Weekend fishing: Snap up the snapper

The seas have settled and the snapper have moved in, according to Paul ‘‘Ringo’’ Lennon, of Nelson Bay Tackleworld.

Conditions for the past couple of days have been glorious, and anglers are encouraged to take advantage before the August winds whip in.

‘‘Lots of good ones [snapper] pushing 6kg,’’ Ringo said yesterday.

‘‘Everywhere from Boat Harbour to Edith Breakers.

‘‘They’ve been getting them in the middle of the day on tide changes.

‘‘Soft plastics have been doing all the damage.’’

Ringo’s workmate Brent ‘‘Hammer ’’ Hancock launched a daylight raid on Broughton Island on Wednesday and bagged a dozen up to 5kg – done and dusted in a couple of hours.

He also took the opportunity to cruise along Bennett’s Beach off Hawks Nest and fly-fish for salmon.

‘‘Great sport,’’ Hammer said yesterday.

‘‘Seathrough minnows work really well. You find schools, cast just in front and wait for a couple to peel off.

‘‘Really good, fun, sight casting.’’

Given how calm the sea is at the moment, there’s potential to fly-fish from shore.

Variety the key

SALMON are on throughout the bay and Lake Macquarie, with some handy tailor hanging around, too, Glenn Taylor, of Tackle Power Charlestown, said yesterday.

Recent rains have pushed some good flathead into local estuaries, too, Glenn said, and bream are on thebite.

Out wide, long-liners have been getting yellowfin tuna up to 60kg in 1000 to 2000 fathoms.

There’s been reports of swordfish and southern bluefin in the mix as well, mainly to the north – Seal Rocks to Forster.

Luderick are about in heavy numbers in all estuaries.

Light fluoro-carbon leaders and some good weed are the key to a smokin’ session.

Drummer have been a bit shy off the rocks. Dawn and dusk are your better options.

You just need to find some wash and work the hole with some berley and a hooked prawn.

Blue groper have been active along headlands and off the rocks.

Jeff Delaney landed a 9.5kg specimen at Fingal last Sunday. And last week, a 7.5kg fish was weighed in at Hammer’s HQ.

Meanwhile, Mat Sidebottom landed a 4kg mac tuna off Fingal after a 40-minute fight.

Bream bonanza

HUNTER anglers acquitted themselves well in the grand final of the Betts Berkley Evinrude Team Bream Series held in conjunction with the Sydney International Boat Show at Darling Harbour last weekend.

Defending champs Mark Healey and Adrian Neoh, of Marks Point, claimed the $6000 second prize and Toronto pair Peter Macor and Troy Van Kampen pocketed $4000 for third.

Jory solid on duty

FORMER Herald journalist Peter Jory continues to notch up fishing triumphs in his retirement.

A couple of months ago Pete’s bream-fishing exploits featured in this column.

Last week, Pete hooked his first-ever Australian salmon, measuring 68cm.

He wasn’t giving too much away about the location, describing it as his ‘‘favourite lake spot ... a quiet secluded jetty’’.

Given the number of secluded jetties, not to mention salmon, in the lake, that could be anywhere.

Pete’s description of the experience is a little more detailed, and I’d like to share an extract.

To set the scene, Pete had just battled the fish for 10minutes before getting it to the shore:

‘‘It threw the hook as I tried to lift it out of the water with the line. But, like me, it was spent, and sat motionless on the sandy, weedy bank with the water lapping around it. I placed it on the grass, the battle won.’’

Mesmerising stuff PJ, no wonder you were a journo.

Shark tale

HAMMERHEAD sharks in Lake Macquarie have been hitting the headlines lately.

Sightings have been constant, people have been suggesting public areas be netted off, and a big one beached itself at Myuna Bay last month.

Now add this anecdote.

Fifteen-year-old Lambton resident Lewis Williamson had a run-in with one earlier this year that really makes you wonder how long till someone gets nibbled.

Lewis was paddling his 3.5-metre kayak over the ‘‘dark water’’ of the Dropover, about a kilometre from shore between Belmont and Marks Point, when a hammerhead bigger than his kayak began harassing him, his mother Diana said yesterday.

‘‘It came up and gave him a nudge and then started circling. He threw his bag at it and it went for the bag.

‘‘It disappeared but he had a sense of foreboding.

‘‘Then it came back up under the kayak and tried to push him off.

‘‘He was quite stressed.

‘‘He was eventually rescued by people in a big boat after waving them down, but the shark then started circling the boat, too.’’

Freaky stuff.

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