LOCAL young gun Ryan Forbes and partner Daniel Wright came out on top in a hotly contested bream competition on Lake Macquarie last weekend.
Representing Baitshop Toukley, Forbes and Wright used their local knowledge to take the first prize of $5000 for the Lake Macquarie round of the Berkley Super Series. It was the third and final round of the competition and the result lifted Forbes and Wright to 11th overall. They were also among the top teams in the opening round at Hawkesbury but fell down the rankings at Forster.
Forbes and Wright brought in a whopping 5.56 kilograms of bream with their best five catches on day one and backed up on Sunday with 3.83kg for a 9.39kg total for the bag of 10.
Forbes, a regular on the Lake, reeled in a best catch of 1.6kg but was short of the top fish on a bumper weekend for anglers.
Lake Macquarie Catamaran Charters' Allan Murray and Dallas Blatchford took home the Big Bream Award for a memorable 2.04kg fish, earning them a $4700 fishfinder package.
Despite their win, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Forbes and Wright.
They had to deal with a flat battery as well as borrow a boat from mate Nathan Settree on Sunday after Wright’s went amiss.
Paul "Ringo" Lennon, from Tackle World Port Stephens, said the numbers were impressive.
“That Lake comp was awesome,” he said. “There were some awesome bags with quite a few five-fish bags over five kilos. Averaging a kilo a bream is pretty good. There was one over two-kilos, a monster. You don’t see too many over two kilos.”
Out his way, Paul said fishos were also doing well chasing bream, despite the recent winds and big surf.
“Inside of the bay has been fishing pretty well,” he said. “There’s plenty of bream around. A few guys have been catching bream off the rockwalls, you can always get away from the wind, and just fish on the inside of the wall. It always holds good bream there for the weather.”
HOT FOR BLACKFISH
Anglers have also been lining up to chase blackfish down at the Bay.
Paul said breakwalls have been hot spots for the winter specials.
“The guys have been getting plenty of blackfish,” he said. “It’s been a super year for the blackfish off the breakwalls. They just fill up and keep catching it. Everyone is lining up and getting their bag limit.”
And it seems green weed flies continue to do the damage.
“They’ve been working really well,” he said. “We’ve just got a new batch in but we can’t keep them on the shelves. As soon as we get them in, they last two or three days and they’re gone.
“They’ve been around for a long time but this year they’ve just gone beserk.”
Another big talking point this week has been a photo and social media post claiming that a monster tailor weighing 9.3 kilograms and measuring 1.1 metres was caught in Lake Macquarie.
An Instagram post was put on Facebook and caused quite a stir, with local fishos going to town about the veracity of the claim.
If true, the catch, shown later in another photo, is certainly one for the ages and shows the amazing health of the Lake.
It would have also been a shoo-in for Fish of the Week, if sent in … any week.
A quick search uncovers plenty of stories of gigantic tailor, including an Australian record of 12.1kg caught in WA in 1981 and a world mark of 14.4kg.
One of the biggest tailor ever recorded died in an aquarium in Western Australia in 1996. It was 11 years old and weighed 15.7kg.
The salmon run in Swansea Channel offers fisherman another sure thing as the prospect of better conditions improves for the weekend.
“I was just over at the jetty and there were literally thousands of salmon jumping over at the bridge,” Sean from Fishermans Warehouse, Marks Point, said. “And after the heavy seas, the fishing should be quite good all around the place. Usually three to four days after the heavy seas, you get good fishing.”
Paul agreed that “it should be a good weekend”.
“There should be some good snapper caught,” he said. “There’s been some good reds being caught during the week. They’ve been hit and miss but the guys who have been getting them have got some nice ones.
“There’s been the odd jewie down the beach, especially down at Stockton. There’s been a few guys catching them who have been putting in the time, down the southern end.
“There’s plenty of drummer around on the ocean rocks.
“Some guys have been nailing them, and catching a mixed bag with some bream too and the odd squire. They are using mainly cunji and large peeled prawns.
“There’s good quality tailor coming off the beaches. Out at Middle Rock towards One Mile, there’s been some two to three kilos.”