FISHING: No place to hide, marlin

STEVE Thomas, owner of game fishing boat Amokura is approaching Lake Macquarie’s Bigfish Bonanza game fishing tournament this weekend armed with a special weapon, 14-year-old daughter Jacinta.

The laid-back dad reckons if there’s marlin out there, his girl, overall champion angler at Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club for the past two years, will find them.

‘‘While ever she’s on board, we’re a chance,’’ he said. ‘‘She’s won plenty of trophies over the years.

‘‘She could find marlin in a schooner glass.’’

The forecast for the tournament is looking pretty bright, with reasonable conditions predicted both days.

Steve was keeping tactics close to his chest yesterday but was prepared to tip ‘‘a hangover on the Saturday and maybe another on the Sunday’’.

‘‘Iona, Tim Dean on Calypso, Running Bear – all the usual suspects will be there, so the competition will be fierce during the day, but we’ll catch up for a bit of socialising each night.

‘‘It will be a great way to kick off the tournament season.’’

Like many local anglers, Steve intends to fish all major tournaments over the next month, including the Luhrs Shootout and Interclub.

But like a number of bigger boat owners, he’s been forced to relocate Amokura, skippered by Chris Jolly, to Newcastle for the duration of the event due to the dredging situation in the channel.

‘‘It’s an absolute joke what we have to contend with and the local authorities need a good kick up the proverbial,’’ he said.

‘‘They got $300,000, or something, to deal with it recently, but the size of the dredge they got ... you’d be better off with a bucket and spade.

‘‘We have to travel to Newcastle tomorrow night and we’ll stay there Saturday and Sunday due to the tides in the lake.

‘‘We need a 1.6-metre tide to clear the channel and the best one for us is on Monday.

‘‘We don’t want to be coming back through the channel Sunday night.’’

Furthermore, Steve intends to base Amokura, which he works as a charter boat, out of Port Stephens for the next four months.

‘‘It used to be you could jump on the boat out of your front door [Lake Macquarie] and go fish, but not now, you have to worry about whether you can get back in and what not with the channel, it’s a real problem for bigger boats.’’

Steve’s been taking Amokura up to Cairns for the past two years for charter and entertains a lot of local lake anglers.

See the past ten Fish of the Week winners by clicking below.

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Parked out there

Another game fishing gun, Luke Stansfield, from boat TJ Mann, is fired up and ready to roll this weekend buoyed by reports from out wide over the last few days.

‘‘There’s a few marlin out there,’’ he said.

‘‘I heard there were 15 Bay [Port Stephens] boats out last Saturday and they all did all right. Seeka might have got four or five. A few others did all right.

‘‘So I reckon there’s plenty of fish sitting out there on the Carpark.’’

Luke’s also a big rap on Jacinta Thomas.

‘‘Mate, she goes very well indeed, that girl.’’

Rainlovers cluster

HATS off to nine-year-old Jacob Hoschke, of Blackalls Park, who caught a 106cm cobia and his first jew in Lake Macquarie last Friday.

Hopefully there’ll be a few more about this weekend in local estuaries.

There’s certainly plenty of whiting, bream and flathead about.

There were a few jew caught in the harbour last weekend too, and with all the rain, they should still be on.

Flat out competing

FORTY-seven boats, with a minimum of two anglers per boat, competed in the Newcastlefishing.Com Flathead tournament on Lake Macquarie last Sunday.

The event, based on total length not weight, was taken out by Team Ronald and Grimace, who were Shane (Brodo79), from Redhead and Mathew (Hammo), from Mereweather, with a total of four fish measuring 2580mm.

Team Rapala, Greg (Fishlips) and son Oscar, from Lambton, managed three fish totalling 2170mm in second place. Young Oscar bagged the biggest lizard, measuring one metre, which was duly released.

Team Hells Bells, Paul (Booty) and son Sonny, from Charlestown, finished third with a total of 2140mm.

Check out the story and pics on the website.

See pictures from the tournament by clicking on the image below.

A bit Murrayed

PETER Hatzidimitriou headed up to Seven’s River near Inverell recently – a round trip of about 1500km – to chase Murray cod.

After a bit of intelligence gathering at his local motel, Pete was able to hook up with a local farmer who shared his passion and gave him access to the river section on his property.

"After having a good chat with the motel owner about my passion to catch one of these magnificent fish he offered to have his father-in-law take us to a few of his secret spots," Pete reported.

"These are accessed by private property on the back of farms/properties and not accessible by the public.

"We met the entire family and they were truly the epitome of classic friendly and accommodating country folk ... very very lovely genuine people!

"Ron has been fishing for murray cod for over 40 years and had a lot of stories to tell!"

Pete got a couple of nice MCs for his troubles, but they didn't come easy.

"My total tally of fish was four in three days of fishing with each day lasting around 6-8 hours’ worth of fishing ... but all worth it!" he said.

"As my dad would say, 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained.'

See pictures of the 'murray cod mission' by clicking on the image below.

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