Shh, secret spots named
GRAHAM Duffy is not a local at Port Stephens: the proprietor at Salamander Bait and Tackle blew in from Mudgee only 25 years ago.
But the boy from the bush first visited the port to fish as a youngster in 1968.
Whenever someone writes about a certain fishing location, there’s a danger the next time you go there anglers will be standing on top of each other.
Don’t all rush to The Tubes at Tomaree Head if you’re after a few bream, but that spot and other examples with rocky shallows that offer shelter, such as The Boulders opposite Yacaaba Head, are worth their weight in salt. Ask Duff. He’s known for years.
If you’re wondering about the origin of the name The Tubes, as I was, all that remains is a cement platform near the Tomaree hospital, but it was the site of torpedo tubes during World War II.
Deryck James, of Nelson Bay Sport and Tackle, said the Nelson Bay breakwall had had bream to 2kg, a few kingfish and trevally.
‘‘One bloke said he caught a couple of blue swimmers along Bagnalls Beach,’’ James said.
Bream were around the oyster racks.
Duffy said flathead had been caught in the lower reaches of the port, such as the shallows around Corrie Island.
There were luderick around the jetties at Little Beach and a few whiting at Shoal Bay.
Along the beaches were salmon and tailor, and at Samurai a few school jew.
Offshore, anglers were hooking snapper in the shallows around Broughton Island.
‘‘Shane and Barry Peate got snapper up to 6kg at North Island at Broughton,’’ Duffy said.
‘‘Steve Wade also got snapper to 7kg at Broughton.
‘‘There are still plenty of flathead on the Inner V reef and at the back of Mungo.’’
Good flathead had also been found around the islands.
Simon Rowe, of Tackle Power Sandgate, said a couple of mates fishing in deep water – 80 and 120metres – offshore at Port Stephens in the past week had caught snapper and pearl perch to 4.5kg.
Ice jigs baffle bass
THIS week our friends from across the ditch have had some of the biggest dumps of snow in 40 years.
Closer to home, even Barrington Tops has had a sprinkling of snow.
So maybe it should come as no surprise that Simon Rowe reports that ice jigs have been fishing well at Lake Glenbawn.
The pattern originates from ice-fishing in the northern hemisphere, where they cut a hole in ice and dangle the jig vertically.
The jig, with a tow point in the middle and hooks at either end, has been the undoing of several bass in deep water at Glenbawn.
But the most ice you’ll find at Glenbawn will be in the esky.
Sea of salmon
THE beaches around Newcastle had ‘‘miles and miles’’ of salmon, Rowe said.
A few whiting had been caught on live worms at the southern end of Stockton Beach.
Flathead were taking whitebait and soft plastics in the Hunter River and were also hooked offshore at Stockton Bight.
The rocks had drummer, groper and luderick.
Bear chases bluefin
THE Lake Macquarie game boat Obsession has been moored in Sydney over the winter months, says Fisherman’s Warehouse owner Jason ‘‘One For’’ Nunn.
Last weekend the 40-foot Caribbean cruiser headed offshore from Sydney chasing reports of large bluefin tuna.
Nunn said the crew were rewarded with bluefin up to 130kg on lures.
Offshore anglers have been watching reports of bluefin caught over winter from Victoria, then Bermagui, Shoalhaven and now Sydney.
If the bluefin keep heading north, the neighbourhood could get interesting in the next couple of weeks. Nunn hopes to head out soon aboard Running Bear, skippered by Duncan Manderson and owned by George Clift.
‘‘Depending how far the cold water pushes, we could get bluefin to Port Stephens or Forster,’’ he said.
‘‘You’re going to need to be wide off the shelf, such as at the back of The Canyons.’’
He said fish like that were the catch of a lifetime.
Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club held its annual presentation last weekend at Swansea RSL. Running Bear was the champion boat tag and release. Anger Management won champion boat capture.
Hooked down south
JASON Nunn has been fishing and filming with Dave Butfield for the Hooked show in the past week.
He said they fished off Blacksmiths Beach and caught about 25 salmon.
‘‘We then changed tackle and got a heap of dart, a few more salmon and bream.’’
A few days later they went night fishing at the southern end of Lake Macquarie and caught 17 bream. No big fish, but plenty 28 to 30cm. All were released.
The episodes will screen on Aurora.
Lake Macquarie had reports of tailor down deep and salmon throughout.
Flathead were hooked near Point Wolstoncroft and Summerland Point. Luderick were in Swansea Channel. Nunn said drummer had shown up in numbers off the rocks among trevally, bream and luderick.