The cool weather really kicked in this week, but the fish didn’t seem to notice.
Reports from throughout local estuaries were very encouraging with the standout being the number and size of mulloway about local waters.
Lake Macquarie seems to be full of them at the moment, probably chasing the tailor which are abundant throughout.
Up the Bay, Bob Hodges, who took third place overall at the Newcastle District Anglers Association saltwater comp last weekend, got two that tested the scales at 21kg each, or thereabouts.
And 11-year-old Kobe Higgins got an 11kg, 104cm jew fishing off Redhead Beach mid week.
“He was using a small tailor he caught earlier and using one gang hook as the other two snapped off when he caught a small bronze whaler earlier,” his dad Steve reported.
Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse, reckons the jew on the beaches are probably mopping up the final mullet runs.
“Another very interesting feature of fishing this week has been the number of nice snapper caught in the lake,” Jason said. “One guy got 59cm red, which is a great fish for the lake. Must have weighed nearly 3kg.”
Jason and son Patrick “The Marks Point Marksman” fished in close offshore down south near Wybung and Catho last weekend and struggled.
“For some reason the fish didn’t bite so we headed out wide to the Farm and lo and behold late in the afternoon got 14 squire and a big hairtail – an unusual fish to catch in 90m of water,” Jason reported.
“We heard reports from further south off Norah Heads that guys were getting longfin perch, trag, snapper and jewfish – so now that June is here, it might be worth a run to southern waters because it seems they’re coming on.”
Jason reckons they were the only boat on the Farm, but the good part was they didn’t strike any leatherjacket. In closer there was a lot of flathead caught but not much more variety.
Fish cake recipe
The pick of the weather this weekend will be Sunday on the back of a big blow.
Weather wise it’s looking a bit cold, wet and windy, but there is a good tide on Saturday peaking at around 4.30pm.
The question will be whether to go wide or stick in close working the theory that fish might move in for a feed after the waters have been stirred up.
“It may also be worth a peak around Salts Bay to see if the salmon have pushed in,” Jason suggested.
“They haven’t been spotted yet, but this cold snap and the big swell could force them in. You might find you could stretch an arm chasing the fish cakes.”
Jeremy Willingham took out the Newcastle District Anglers Association saltwater boat comp last weekend.
Hailing from Golden Eagle Fishing Club, he had a great mixed bag of jew, bonito, snapper and a12.1kg kingfish.
“A lot of the big fish were caught up the bay or just outside,” NDAA spokesperson Craig Oaten said.
“Runner-up and fishing in the same boat was John Balcombe who had a similar bag without the kingfish.”
Third place and veteran champion was Bob Hodges, who only had nine fish but two of which, as mentioned above, were stonking big 21kg jews.
“One went 21.8kg and the other was about 500g smaller,” Craig said. “Again, caught in or around Nelson Bay – that was all he would tell me.”
Meanwhile down in Lake Macquarie, where Craig fished, it was supposedly very quiet.
Not so quiet, however, that his missus, Melissa Oaten, didn’t outfish him to claim lady champion.
Ryan Thoroughgood took sub-junior honours while Brian Downey claimed the super veteran crown.
“It was really good weather and probably the best weigh-in for this comp in 10 years,” Craig said.
“There were a few smaller tailor around in Swansea channel, and bream, tailor, flathead and trevally caught in the lake.
“A couple of blokes fished Moon Island and got drummer and blue groper, and guys got tailor and flounder on the beach.”
In terms of species, Nick Pryce got the largest snapper (3.6kg), Wayne Thoroughgood got the largest flathead (1.375kg), Jacob Howard got the largest bream (900g) and Mr Oaten himself saluted with the largest tailor (1.18kg)
The last comp for the NDAA season is the time-honoured Graham Dorse Open Comp which will be held on June 24-25..
Heading into the last round, John Balcombe is sitting on 45 points, in front of Shannon Denning (38).
“If Balco didn’t fish and Shannon came first or second, Shannon could knock him off, but it’s looking pretty good for Balco,” said Craig (33 points), who has Bob Hodges (32) breathing down his neck for third place.