The earth turns, moons roll by and summer fishing is starting to unleash, according to Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fishermans Warehouse, at Marks Point.
“The amount of whiting on the beaches and throughout most estuaries is ahead of the curve as air and water temps begin to rise,” Jason said.
“Tying into that has been the Spring equinox which occurred in the southern hemisphere on or around September 22.
“The days are now officially longer the nights, which may or not appeal to fish, but certainly pleases many fishos.”
It also affects the tides, which may impact on whether you catch a fish this weekend.
“We’’re in what I call the ‘neap’ between winter and summer fishing,” Jason said. “Around the equinox you find the tidal water movements are much less, meaning you don’t get a real big high or low tide.
“This week there’s only half a metre difference between high and low.
“Consequently there might not be so much flow in your local estuaries, and many anglers will try and tell you, ‘no flow, no go’.
“The good news is that from now on each day, the tidal movements will increase and more importantly for local fisho’s they’ll swing over to the morning and we’ll see bigger tides build.”
Tying further into this earthy overview is the moon cycle.
“We’re heading into a new full moon on October 6, and traditionally seven to 10 days after that we should see the first prawn run of the year in Lake Macquarie and other local estuaries,” Jason said.
“That will be the real trigger for summer fishing to kick off as all the fish will move in to feed.
“Given we haven’t had that much rain lately, and that the Lake prawns are not so much affected by lack of water compared to river prawns because the lake is a catchment, I’m thinking we may see some really nice prawns on the go from October 14 onwards.”
Whiting have made an early show biting on tube worms along beaches and most estuaries in plentiful numbers.
Condition is a bit down, but expect that to improve once the prawns start running.
As we build to the full moon, expect the jew to come on. There’s already been plenty of reports of fish up to 90cm responding to squid of a night in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle Harbour and Port Stephens.
Estuary anglers have also been dining out on bream, flounder and tailor.
Flathead have begun moving out of the bays where they’ve holed up for the winter and into shallower water.
Offshore, there still plenty of barracouta about, as well as snapper and bonito.
Last week there were reports of yellowfin in deep water, east of Broken Bay, and if the weather gods are kind this weekend, which they may be on Sunday, it might be worth a shot in the 1000-fathom mark.
“All the key indicators are there – good water temps and lots of slimey mackerel about,” Jason said.
“Don’t be surprised if there’s the odd striped marlin about too. One was hooked last weekend off Sydney.
“What most Hunter game fishos did last year was wait until December/January and they’d already gone past.
“So this year look for a more concerted effort to get out early and meet the stripes as they move down.”
Mark “Wilba” Williams is now issuing DPI kits to a select group of anglers to intiate the tagging program as part of the Lake’s newfound Trophy Flathead Fishery status.
Under the program, anglers are encouraged to catch and release any ‘”trophy’’ flathead over 70cm, and where possible tag them.
“We’re distributing the kits to 10 recognised lake anglers,” Wilba said.
“The pink tags will be located on the second dorsal fin and if you happen to recatch a big tagged flathead, we encourage you to ideally let it go again, or if you keep it, inform DPI of the tag number and where you caught it.”
The point of the Trophy program, which is also being trialled in Tuross and the St George’s Basin, is twofold.
One, to give more people more chance to enjoy catching an iconic sportsfishing specie into the future, and two, to gather important scientific data on movements and breeding.
“The concept of species management is pretty simple,” DPI scientist Jim Harnwell said.
“If you don’t kill the fish, you can catch it again.
“Survival rates for flathead are almost 100 per cent, so if you let the big one’s go, people can keep coming back and catch a big fish. That in turn has an economic flow-on for the local area.
“One big lizard down at St Georges Basin has been recaught three times in 12 months.
“Furthermore, data suggests flathead over 70cm carry 12 times as many eggs as smaller flatheads, so they are a significant breeders.”