Warming up for Xmas

FISH OF THE WEEK: Jai Lonsdale wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this Long Tom caught in Lake Macquarie last weekend.

FISH OF THE WEEK: Jai Lonsdale wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this Long Tom caught in Lake Macquarie last weekend.

Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse Tackle World at Marks Point reports  an improvement in offshore water temperatures at the moment.  

“It’s sitting at around 21 degrees and attracting good numbers of bonito,” Jason said.

“Trag are also now starting to be caught from Catherine Hill Bay right through to Port Stephens.

“Snapper are a little slow but for those who are prepared to spend a bit of time burleying there have been a few up to 3kg taken on floating baits, most of the inshore gravel patches are holding plenty of flathead and some large Flounder.”

Tube time

In Lake Macquarie, Swansea Channel and the surrounding flats abound  with whiting and bream.

“Tube worms are the best baits by far over the sand flats, however, quite a few large bream have shown a preference for Hawkesbury prawns,” Jason said.

The December  prawn run this week was only average with the first few nights being the pick.

Lack of rain and too many strong N/E winds have prevented a lot of prawns travelling up from the bottom of the lake, Jason said.

Flathead numbers have increased, with the shallow water holding a lot of fish.

Tag teams

As reported over the last six weeks, Lake Macquarie has been designated a Trophy Flathead Fishery by the Department of Primary Industries.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage the release of all dusky flathead over 70cm in length.

As part of that initiative, a crack team of  Lake ‘flathead whisperers’ have been recruited by DPI and Fisheries to tag flathead  over that magic measure.

More than 20 fish over 70cm have so far been tagged and released.

As the fish are recaptured and data collected scientists will be better able to understand the growth rates and movements of these fish.

In the long run, this research will go a long way to keeping this popular form of recreational sports fishing sustainable into the future.

It’ll be good not only for you but your son and your grandson who will all be able to enjoy the thrill of catching fish.

The positive effects will flow on to the local economy too.

So if you catch a big lizard over the break, and it’s got a distinctive pink tag located next to it’s second dorsal fin, take a photo of the tag number on your mobile, make a note of the length and location of the catch and send that info to gamefish.tagging@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Don’t forget to release the fish as well.

Big mummas over 70cm are primary breeders and pivotal to sustaining stocks.

Epic journeys

Speaking of tagging, Fisheries recently released some updates on fish tagged, including one about a mulloway caught in Coffs Harbour  July last year and  recaptured in the Gold Coast this year – a 265km journey in 411 days, growing 21 cm in the process. Similarly a kingfish tagged last year in South Australia was recaptured at Seal Rock this November, travelling a straight line distance of over 700 nautical miles.

The NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program issues tags free of charge and works in close association with the NSW Game Fishing Association, the Game Fishing Association of Australia and ANSA. More than 455,000 fish have been tagged under the program so far. If you would like to get involved, phone (02) 4424 7423 or email gamefish.tagging@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Moon beams

With the full moon in the first week of 2018, it is looking good for mulloway fishos, Jason said.

“Some solid fish up to 15kg have been caught during the past week.

“Squid, however, are still hard work but there are a few patches around if you are prepared to have a real look.”

Beach bombs

On the beaches the cooler water has shut most things down recently, but the sudden increase in water temp has lured some excellent-size whiting back into action.

“Some of these fish are around the 44cm range, but be aware there are still a few big salmon to contend with which can really sort out your light gear,” Jason said.

Get onto it

Out wide it’s now or never, Jason said.

“The current hasn’t picked up yet. As a result we have reasonable numbers of striped marlin cutting through big schools of sauries  around the 85 fathom line.

“Unfortunately, out wider, the temp has cooled, and although there were no blue marlin reported last weekend   it won’t be long before warmer  water hits the area.”

Fisherman’s Warehouse will be closed on Xmas day but reopens 5.30am on Boxing day and has plenty of last-minute gift ideas and/or vouchers for those who have everything.

Merry Christmas to all.