Howling nor-easterlies this week have made for less than ideal fishing conditions, but Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point, sees a silver lining to the grey skies looming.
“There’s a bit of rain coming Friday and it might be what we need to help things along,” he said.
“It’s been bloody dry and with that nor-easter blowing, it makes for shit fishing – getting bashed by the waves on the run-out tide, casting into a gale with bellies in your line – bloody awful. But sometimes you’ve got to lose few days to gain a few.
“Hopefully the southerly will break the back on the nor-easter before it turns over too much water and we see a drop in temperature, which is always the worry, and then come Sunday, it’s good fishing.”
Prawns light on
The big winds may have impacted on the the much herald-ed first prawn run of the season, which kicked off last weekend.
Guys who chanced their arm averaged 1kg to 2kg – little eastern kings in the main. Interestingly, the guys who tried during the southerly that blew last Saturday did better.
“There is a theory that the nor-easter held up all the weed in the Drop Over this week,” Jason explained.
“The prawns attach themselves to the weed for camouflage from predators when they’re coming down the channel and so when the weed dried up, the prawns did too.
“It was a bit light on all up, but this southerly hitting today may trigger the best of the late run early Saturday morning if anyone’s keen.”
Estuaries continue to produce the goods, with consistent reports of bream, flathead, jew and whiting.
Offshore it’s been a different story, feeding into Jason’s ongoing narrative that “the times they are a changing”.
“Nothing is was it ever was,” Jason said.
“I used to keep a weekly fishing diary recording tide, moon, barometer, species, what other guys were catching etc.
“I threw it in the big 10 years ago because everything’s changing.
“Look at the barracouta along the coast this year, never seen them like that before.
“They’re a fish more associated off southern Victoria, and in years gone by it was more leather jackets.
“Look at the blue fin off Sydney. Supposed to be here in July, arrived September. Caught everyone off guard.
“Zapped the pilchard supplies from Sydney to Port Stephens.
“Look at the juvenile perch about this year in good numbers along our inshore reefs from Norah Heads to Newcastle.
“Normally they’re a fish you catch from Hat Head north.
“Look at the bonito, not normally not seen until till late January and they’re about in numbers now.
“It just reinforces the idea that it’s been the strangest year. So unpredictable.
‘The only thing on cue has been the estuary fishing, but again, who’d have thought we’d be catching whiting in September.”
Nino Rossi took overall honours at West Diggers Nelson Bay Fishing Club’s monthly outing, held last weekend.
Conditions were pretty average Saturday and settled by Sunday morning with most anglers getting runs on the board.
Craig Mathers weighed the heaviest fish, a 2.24kg snapper.
A reader report from a keen angler up Harrington way triggered a few smiles this week.
“The last couple of years at this time of year, schools of kingfish have been cruising along the northern side of the breakwall, apparently to spawn, but possibly landlocked by tidal movement,” wrote the angler who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Some are well over a metre long, which, according to our local BCF'in experts, equates to 25kg to 30kg.
“The latest current ‘phenomenon’ is the gathering of the BCF'in goodfella's all along the breakwall each morning and afternoon, dressed in the traditional "spotter" sunnies, BCF'in shirt, stubbies, a mile of bumcrack, and thongs.
“They leave their landcruiser utes and tattoo-ed pigdogs in the carpark. Each has the shiny new rod, shiny new tackle box and huge shiny lure with huger hooks.
“Apparently the size of the hook does matter, as one of them explained to me, "the fish come 'ere to f---, not feed" so when a ripple of water is spotted (with the spotter sunnies) one will cast their lure in that direction in an attempt to jag the kingie.
“What ensues immediately after the first cast is every other BCF'n goodfella casting at the same spot, over the top and under each other, huge tangles and huger volumes of vulgar language, threats of bodily harm and promises of unleashing the pigdogs onto each other. All quite interesting, and better then local TV to watch.”