Conditions are heating up in the Hunter and it’s not only the mercury that’s on the rise.
Snapper have been running hot in close to shore, with consistent reports from Swansea to Seal Rocks of reds on the rampage.
Port Stehphens angler Rhys ??? got a might a mighty 8.5kg fish off the rocks down Boat Harbour this week, and according to Tackle World Port Stephens expert Paul “Ringo” Lennon, he hasn’t been alone.
“There’s been quite a few coming off the rocks, guys in boats working places like Ediths Rocks and Broughton have been going good too chucking plastics around,” Ringo said.
”Similarly, there’s been kings around Broughton and out the front of Fingal and the odd one poking around the rock wall at the marina inside the bay.”
If you find whiting exciting, good news, they’re biting throughout all local estuaries.
Up in the bay there’s been a stack taken around Shoal Bay, Jimmy’s Beach and other shallow estuary outposts.
Down in Lake Macquarie, the sand flats near Pelican have been very productive.
So much so that Fish of the Week winner from two week ago, Sean Fenning, who resides in Tamworth, is heading down this weekend with a special delivery of stick baits to get stuck back in.
“I hear they’ve been getting some really big ones, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Sean said from Tamworth this week.
Ringo himself has been getting them on surface lures around Soldiers Point.
“Fish the top of the tide and into the run-out, and work the surface with lures or poppers and you should go OK,” Ringo said.
On the game fishing front it’s been a little slow, although there was report of a lone stripe marlin tagged on the Shelf.
It was a big week for Tackle World Port Stephens tyro Mr Lennon who joined the metre maestros when he landed a 101cm flathead.
The Australian record is 102cm but that was the last thing on Ringo’s mind as he reeled in his leviathan lizard.
“I was actually chasing jewies at night, not targeting flathead, in about 12 metres of water using live baits,” Ringo recalled this week.”
Ringo’s PB until that moment was a 98cm specimen.
“There’s a lot of stories out there about the metre monsters and it’s taken me over 20 years to get there; they look huge coming up out of the water but the brag mat never lies,” Ringo reflected.
After a few photos, Ringo paid his respects: “I always release the big girls,” he said.
Daniel Bills got amongst the flathead action this week too, landing and releasing his biggest fish ever, a monster lizard off Blacksmiths breakwall.
“I got it about 6am, about half an hour before high tide,” Daniel reported.
“It was caught on a sandy coloured 15cm soft plastic and measured in at 80cm long.”
You Digger it?
Nelson Bay Diggers held their annual Invitational Tournament last weekend.
Teams from Sydney, Hunter, Newcastle and North Coast. attended with over 100 fishos taking part.
“We had a good turn out of juniors as well,” spokesperson Chris Wills said.
“There were many good fish weighed in.”
Riverstone Club have a Snapper Shield name in honour of Boyd Hart, a member they lost at Broughton Island in 2007.
“The heaviest snapper was caught by John Logvyn (Newcastle Blue Water FC ) which weighted 4.180kg,” Chris reported.
“Glen Richards [Newcastle Blue Water FC] got the heaviest fish, a bar cod [14.696kg].”
Jessica Sullivan [Newcastle Blue Water FC] was crowned Champion Lady
Jacqueline Petryszen [The Dam F.C] took junior girls honours and Tyler Grahame [Newcastle Blue Water FC] was champion boy.
The competition was held concurrently with the Nelson Bay Diggers regular monthly outing which Chris won. Heaviest fish was caught by Craig Mather, a 1.678kg drummer.
Teralba Fishing Club held their junior fishing comp on November 13.
Three grades of junior anglers – 1 to 10 years, 11 to 12 years and 13 to 14 years – strived to catch the biggest fish of the day.
At the scheduled weigh-in at 3:30pm last Sunday afternoon 13-year-old Riley Croucher was crowned overall winner of the competition, catching a 56cm flathead somewhere in Lake Macquarie.
“Thanks to all our sponsors and junior anglers,” club spokesman Ian Guy said. “Both grade winners and runner-ups received a Shimano rod and reel for their great efforts.
“A total of 85 club members, junior anglers and guests were present on the day encouraging the Teralba Fishing Club to make this event an annual fishing competition.”
The fishing club has a great venue at Teralba Bowling Club on Cockle Creek where all visitors and guests are welcome. For more info contact 0412 684 381.