Itchy anglers focus on fin and snapper outside

FISH OF THE WEEK: Keith Warren from Cameron Park wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 112cm Murray cod caught Copeton Dam.
FISH OF THE WEEK: Keith Warren from Cameron Park wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 112cm Murray cod caught Copeton Dam.

Ripper day, one of the best days ever

From wild to mild, gear up for a fantastic weekend of weather  as things settle down after last weekend’s blow.

Temps are tipped to stay steady for the next week, hovering between 10 and 20 sunny degrees, with hardly a cloud in the sky coddled by light westerlies.

Classic winter weather that anglers should soak up, if not for the sheer pleasure of communing with nature, then certainly for the pure excitement of communing with fish.

Definitely a great opportunity for offshore anglers itching to get out.

“Saturday is probably looking the pick of the days,” said Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point, who is heading out to the Shelf with Luke Stansfield to fish for fin aboard Luke’s boat Fifi.

“The wind is going to get up a bit Sunday, but not that much.

“Traditionally, after the first big westerly of winter, around Mother’s Day, they’ve found yellowfin, so we’re going out to test the theory.

“They’ve been spotted off Sydney recently, so fingers crossed.”

Red alert

After a big blow and wild seas, snapper should be another species top of the tree for those angling outside.

And with travelling season in full swing there should be some really good fish caught.

“Saturday will give the first opportunity this season to get out to The Farm and fish the deeper water for snapper,” Jason said.

“There’s been some really nice reds, kings and trag coming off the reefs further south off Norah Head.

“So maybe there’s a plan for the weekend: fish wide on Saturday for fin, then head inshore to your 30-metre mark and chase snapper, or fish the lake.

Salmon assault

The mighty Salts Bay salmon have turned up in big numbers this week in Swansea Channel, pushed in by big seas.

Mixed in have been some nice tailor.

“Salmon up to 3kg and a lot around the 2kg mark,” Jason said.

“With really nice tides this weekend – highs during the middle of the day – it might be a great time to take the family out.

“Plenty of good tailor inside the lake.

“Anglers have been catching fish in excess of 60cm on the troll. Lot of flathead too.

“Jew up to 95cm as well, responding to lures, working the bait schools throughout the lake.

“There’s also been suggestions of some nice reds up to 55cm   but if I told you where, I’d have to kill either you or myself.” 

Morning glory

Paul ‘Ringo” Lennon, from Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters reports one of the best fishing mornings ever on Port Stephens this week.

Out from 6am to 11am, he  got among quality bream, mac tuna and big jew in what can only be described as a thriving estuary pumping with season-transition species.

It’s a similar story up and down the coast as we morph into winter.

The rugged weather and big seas of last weekend  have  eased heading into Friday and Saturday, and fishing opportunities present themselves in abundance.

Anglers report  great schools of travelling bream inside both Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie.

Snapper fishing, as predicted has picked up after last weekend’s “stir”, and there are still remnants of pelagic species on the move both inside estuaries and along the coast, including longtail and mac tuna, and some handy kings.

“We got a heap of quality bream Thursday morning,” Ringo reported.

“I lost count, but all really good fish up around around the 40cm mark.

“It certainly ties in with the change of season with the big westerlies blowing and the bream on the move.

Ringo was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of live bait and squid, and upon stocking up after hammering the bream, he headed to the back of the bay.

“We found birds working and thought it might be long tail, but it was big mac tuna, the first I’ve seen this year, which we worked with the spin gear – a lot of fun,” he said.

“After that we put the squid on and got an 18kg jew. Not a bad return for a morning’s work.”

Season greeting

It wasn’t the only jew hooked this week in the bay.

Ben Hughes managed a 24kg mulloway off the breakwall.

Ringo reckons this crossover fishing time is the perfect time to get on the water.

“Summer into winter, everywhere is fishing really well,” Ringo said.

“We’ve still got a few pelagics around – bonito and tuna. You’d expect the long tail to flatten out in the next couple of weeks.

“There’s quality drummer and groper coming off the rocks, the bream are sensational and after this good stir up, we’ll see the snapper fire up.

“They’ve been going all right this week from Edith Breakers down to through to Broughton. There’s good bream and tailor on the ocean beaches. And there’s stacks of bait in the bay.”