Encouraging signs of yellowfin tuna may see a stampede to the shelf this weekend, according to Paul “Ringo” Lennon, from Tackle World Port Stephens.
Local longliners have been heading back to port this week with catches amidst news blue fin tuna have been going beserk off Sydney.
There’s also been reports of a few marlin caught, mainly on lures, up to the 80kg mark.
“You don’t get too many windows for these types of fish, and so with the weather being reasonably clear this weekend it wouldn’t surprise to see some of the bigger boats head wide,” Paul said.
Lots of snapper on Ediths Breakers and Broughton Island around the 40m mark.
Within Nelson Bay there’s still plenty of luderick and drummer about and a couple of kings coming off the breakwall.
“Jake Adams got a couple this week,” Paul said. “They’re starting to show up along with some good jew.
“Adam Hodges got a nice one at Soldiers Point this week which went 20kg.’’
Further up the estuary, the flathead are starting to wake up.
Brent “Hammer” Hancock got some great flathead up to 70cm on Saturday morning fishing with daughter Lilly.
Father and son combo Dave and Luke Donovan got stuck into the bream around Soldiers Point this week.
Along the beaches, there’s some nice whiting starting to turn up while there’s still plenty of luderick and drummer lurking around the rocks.
Newcastle Harbour has been producing plenty of jew and flathead, according to Geoff “Kanga” Ruse, from Freddys Fishing World, at Broadmeadow.
“Guys have been working the Vibelicious in a range of colours, particularly the Midori Mullet,” Kanga said.
“Bream and flathead seem to like it too.”
Hold on tight
Fish of the Week winner five-year-old Grace Reid punched above her weight with her prize-winning bream, according to Dad Chris.
The pair had basically just got to the area near Bolton Point jetty when young Grace hooked up.
As with anything worth having, Chris reports there was an element of pain before gain.
“I was still hooking up when she got onto it with about her third cast,” Chris said.
“She got a bit of a nibble so I said give it a wind and see if it’ll strike and sure enough, she was on.
“But next thing I’ve got the shank of my hook stuck in my finger, meanwhile watching wondering whether the fish was going to pull the rod out of Grace’s hand
“A fish that big really goes hard when you’re five but she did well, got it to the surface and then I gave her a hand getting it onto the jetty.”
This was Grace’s fourth or fifth fishing venture, according to Chris, and to his delight, she loves it.
“Normally small kids can’t sit still and will want to go after 10 minutes, but Grace loves it and will happily fish for two hours.”
Grace was stoked with catching her first keeper and putting it in the bucket, but by all accounts, she wasn’t so keen on what came next.
“At the end of the session I said time to get the fish ready for dinner,” Chris recalled.
“She asked me, ‘How do we do that dad?’
“She didn’t seem so keen on the explanation that followed so she went and sat off a distance but after a while she came back and helped with the scaling.”
It was quality over quantity for veteran angler and great stirrer Les Soars, who fished Belmont Bay with his good mate and work colleague Brad last Sunday.
Les went to great lengths to point out that he came home with a 90cm jew, 36cm bream, a decent whiting and a big flattie, while Brad caught what Les described as “just a little one compared to my monsters”.
“Yeah, the boys at work are saying my head’s so big it won’t fit in the door but I’ve got the runs on the board,” said Les, who drives trucks with Brad at Remondis.
“It wasn’t really that hot fishing wise but it was quality. All catch and release using lures.”
Les reckons he “just about” swears by the Samaki soft vibes.
“I’ve used a range of lures but I just find the Samaki catches everything – from the 20cm pinkie right through to the big jew and everything in between.
“And like I said, the fishing wasn’t that much about quantity, but the fish I got, I’d take them any day.”
Les and Brad like to patrol Belmont Bay this time of year and will be on the water tonight.
“I’m thinking jewie,” Les said. “Get live squid and then get a jewie. We weren’t targeting squid last Sunday but found there was a lot of them chasing our lures back to the boat.
“I reckon that’ll be a good bet; get the squid then play the waiting game – as in wait for Brad to catch something.
“Could be a long wait.”