Fishing to be found despite rough weather

IT hasn’t been the most pleasant of fishing conditions this week after the southerly buster blew in late Tuesday night.

It was possibly a harbinger of doom for Origin I. But like the Blues showed on Wednesday, there is reason to be optimistic, not only about our chances this series, but about fishing too, particularly in the estuaries.

‘‘Jumpin’’ Johnny Frith, from Fishermans Warehouse, reports salmon are prolific throughout Swansea Channel, Salts Bay and into the lake.

Angler Daron Maxwell would back that up, having hooked a 68cm Aussie fish cake off Bayswater Jetty in Lake Macquarie last Friday.

Fresh yellow tail was Daron’s bait of choice.

When it comes to lures, Jumpin’ Johnny reckons the Casper Clears are the ultimate salmon slayers.

‘‘Small chrome slugs [50-75cm] still work well but their sink rate can be a challenge at times,’’ Johnny said.

Bream are biting throughout local waters.

Late afternoon on the run-in tide is optimal.

Having said that, anglers fishing along the wharves in front of the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle have been doing well working structure during the day.

Jumpin’ Johnny rates mullet strips and/or peeled prawns dipped in tuna oil for scent as the best baits.

‘‘Salts Bay, Coon Island, the Drop-Over on the Marks Point side and Swansea Caravan Park are producing,’’ Johnny reported. ‘‘The western side of the lake between Coal Point and Wangi Point foreshores is bream central at the moment.’’

He’d know, having taken 20 fish up to 800grams on Saturday night.

‘‘So they must be thick,’’ Johnny quipped.

If you can’t catch a flathead, you probably haven’t ventured out of the house since NSW’s capitulation.

If you make the effort, you’ll find they’re biting and fighting around Pulbah Island in Lake Macquarie, and throughout Port Stephens.

Bradley Morante caught a personal-best lizard of 96cm on an Atomic Prong soft plastic at Port Stephens through the week.

Good to see Brad was conscious of sustainability.

‘‘The fish was photographed and released unharmed as all fish of this size are breeding females and must be released to ensure the future of the fishery,’’ Bradley reported.

Jumpin’ Johnny reckons you’re more likely to find flathead lurking in deeper water in the lake.

He suggests you try lures like the Nuclear Chicken, the Lime Tiger, the Mango Ripple Glow or the Camo.

Jew fishos have been getting a few schoolies up to 6kg in the lake and Newcastle Harbour.

Coal Point, Wangi Point Caravan Park and the Drop have been hot spots in the lake, and fresh lake squid the bait of choice.

Tailor have been patchy, although some anglers have reported success off Blacksmiths Beach and breakwall.

As reported last week, there’s been some nice snapper leaping onto plates in close to shore.

Big seas have been a hurdle, but those who’ve made it out have been getting mixed bags of reds, bream, tarwhine and the odd big tailor.

Offshore has been a bit of a no-go since Tuesday night.

Those were the days

FISHING history buffs can get a taste of what it was like to wet a line in Newcastle back in the 1930s and ’40s by getting along to the Maritime Centre at 3 Honeysuckle Drive, just opposite the restaurants.

The centre has an array of rods, reels, motors and other mechanisms used by anglers back in the day on display, as well as photos from the time.

To promote the exhibition, the centre is offering one lucky reader the opportunity to win a wood-framed copy of this particular photo, below, if they can tell us where along Newcastle Harbour they reckon the shot was taken.

Entries can be emailed to fishing@theherald.com.au or lodged in person at the centre.

The winner will be drawn next Thursday and announced in next week’s fishing column on Friday.

Meanwhile, the centre is selling its DVD on fishing in Lake Macquarie, which tells readers what to catch and where to catch it, including GPS co-ordinates, and where to launch your boats.

Similar DVDs on other local waterways are in the pipeline.

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