Reports of cobia inside the bay this week have got anglers licking their lips.
Warm water has pushed into shore after the big blow, and the cobes have pushed down, along with encouraging numbers of marlin.
“Scott Thorington got one [cobia] about 25kg during the week on Haven Sport Fishing Charters boat Freedom,” Brent “Hammer” Hancock, from Tackle World Port Stephens said.
“The water temp is up to 24 degrees in some places in close. It’s slightly early for cobia, but good to see them. I’d usually expect them to run more April-May. They do like the warmer currents.”
Hammer predicted snapper to head to deeper areas as the water warms.
“You will catch them in the shallows, but you won’t get the big ones,” he said.
“Fishing the reefs you’ll get plenty of trag and the odd pearl perch will push down.”
Inside the bay, Hammer expects the mullet to run with the next big sou-wester.
“That could be this weekend,” Hammer said.
“Looking at the BOM it’s hard to tell what we’re going to get. Friday looks like a sou-wester, Saturday it might be windy and wet. My advice is to take the old fashioned approach and get up, have a look, and maybe take a spoonful of concrete to harden up.”
The swell has knocked local beaches around, but Hammer has been selling lots of beach worms.
“That tells me whiting and tailor are biting,” he said.
Garfish have been active around Shoal Bay, according to Matt from Duff’s Salamander Bait and Tackle.
The bait of choice is silver fish and if done right can result in a nice meal as garfish are great eating.
Black fish and mullet are starting to school in the bay and bream continue to be active off the breakwall, biting on pilchard baits.
March is mud crab month at Duff’s with $100 up for grabs for the biggest muddie. Mitch Baily leads at the moment.
The 2017 Newcastle East Coast Classic game-fishing tournament was run and won out of Newcastle last weekend.
As predicted, the weather backed off and the striped marlin moved in.
Forty-nine marlin were tagged overall – made up of 17 black marlin, 26 striped marlin and six blue marlin as well as six sharks and six other gamefish species.
On the capture side, six blue marlin and four striped marlin were weighed with the Heaviest Marlin trophy going to junior angler Max Hardy on Eagle VI with a blue marlin that came in at 214.4kg.
One mako and thre tiger sharks were also weighed, the Heaviest Shark trophy going to Newcastle Game FIshing Club angler Matthew Baldwin aboard Blood Bank for a 415.6kg tiger.
Champion Boat Tag and Release went to Born Free (Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fishing Club) while Blood Bank won Champion Boat Capture.
Each of the major category winners won $5000 in cash. A total of 51 boats and 215 anglers defied the intimidating lead-up weather to compete, and NGFC secretary Scott Morris was rapt.
“Firstly, we would like to thank our major sponsors for their ongoing support – Penn Fishing, Marmong Point Marina, Koolewong Marina and MMM Sheet Metal, and a host of other sponsors,” he said.
“It was great to see the local boats from Newcastle Game Fishing Club dominating a lot of the categories issuing out the challenge to other clubs for next year.
“We would also like to thank the boats that came from Port Macquarie, Lake Macquarie, Sydney, Port Stephens and the Central Coast for competing.”
Jump to it
Flat Batteries can leave a vessel stranded so easily, according to Neil Hanscomb deputy unit commander from Marine Rescue Port Stephens.
Making sure your battery is in top condition is a must before venturing out to sea.
Neil said the mini jump starter was an invaluable piece of equipment carried by Marine Rescue Port Stephens' vessels and worth considering for all anglers.
“We conducted three rescues last weekend,” Neil reported. “Sunday at 5 am the volunteer crew of PS31 w a small boat with a flat battery off Treachery Beach near Seal Rocks. They had been stranded all night which must have been extremely uncomfortable.
“The smiles on the two fishermen as our boat pulled up beside said it all. A mini jump starter was passed and they safely started their engine.”
Mini jump starters are available on-line from the E Shop of Marine Rescue NSW.
Nelson Bay Diggers held their monthly outing last weekend.
Rough conditions outside kept anglers on the estuary on Saturday, but most boats headed out on Sunday.
“Greg Kethel was overall winner with the heaviest bag. Bill Hayes registered the heaviest fish (1.365kg tailor0 and Seroj Kethel took ladies honours,” club secretary Chris Wills reported.