The Father’s Day weekend promises fishing fun, with reasonable weather on the radar and the lure of winter species in abundance.
The weather has been wild outside but will possibly abate by Saturday and present a great chance to chase snapper.
“They’ve been getting reds up to 2kg in close this week and we’ve got a cracking tide just on 5am on Saturday,” Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point, said.
“If the seas calm down and you can get offshore its a grand opportunity to fish for a Father’s Day feast.”
Down south around Texas, there’s some been great kingfish about, up and over a metre, and a lot of longfin perch.
“The perch are great eating and only ever caught in deep water,” Jason said. “Generally in 100m to 120m of water, and they stick to the bottom.
“You fish for perch like you would for snapper, generally with smaller hooks, pillie strips, bonito, mackeral and even a prawn if you can get them down.
“At the moment there’s not a lot of current around so it’s a fantastic time to have a shot.”
Closer to shore, the tailor have been going wild.
Jason bagged out during a windy, brisk but productive midweek session on the lake in an open tinnie.
“Bloody cold, with the wind chill but there is plenty of tailor around,” he said.
“The late afternoons go good with fish ranging from 1kg to 1.5kg.”
Jason suspects they are starting to gather in the run-up to the full moon due next week.
“All the fish I caught through the week were fully roed up,” he said
“The deeper patches of water between Marks and Coal Points seem to be holding a heap of fish.
“I was casting to fish with shallow divers and they were absolutely crunching them.
“When they were coming into the boat they were spewing up white bait.
“It was pretty uncomfortable with the wind and chop, but it confirmed the theory that these conditions tend to raise the bait to the surface and the tailor were smashing them.
“They have been in this deep stretch of water for about a fortnight, compressed, stacked up on top of each other and as the moon approaches they push up.”
Anglers have been getting jew on squid, but they are pretty scarce in the lake. Squid that is.
It’s a different story offshore, but as mentioned the seas have made it tough getting out.
The upside to the big seas is they have pushed the bream inside.
“Bream have been going off in the southern sections of the lake, responding well to lures,” Jason said. “August is always a good month.”
There’s generous numbers of whiting building up in the channel and they’ve been about in numbers near Aeropelican in the lake.
“They’re stacked up on the sand but not really on the chew,” Jason said.
“They seem lean and probably won’t bulk up until the next prawn run probably due mid-October out of the channel.”
It’s been a similar story with salmon; plenty about but not too much action.
“We’re seeing heaps on the surface doing their ‘guppie’ thing where they look like they’re biting at air, but not biting at anything else,” Jason said.
“I think it has something to do with spawning.”
Meanwhile, there’s a few luderick about but the best might be yet to come through September as fish begin to push back in from offshore.
“We’ve seen a few luderick around Swansea Bridge and out on Lucy’s Breakwall but the bigger fish tend to come in around September and are normally of a very good quality,” said Jason, who is a big rap on the weed fly if you can’t get hold of any genuine green weed.
Bream have been prevalent throughout Port Stephens and surrounds, responding to soft plastics and floating fish baits worked in chicken pellet berley, according to the guys at Duff’s Salamander Bait and Tackle.
Similarly, luderick have been about in numbers.
Stockton Beach has been throwing up plenty of bream of a night, biting on pipi, mullet and beach worms in the gutters. Don’t be surprised to find tailor, jew and whiting in the mix.
Local rock platforms, when accessible, have been producting tailor, bream, and jew.
Trag up to 3kg off the BIg Gibber have had anglers excited north of Nelson Bay while snapper continue to inhabit Sambo Reef, 21 and the V as well as the odd jew and rock cod around Broughton Island and Uralla Reef.
The three-month fishing closure for Australian Bass and Estuary Perch in local rivers closes at midnight on August 31, allowing anglers to get back to targeting some of Australia’s great native sportsfish.