The southerly change we had last weekend signalled the beginning of the travelling season and consequently we have seen millions of mullet off the coast.
“We saw a lot of fish move out of the estuary and up the coast,” Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse, said.
“The pros are going crazy and we can expect that to continue well into May.”
Travelling bream have turned up on the beach and in the estuary too, which is always a prelude to the mullet move..
“It’s the travelling season time,” Jason said.
“In the next few weeks, we’re going to see great reports of jewfish coming off the beach and rocks.
“They move in close to the beach and headlands.
“All the big predators and big kings will be there.
“If you ever wanted to catch a big jew, this will be the time to have a crack.”
April is the best time of year to fish, according to Jason.
You’ve got the last of the summer fish and first of the winter fish blending into local waters which are still holding around the 21 degree mark.
On top of that, you tend to get more westerlies and the seas are kinder.
“It’s that blending of species that’s the special part,” Jason said.
“Trag start to school up and the size starts to increase, snapper, jew.
“We’re on the cusp of May when we’ll see a lot of snapper move along the coast.
“The deep water reefs will start to fill with snapper.
“This time last year was a bumper season.”
Flathead fall into a similar travelling pattern, and the local inshore reefs are thick with lizards at the moment.
“A lot migrate out after the spawning,” Jason said.
“They’ll sit on the back of reefs and beaches and basically hold before moving back into the estuaries in late May.
“At the moment at the back of our reefs off Newcastle you’ll find a lot of sand, tiger and dusky flathead lurking.
“If you’re a flathead fisho, it’s like you’ve been kissed on the arse by a fairy.”
We got proof of this migratory pattern this week when Allan Roddom re-caught and re-released a dusky flathead on Stockton Beach that had been originally tagged on November 14 last year by Duncan Crockett, who was fishing with Dan Guilfoyle, a member of the Lake Macquarie Trophy Flathead Tagging Team.
It had moved about 41km north of the original capture site.
“This is the longest distance travelled so far by a dusky flathead tagged as part of the Trophy Flathead program,” Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said.
“Who knows where the fish will travel now!”
The Trophy Flathead program involves the tagging of fish over 70cm in St Georges Basin, Lake Macquarie and Tuross, all of which are Recreational Fishing Havens. Over 200 flathead have been tagged so far with multiple recaptures recorded.
The seismic testing was run and done off Newcastle waters this week.
Hopefully fears of environmental impact on fish prove unfounded.
So too hopes of finding oil and gas.
The idea of gas wells off our shores seems to conflict heavily with keeping our waterways clean and green.
Back in Lake Macquarie, there has been a lot of jew caught this week on lures.
“Predominantly Samakis and other soft plastics,” Jason said. “It may have something to do with the amount of tailor about.”
Wide of the mark
Fishing out wide was no-go last weekend but things are looking more favourable this weekend.
“It will be interesting to see if the inclement weather has changed anything,” Jason said.
“Before the blow there was a hot pelagic bite with miles of bait.
“The current indicates there should be fish there but all will be revealed after Saturday when people venture out for a bit of reconnaissance.”
Sore not sorry
Jason has the pleasure of heading inland last week to chase Murray Cod in the Severn River, near Glen Innes.
“I headed up with Steve Norris and Mark “Wilba” Williams and we caught and released 24 cod, only small, up to 60cm, but beautiful,” Jason said.
“They desperately need rain up there and the river is barely running, but the gorge country is spectacular, if you put aside the deer, who were all on heat.
“Deadset, more deer than kangaroos up there, all looking to mate.”
The boys four-wheel-drived in and then walked up and down gorges sounding out spots as they went.
Unfortunately Jason come a cropper on one hillside and is waiting on the MRI results for his knee.