Lake anglers are eagerly awaiting the first prawn run of the year, due this weekend.
Typically the prawns run about 10 days after the full moon, which last graced our night sky on October 6.
Troy Terrill, weighmaster at Charlestown Anglers Club is hoping it attracts arrow squid into the lake to feed.
“The first prawn run of the year is always a great time of year to fish,” Troy said.
“We’re already starting to see the whiting and bream on the flats, and the flathead have been moving in too from the deeper water as it warms up to join them.
“It’s been a bit dry this year as far as arrow squid go.
“We’ve been having to go out to Moon Island to get green-eye squid for bait, but hopefully the prawn run fires up the arrow squid inside the lake and sets the pattern for a great summer of fishing.”
Charlestown Anglers held their monthly outing last weekend and results with a nice mixed bag of species caught.
“There was a good junior turnout actually,” Troy noted. “A few blokes got flatties over 70cm.
“John Reeves and Darren Gould got smoked at Swansea bridge on kings.
“In the lake, one of the young bloke Sam got two jew, one 90cm plus
“The poor bloke camped on the sand island Friday night and woke up next morning to find someone had stole the fish out of his esky. Low act.
“Young Ethan Cornish got one bream went 39cm bream and topped that with a 42cm fish yesterday.”
Troy fished Saturday night night and got a jew 90cm on fresh squid.
“Most jews averaged from 70cm to 1m,” he said. “Flathead were between 72cm and 78cm and most were caught and released on plastics.
“Finding structure and bait were the key to success.”
Troy has picked up the baton as weighmaster at Charlestown from the trusty hands of club veteran Michael Gilmore, who fished the lake last weekend with son Matthew.
“Matty caught and released a PB flathead on lures,” Michael reported.
“It measured 79cm and was the highlight for us.”
Michael sold his boat recently and is looking forward to picking up a replacement from, of all places, Maroochydoore, sight unseen, soon.
“I saw it on Gum Tree and paid a guy from a company called “Pre-purchase Boating Inspections” a very reasonable sum to have a look at it for me,” Michael said.
“He came back with a three-page hand written report which I was very impressed with.”
Meanwhile, Troy has brought with him many skills and resources to the role of weighmaster at Charlestown, one of the major ones being his wife.
“She’s pretty nifty on the computer and has put together a nice little system that automates and tallies things really good,” Troy said.
“You can punch in number of fish weighed, number of kilos, species etc, type it in and comes up with tallies and points for all the various club pointscores in senior and junior, male and female ranks.
“It’s makes it all easy when adding up the point system for angler of the year and makes it easier for trophy board as well.”
Charlestown Anglers next outing will be the time-honoured trip to Harrington the weekend of November 18-
“We’ve got two houses booked and over 20 members are heading up,” Troy said.
“Hopefully the weather is good and they get onto some snapper.
“A couple of years ago one of the boys got a 13kg red.”
The first flatties of the Lake Macquarie Trophy Status flathead tagging process have been recorded.
Fittingly it was two Lake guns, Steve Norris and Steve Gresham, who posted the first scores. Both have been catching flatties in local waters for over three decades.
The tagging program, being run by Mark “Wilba” Williams, is part of a DPI-backed initiative to educate the public on the merits of releasing big breeding flathead over 70cm in length, and to track their movements in order to gather scientific data on behaviour patterns.
“The program will be reviewed in 12 months time and it will be interesting to see how Lake Macquarie stacks up against the other two areas already being monitored – to Tuross and St Georges Basin.”
Anglers are reminded to keep an eye out for the distinctive pink tags.
“They are being placed next to the second dorsal fin,” Wilba said.
“If you recapture a tagged flathead, we urge you to get the tag number, take an accurate measurement of the fish and note the location and then release the fish. Then contact Fisheries with that info. If you’re not sure who to talk to, get in touch with any of the local angling clubs.”