Local estuaries rock

FISH OF THE WEEK: Sharney Costigan wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 42cm luderick hooked off the rocks at Nelson Bay last weekend.
FISH OF THE WEEK: Sharney Costigan wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 42cm luderick hooked off the rocks at Nelson Bay last weekend.

It looks like being a carbon copy of last weekend, with mainly sunny skies and a low-grade westerly pushing through with seas up to a metre.

Perfect for fishing if you can find some cover.

Local breakwalls and rock shelves may well be worth a look, based on results from last weekend’s Newcastle District Anglers Association rock comp.

It was the first event of the 2017-18 NDAA season, and Matthew Small won big. 

The talented angler scored a mixed bag of snapper, luderick, bream and tailor fishing Nelson Bay and Dudley.

Troy Keohe, fishing for Golden Eagle, was runner-up with a similar assortment of drummer, bream and luderick fishing Nelson Bay and Catherine Hill Bay.

“All the blokes that went well fished the bay in the afternoon and went elsewhere next morning,” NDAA spokesman Craig Oaten said.

“I stayed up the bay all morning and got nothing. It was very flat.”

Burwood No.1 was champion team with Golden Eagle No.2 runner-up.

Bob Hodges claimed veterans champion and Ryan Thoroughgood was sub-junior champion.

Bob Hodges also got the largest luderick (0.588kg) and tailor (0.87kg).

Craig Oaten got the biggest pig (eastern rock blackfish) which weighed in at just over 2kg.

Largest bream was caught by Troy Keohe (0.822kg) and Matthew Small got the biggest snapper (1.782kg).

“Saturday was a very still night,” Craig said.

“The wind stopped on dark and the moon came out.

“I was going all right with tailor and then I couldn’t get a bite.”

Defending champion John Balcombe didn’t fish and speculation was rife that it may impact on his ability to defend his crown.

“History shows you need a good start in a long-haul event like the NDAA race,” Craig opined,

“Few can afford a poor round let alone to miss an event. Time will tell if this will cost John,”  

The next NDAA event is the freshwater comp at Lake St Clair on November 5 and 6.

“It’s a good time for a rock comp this time of year, but then we shut down for a couple of months and wait for things to warm up,” Oaten said, explaining the big break.

Fryer on fire

Twelve-year-old Jy Fryer caught a 3.77kg jewfish fishing between Fishing Point and Arcadia Vale last week. 

Jy was spinning with 5kg Tortue line and a ‘slug’ as his lure. 

“This is his first ‘jewie’ and removes it from his bucket list,” “Grandfather David Fryer reported. 

“The fish was 81cm long and weighed in as an ‘out of comp’ species at Rathmines Catalina Bowling Club Fishing Club.”

Fertile fields

The estuaries around Nelson Bay continue to produce prodigious numbers of bream and luderick.

  Jimmy Gourlas from Shoal Bay nailed 10 quality bream off the main break wall on floating prawn baits last week.

Jimmy recommends bereyling with chicken pellets to hold the fish.

The Anchorage wall has been a fertile field for bream, with fish responding to floating yabbies, prawns and fish baits.

Local breakwall champ Hayden Dews from Corlette took out the Duffs Salamander Bait and Tackle Fish of the Month bream comp with a weighed in a 1.1kg monster taken on a ‘Duffs’ brined pilchard bait.

August is Luderick Month  Kallum Thomas has set the early pace with a 640g fish.

Soldiers Point wharf has been a popular spot for luderick with some reportedly schooling around  Sally Shores Wharf, in and around the Main break wall as well as the Anchorage and Little Beach Wharf.

Fish are reportedly in top condition and holding out in numbers, although a little sensitive to the tides.

 “This is the time of year they will spawn so remember the best fishing times are roughly an hour each side of the slack water,” Matt, from Duffs, said.

“Remember having the float sitting too high in the water will make it harder for the fish to take down and they will let the bait go.

“The float needs to be as low in the water as possible

“When the float goes down count to three – a real three (eg, 1 & 2 & 3), then strike.

“This gives the fish time to get the hook in their mouth.

“If you’re not getting fish and the guy beside you is then ask how deep he is fishing. Be sure to drop into Duffs for some tasty weed.”

Or if you want to branch out from the traditional approach, Duff’s is also now stocking weed flys.

In other news up the bay, Wanda Head has been holding tailor with fish active on metal lures and pilchards.

The Tubes is working well for tailor and Drummer.

Simon Adams from Fingal fished the boulders last  week and got some quality bream, all taken on floating mullet baits.