Ocean of opportunity

FISH OF THE WEEK:  Warren Thompson  wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 27.2kg jewfish hooked off Nelson Bay breakwall last Saturday.

FISH OF THE WEEK: Warren Thompson wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 27.2kg jewfish hooked off Nelson Bay breakwall last Saturday.

The weekend is looking good for a fish following a bit rain on Friday.

The southerly should blow over by Saturday  with light nor-easters dominating the weekend and a relatively calm sea offering an ocean of opportunity.

Geoff “Kanga” Ruse, from Freddy’s Fishing World, at Broadmeadow, reports there’s been a few marlin picked up offshore this week. 

“They’ve had to cover a lot of ground with lures,” Geoff said. “There’s also Been a few dolphin fish around the FADS.

“Heaps of big kings coming off the reefs like Allmarks, going real well on knife jigs and live baits.”

Kanga believes we’re seeing a resurgence in the number and size of kingfish in the local area and he traces it back to the banning of commerical kingfish traps back in the late 90s.

“The traps  nearly wiped them out, because the thing with kings is once one goes in the trap, they all swim in.  

“Every year the numbers are increasing, and whereas in years since there’s been a lot of rat kings, we’re now seeing fish consistently in that 90cm to 1m range.”

Plenty of bonito about outside, responding well to metal lures, as well as snapper spread across places like Edith Breakers, the Inner Gibber and around Broughton.

Flathead run

Lake, Port Stephens and Newcastle Habour are all producing flathead, according to Mr Ruse.

He’s a big fan of the Vibelicious lure  and rates the white bait colour, as well as avocado, pearl shrimp, brown shrimp, lime crush and ginger squid.

“I sell hundreds of these things every month and use them myself and those ones work well not only on flathead, but bream, bass and other things you wouldn’t normally expect to catch like luderick and even moray eel.

”I got one about 7-foot long in the harbour the other week.  I actually caught a bigger one about 10kg in a similar place a year or so ago too.

“I knew it was a moray because they don’t knot up as much as an eel because they’re too bulky.”

Sam “The Man” Law caught an 89.5cm flathead in Lake Macquarie this week on a soft vibe.

Sources report the  fish gave a great fight, avoiding dad’s attempt  to net it several times before being released  to fight another day.

Up in the bay,  Dave Cashel  finally cracked one this week – and at 75cm, not a bad flathead on debut.

Meanwhile, nine-year-old Dylan Walls picked up a 60cm lizard kayaking off off Roy wood Reserve. 

Bream time

Been some nice bream about.

Nine-yearl-old Ella Roberts from Thornton landed a 42cm fish in the Hunter River fishing with the old man.

Matt, from Duff’s Baiting and Tackle at Salamander Bay reports bream have been widespread throughout the bay, around structure, responding to floated prawns, lures, and bread.

Mr Ruse is a big rap on  Chubbie lures when it comes to bream fishing.

“Or if you don’t want to spend cash on a Chubbie, try the Mini-Crank Ecooda, a medium-diving lure,” he said.

“It’s a copy of a Chubbie and works really well for guys who don’t want to fork out the dollars.

“Blades work well too – Atomic Hardz are good in the quarter ounce. 

“The trick with them is to attach the toe point right at the back which makes them vibe at a much slower speed.

“The slower you go, the more grabs you get.”

Bass biting

Lake St Clair has been on fire the last week or so, anglers cleaning up on plastics and surface lures.

RA Pop, by Jackson, is a very versatile popper that gets Mr Ruse’s thumbs up.

“The Hunter River has been producing well, too, but the barometer has been up and down and we could do with a bit more rain,” he said.

Mr Nasty

There have been  solid schools of bait moving around Port Stephens  attracting plenty of predatorial action from a range of usual suspects, according to Matt, from Duff’s Bait and Tackle.

“Peter Silcock picked up a 1.3m whaler shark on a soft plastic fishing round the oyster racks at Karuah this week,” he said.

Coasting along 

Local beaches have formed up well at the moment and are holding  bream, tailor, jew  and whiting.   

Local rock shelves are producing tailor, salmon and the odd quality snapper.

Record stock

A record 429,000 Australian Bass have been stocked into dams across NSW throughout 2017 including 99,000 were stocked in Glenbawn Dam and 64,000 stocked in Glennies Dam in the Hunter Valley.

The record number of Australian Bass were produced at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, exceeding the 413,000 produced back in 2013.