up too. Same off the rocks.

Before the blow, anglers were getting great whiting, tailor and jew from Samurai Beach right down to Blacksmiths.

There’s been some nice reds coming off the reefs around Broughton Island, the 21 and V reefs, and Cod Rock.

Inside the bay, Peter Raymond fished the breakwall at Nelson Bay midweek and got two 6-kilogram reds. 

Be happy, let ’em go

JUST a reminder about big flathead this time of year.

If you happen to catch one, they’re more than likely big breeding females and should be released if possible after a happy snap. People aren’t breaking the law if they keep a fish,  but it’s all about sustainable fishing.  If they’ve got roe, let ’em go  for future generations to enjoy.

Poll result

ADAM Janik, Jason Maling and Ronny Watt claimed the People’s Choice for Fish of the Week on the Herald’s online poll  with 64.3per cent of the vote for their big jewie hooked in Newcastle Harbour.

 Andrea Harvie was second on 14.3per cent. Phillip Fraser, Mick Stone and Riley Vale finished equal third with 7.1per cent.

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