Full moon and swell top lures

BEACHCOMBER: Stockton five-year-old Bailey Robards wins fish of the week for this 40cm bream hooked last Saturday afternoon off Stockton Beach using mullet for bait. ‘‘This is bigger than any bream that I have caught,’’ Bailey reported.
BEACHCOMBER: Stockton five-year-old Bailey Robards wins fish of the week for this 40cm bream hooked last Saturday afternoon off Stockton Beach using mullet for bait. ‘‘This is bigger than any bream that I have caught,’’ Bailey reported.

BIG swells this week have stirred up fishing along our coastline, according to Graham ‘‘Duff’’ Duffy from Salamander Bait and Tackle.

Such conditions smash up urchins and molluscs and other small food types, luring species like snapper, bream, drummer and luderick in for a feed.

‘‘The boys got out off Fishermans Bay this week and got a couple of good snapper up to 7kg in the shallows,’’ Duff said yesterday.

‘‘They were fishing in the evening with the full moon – that always stirs them up too.’’

Anglers have been bagging out on trag in close on the V reef and 21.

Duff reported beaches are still fishing well for whiting and there’s salmon everywhere.

‘‘Guys have been getting a few good tailor off the headlands, and we’re just starting to see a run of luderick in the bay,’’ Duff added.

‘‘We’re always about a week, 10 days, behind Swansea, but they’ve really come on this week.

‘‘We’ve seen a few kingfish coming off d’Albora Marina breakwall and a few school jew – nothing big, fish up to 5kg – feeding on whitebait around the wreck at Salamander Bay.’’

Duff reckoned if you could get out wide this weekend to the Shelf, you’d be a chance of tracking down some yellowfin.

‘‘It’ll all depend on the swell,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s slight westerlies predicted, so you might get a crack. It’s certainly the time of year for them.’’

Failing that, Duff recommended parking in close and hunting for bream and snapper along the rocks.

Northern Zone challenge

JASON ‘‘One For’’ Nunn, from Fishermans Warehouse, was similarly optimistic about fishing this weekend.

He reckons an armada of frustrated game fishos locked to the land this last week by big seas will take advantage of the abating swell to get offshore.

That’s good news for Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club, which is hosting the annual Northern Zone Overnight tournament.

Jason reckons they’ll be well rewarded.

‘‘I’ve heard reports of lots of sharks out wide,’’ Jason said yesterday. ‘‘Chad Owen got a mako around 200kg this week.

‘‘Mark Hendrickson and his dad got a 310kg mako.

‘‘There’s lots of whalers and tigers about too.

‘‘Chad said he pulled up at his spot and immediately had whalers between 50kg and 100kg circling around.

‘‘It all indicates there’s a lot of feed out there. Water temp has dropped a couple of degrees down to 20.8 and the current is running uphill from south to north.

‘‘With the water temp down, marlin will probably slow down but the sharks are up. My tip is there’ll yellowfin about out wider.’’

Inshore, Jason said trag, reds, and tarwhine have been the order of the day, with an observation that anglers were having more luck the more north, around Dudley and Redhead, than they have down around Catherine Hill Bay.

Channelling the goods

If you don’t get the chance to go wide, Jason believes you’ll clean up in the estuaries.

‘‘Swansea channel is full of salmon,’’ he said yesterday.

‘‘They’re not in big packs, they’re spread out through the channel, on the beaches, in the lake.

‘‘Anglers are getting them on lures, but salted pilchards on gang hooks seem to be really turning them on.’’

Jason reports there’s a few kings and tailor mixed in.

Tony Bass got eight flathead, a squire, some bream and tailor fishing the lake this week with lures.

‘‘Jumpin’’ Johnny Frith got 10 nice bream the other night.

Ron Owen, another gun estuary fisho, got eight bream over 40cm.

And Steve Mason got 12 whiting up to 42cm at the back of the islands in Swansea Channel, fishing with worms.

So all up it’s been very consistent in the estuary.

The lure is pivotal

ANDREW Low, from Freddy’s Fishing World at Greenhills, agrees Lake Macquarie is fishing well for bream.

Andrew got out on the water on Monday and after some finnicky bites, hooked a mixed bag that included flathead and flounder.

Andrew reported anglers have been whacking salmon off the breakwall in Newcastle Harbour too.

‘‘The key is to get some metal lures,’’ he recommended.

‘‘The Maria Duplex is a sensational lure for salmon and tailor.

‘‘They weigh like 30g, like a hardbody, but they are made of lead so you can cast them for miles.

‘‘They hit the surface and have a bib, so they move as they dive.

‘‘Salmon get used to conventional metals, so when they see something a bit different diving they smash it.

‘‘They do the duplex in all sorts of colours, but they all seem to work.

‘‘The technique is to cast, let it sink a bit, start winding.

‘‘Casper Clears also go well, and the Gladiator Smash Bait is also another option.’’