Three weeks to Christmas, and Santa came early with a good prawn run last weekend in Lake Macquarie.
Jason “One For’’ Nunn, from Fishermans Warehouse, reports solid returns, particular on Sunday, and believes it has fired up the estuary for this first week of summer.
“Shannon Malone had a scoop on Sunday night and managed 4kg in a very short time,” Jason said. “We all managed a feed out of that. Numbers were good and there was some nice size about them too.”
Jason believes the prawn run influences what goes on in estuaries.
“Bream, whiting and flathead have lifted as a result,” he said.
“There’s a lot of bream around in rows, spawning fish.
“There’s been kingfish in the channel.
”And they’ve been getting good reports of mulloway too on lures in the lake and Newcastle Harbour.”
Sam Wheaton and his Chilean partner Lore Castillo can confirm the jewfish activity in Newcastle Harbour.
Sam, a keen fisho, was on the harbour with Lore this week, who’s not that into fishing, flicking a Chilean lure called a “Piscola” that Lore had brought over with her, when they latched onto their Fish of the Week winning jewie.
“Lore still can’t believe it,” Sam reported.
“She doesn’t do much fishing and we managed to hook this beauty.
“We were just flicking this Piscola around and foul-hooked a tailor which we flipped back out as a live bait, and bang.
“It wasn’t out there long before the fish was on.”
Sam says he owes a mystery cyclist named Ben a jewfish cutlet next time he sees him.
“I’ve got to reimburse him because without his help, I don’t think we would have got it in,” Sam said.
“The fish put up a bit of a fight and we were struggling when Ben rode by. He was more excited than all of us.”
Sam was back on the water on Wednesday night and reports other anglers have been busy chasing jew.
“Guys who were parked just where the harbour splits, let’s just say their retrieval nets have been working overtime,” he said.
Offshore in close is firing with trag, bream, snapper, bonito and kingfish.
“Damn good kingfish over 10kg getting caught off Moon Island and Bird Island,” Jason said.
“Guys have been getting them trolling squid and live bait around the headlands – real tackle crunchers.
“Spearfisherman report seeing them in schools of up to 40. So it’s a good opportunity with the water temp up to do some live baiting. There should be few mulloway offshore as well.”
Jason reckons his granfather used to say you don’t go offshore until the cicadas are in full swing.
”They’ve been squarking this week so I reckon that’s an indication it’s time to get going,” Jason said.
Beaches are for firing for whiting, bream and some nice jew, according to Ross Duff, from Salamander Bait and Tackle.
“There was a beauty jew caught by Rob Cameron last week that went 22.5kg,” Duff said.
“Bit of salmon and tailor around, but not that prevalent.
“Outside has been a bit patchy.
“Some nice reds coming of the Bommies around Fisherman’s Bay and Broughton.
“Some big flatties around inside the bay.
“Looks like the weather is going to be reasonable this weekend and with the estuary going OK, I’d be thinking that’d be worth a crack – sandwhiting coming in, flathead more active and kingfish lurking off the breakwall – sounds good to me.”
Many punters seem to be unaware that there are different crabbing rules for different estuaries and assume that what applies in Port Stephens goes in Lake Macquarie.
It’s not the case and it will pay to put yourself in the picture heading into Christmas, says Jason.
A quick email to Fisheries due this response:
“Crab traps are not permitted in the waters of Lake Macquarie and its tributaries from its confluence with the South Pacific Ocean,” a spokesperson said.
“In Port Stephens, crab gear restrictions apply - to reduce marine turtle interactions.
“Hoop or lift nets may be used only between sunrise to sunset, and no part of the net can be suspended above the hoop after the net has been set.
“When using a recreational crab trap, all entrances to the trap must not exceed a maximum internal diameter of 320mm.”
For recreational crab fishing guides (including for Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie area) go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/info.
Jason believes a bit of signage around boat ramps would be beneficial.
Particularly now as the blue swimmers are on the march and the muddies are starting to show up.