It’s been fresh and it’s going to get fresher this weekend with big winds and big seas likely to confine all but the hardiest to barracks.
The big plus it that it should be dry and therefore, if you can find yourself a little southern protected corner, you might do alright.
“Salts Bay would be an option,” Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point, said.
“But you’re boing to need to be hardy.
“Top temps of 18 and 19 aren’t too bad, but the wind chill will be tearing through like a crook curry.
“If there’s half a chance, just warm up on some salmon – it’ll be better than sitting at home getting cabin fever.”
Hunter waters will experience another significant swell this weekend, ruling out rock fishing and offshore boating.
But breakwall areas like Stockton and Blacksmiths, tucked in under the wind, might be worth a shot, as well as protected areas along the western side of Lake Macquarie and Nelson Bay.
“I know some anglers are heading to the southern end of the lake, Sunshine Bay, Bonnells Bay – all those protected bays are still fishable,” Jason said.
“Getting there will be the trick. You just need to very sensible on the water with all that wind.”
Worth the wait
Fourteen-year-old fishing fanatic Nickolas Mandicos loves wetting a line.
He reports that recently him and his dad bought a boat (Nick didn’t give a financial breakdown but I’m guessing dad was more about the dollars and Nick provided the enthusiasm).
The pair have been ripping in non-stop every weekend since.
“Last Saturday dad and I were fishing when I heard the biggest screaming sound coming from my reel,” Nickolas recalls.
“After a few minutes I finally brought in the beast, 41.5cm bream. We had fished all day and not had a bite. As we were packing up this all unfolded.”
Not sure if that goes to prove, good things come to those who wait, or maybe pack up.
Jason headed out to the Shelf last Saturday, with Luke Stansfield, on back of what was then a receding swell, and did alright.
“It was a little bit lumpy but the water temp was good, up to 23 degrees with good colour,” Jason said.
“We got one striped marlin on 24kg line, which was great.
“Always good when you’re catching marlin at the end of May.
“We also got a few striped tuna, which is part and parcel of the water being warm.
“But no yellowfin.”
Conditions last weekend played perfectly into the hands of anglers contesting the Northern Zone Overnighter, which is an annual offshore competition between Northern Zone Game Fishing Clubs fishing out of their home ports.
“The moon was full and the wind dropped off and some good tigers were caught,” Jason reported.
“Lake boats did very well. The largest tiger weighed something like 460kg, and there was quite a few caught between 200kg and 300kg.
“It’s not often you get good conditions on top of a full moon.
“Normally it blows hard.”
With this weekend shot, the next chance to get out wide will probably be the long weekend.
“The thing is from now on is the big fronts will keep sweeping through with only the occasional highs blocking them out.
“Trouble is we then keep getting clipped by the Antarctic winds.”
On the chew
Anglers had been getting some nice trag and snapper on the inshore reefs and a lot of kingfish off Norah Heads.
“There’s a lot of good tailor and great size too,” Jason said.
“Guys on the beach have been getting salmon and tailor.
“And of course the lake just keeps producing. Really nice tailor up to 3kg. Some good jew and really nice snapper. Some of the fish are up to 60cm with bumps on the head.”
These big sea may see another influx of snapper and bream seeking shelter inside estuaries.
Dredge the idea
Dredging is about to recommence in Swansea Channel and Jason is scratching his head why the powers that be persist with the band-aid solutions and don’t go all in with a management program.
“They’re going to pump the sand up to the sand island off Marks Point and down on the flats near the soccer fields at Swansea, and guess what, it’s just going to wash back into the channel,” Jason said.
“I spoke to the local member and she agrees there needs to be a plan of management for Swansea Channel.
“It’s like sticking a band-aid on or artery cut.
“There’s gotta be a better way to do these things.”