Future looking bream

FISH OF THE WEEK: Henry Draganic wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for the 40cm bream caught in Newcastle Harbour this week on ZMan GrubZ.

FISH OF THE WEEK: Henry Draganic wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for the 40cm bream caught in Newcastle Harbour this week on ZMan GrubZ.

It’s looking like another cracker weekend for fishing with mostly sunny skies, little chance of rain, and not much wind around.

If seas abate, Brent “Hammer” Hancock, from Tackle World Port Stephens, recommends hitting the beaches or getting offshore and chase snapper and bream.

“There’s been some great bream coming off the beach this week,” he said.

“Fingal, Samurai and One Mile have all been fishing well for bream.”

Hammer suggests using a strip of mullet fillet on a smaller type gang hook.

“I call it ‘the each way bet’ – good for bream and sometimes you get decent size tailor,” he said.

Hammer reports there have been some cracking snapper about. 

“Pacific Blue Charters got one midweek a bit over 9kg which is a great fish,” he said.

“It’s that time of year when you see them on the inshore reefs. The water drops in temp and they come in.”

Inside the bay has been good for bream too, as have Newcastle Harbour (see Fish of the Week) and Lake Macquarie.

“Places like the shortcut wall over at Tea Gardens is always a good spot to fish for bream this time of year,” Hammer said.

“We’re also seeing luderick coming on strong.”

“Anglers have been picking them up in numbers from Port Stephens down to Swansea.

“Cabbage has been a bit hard to get but we’ve plenty of the artificial weed flies in stock.”  

Pelagic action in the bay has been sensational with mac tuna, long-tail and frigate about in numbers mixing in with salmon and tailor.

“They’re all eating small white bait, and if you want to chase them I suggest you match the hatch with a small metal lure called the Arma Anchovie – a great little metal between 5g and 11g which really matches up to what the fish are feeding on,” he said. “To find the fish, just follow the birds.”

Port Stephens will feature on iFish this Sunday afternoon at 5.30pm, showcasing a bit of black marlin action shot earlier this year.

Title assault

Leigh Stephenson took out the Newcastle District Anglers Association  saltwater boat comp held last weekend.

It was Leigh’s second event victory in the NDAA season calendar following on from his victory in the freshwater comp and places his right in the running to take out the season crown.

 It was a close-run thing in the saltwater event, with only a small spread of points separating the top five finishers.

 Veteran Bob Hodges was runner-up with 269 points, eight behind winner Leigh (277).

“Leigh fished around Moon Island in the afternoon and then into the channel after dark and boated mainly tailor, trevally, bream, flathead and some salmon,” NDAA spokesperson Craig Oaten said.

Craig finished in third place on  264 points, four ahead of Jason Downie (260).

Ladies champion was Mel Warsfield. Bob also claimed the veterans crown while sub-junior champ was Kane Small.

“Although cold, conditions were absolutely pristine,” Craig said.

“What I found was that as soon as the moon went down the fishing shut down too, until the tide changed.

“Most guys fished the lake. Some headed outside in the afternoon, but headed in after dark because it was a bit hairy.”

Notable fish caught included:

  • Bream: 0.928kg Simon Howard
  • Snapper: 1.286kg Justin Stephenson
  • Tailor: 1.074kg Jason Downie
  • Flathead: 2.018kg Justin Stephenson
  • Groper: 7.45kg Matthew Small

The next NDAA comp is the Graham Dorse Comp, an open event running June 17-18.

“It’s the final event of the season, and heading in I think either Jason Downie, Leigh Stephenson or Bob Hodges are in contention,” Craig said.  

Meanwhile, Newcastle will field a full 12-man team at the NSW Anglers Association state titles being held over the long weekend at Hat Head. 

Good cod

Just a little footnote to last week Fish of the Week winner Keith Warren who collected on a big 112cm Murray Cod, caught up at Copeton Dam the week before.

Keith reported that him and his mates Mitch, Nick and Michael fished three days, made over a thousand casts, peppered the area, and that fish was the only one they got.

In typical fisho fashion, Keith’s hooked.

“It’s pretty pristine up there, and   next time the temp drops I’m keen to get up there,” he said.

“I hear they tend to bite when the temp drop and goes up.”

Keith’s one fish came just on dusk the day before they left, and he reckons it went hard.

“It had a couple of good runs and bent the net up pretty good too,” he said.