Chilling encounters

FISH OF THE WEEK: Jessica Fitzsimmons wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this snapper hooked off Newcastle last weekend in her new boat, pictured..

FISH OF THE WEEK: Jessica Fitzsimmons wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this snapper hooked off Newcastle last weekend in her new boat, pictured..

The weatherman says it’s going to blow west-nor-west this weekend at around 20 knots.

That’s a pretty cool outlook but the good news it’ll be generally sunny with temps pushing above 20 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.

So the best bet will be to head to sheltered areas, rug up, get down low and go, go, go.

From a Lake Macquarie point of view, that might mean venturing to the lee of Wangi Point, or similar sites along the western edge of the lake.

Similarly, you might be able to get some protection in Salts Bay or in certain sections of Swansea breakwall. 

These areas fished well during a recent  tournament, and it seems there’s still plenty of bream about.

Trouble is, a lot of them seem to be getting caught at night.

“Jumpin” Johnny Frith, from Fishermans Warehouse,   ventured down to Vales Point this week in the dark in search of warm water and picked up a stack of big bream off the bank.

“I smashed them at night time on bait,” he recalled.

“And I know guys have been getting them in Salts Bay at night time too.

“Don’t you worry about the salmon, there’s heaps of bream in there.”

They’ve also been getting big bream of a night time off Swansea breakwall on the run-in tide.

Salmon in Salts

Salmon are still running hard in Salts Bay on the run in tide,   Johnny said.

“Jew are responding to soft plastics around the bait fish and tailor schools, with a  few flathead and squire   about too. 

“Beaches have been quiet, but there have been some great whiting caught at night. You don’t get as many this time of year but they are generally big bastards.”

Winter fun

It’s been a similar story up around Nelson Bay, according to the guys from Duffs Salamander Bait and Tackle.

Plenty of bream and luderick keeping anglers entertained off the breakwall.

Tailor have been about in numbers around Shoal Bay while Stockton Beach continues to produce some very nice bream.

Fingal Beach has been throwing up tailor, salmon, bream and jew.

King country

There have been some nice kingfish and snapper  offshore, but you need the weather and waves on your side.

“The water outside in close is still OK at around 17 degrees,” John observed.

 “I’ve heard they’ve been getting some big kingies further south.

“We had a report this week of a 23kg king off Moonie Moonie, and similar resultls round Bird Island off Wybung.”

Float the boat

Fish of the Week winner Jessica Fizsimmons caught her prize  60cm snapper 1km off Newcastle beach last weekend using soft plastics in her brand new Whittley 1650 Clearwater.

She and partner Nick Bell love their fishing and decided to bite the bullet on the cuddy cabin in April.

“We love our new boat,” Jessica enthused. “We  opted for the extras being rear step, fusion stereo, live bait tank, rocket launchers, front and side clears, rear swim platforms, Bimini canopy, boat cover, UHF radio and a 70hp Yamaha.  It is a really good boat, good for fishing or leisure.

“We’ve extended the driveway at home and now it’s got a permanent fixture.”

A lake specialist, this was Jessica’s first venture outside and she was a bit nervous, but nothing a bit of Travel Calm didn’t sort out.

“It was quite cold on the weekend, but I managed to come home with about six snapper,” Jess said.

“We were out for about four hours but constantly catching fish on soft plastics with a bit of Gulp smelly stuff and some chopped pilchards thrown over the side – tailor, flathead and annoying rock cod.”

 The pair saw two whales during the session.

Well, the boat beside them saw two whales. Jess and Nick were too busy reeling in a fish.

“The guys in the other boat were friends and texted us  a pic of us with our fish  oblivious to the whales nearby,” Jess said.  

Woolly Wooli

Maitland City Offshore Fishing Club members had an eventful week  away at woolly Wooli.

Conditions were a bit rough over the journey and the guys only managed to get out a couple of days, but on those days they got some nice fish.

Overall winner was Carol Coughran (92 points) who got some nice snapper. Trevor Payne (72 points) was second and Herbie Turner (64 points) finished third.  

Jason Gunther got the biggest fish of the week, a 3.6kg snapper, and honourable mention went  to Greg Mason who bagged out on snapper and trevally on day six.

Despite not being able to get out for a couple of days, organiser Gary Phillips reports that  all have re-booked accommodation again for next year.