King prawns running

FISH OF THE WEEK: Twelve-year-old Brooke Hill from Redhead wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this  Pearl Perch caught off Forster on the weekend.

FISH OF THE WEEK: Twelve-year-old Brooke Hill from Redhead wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this Pearl Perch caught off Forster on the weekend.

Robert Gauta, general manager at Newcastle Co-op, reports a few jew showing up in local estuaries this week, and the king prawns are running.

 “Blokes have been getting mulloway up the Hunter River and in Nelson Bay,” he said. “We’ve had a bit of a flush with the recent rains, and the mullet and bream have just about had their run, so  maybe the jew are chasing the  stragglers

“We’ve seen fish up to 5kg coming through.”

The other news of interest according to Robert is the king prawns are on off Newcastle.

“Guys have been getting them this week each morning just off Newcastle,” he said. “It’s the time of year for king prawns, from now until about August. They head out of the rivers after spawning and head north. 

“We’re seeing  medium size kingies off Newie.”

King prawns are graded by how many you can fit into half a kilogram.

Less than 24 prawns to a half kilo, means their classified “medium”.

After a pretty bleak couple of days over the long weekend, local conditions have been favourable and co-op fishos have been picking up tailor, mud crabs and   hairtale. 

“Another thing out there making things interesting for boats is those fishing containers,” Robert said.

“They can potentially create a bit of havoc but we have had meetings with RMS this week in Newcastle and Port Stephens and we’ve been assured that most of them have sunk,” Robert said.

“That’s what they’re designed to do, although it depends what’s inside them – if they’re full of surfboards, you know, chances are they won’t.

“Having said that, if they do sink, it can be a problem for guys fishing the bottom, so everyone’s on alert.”

Club news 

Anglers from the Maitland City Offshore Anglers Club are just back from a successful seven-day sojourn at Wooli.

Five boats  and 15 blokes  headed up for the  annual fixture on the club calendar and got into the snapper and pearl perch.

“We were up there for seven days and got out on five,” club president Tom Lantry said.

“Next Sunday members are heading up north again to fish around Yamba.

“Anyone interested in tagging along should give me a call on 0403 076 093.

In other club news, Maitland Offshore Fishing Club are rejigging their regula seafood raffle schedule.

Instead of running it weekly of a Saturday afternoon at Club Maitland City in Rutherford, the raffle will now be run on the first Wednesday of each month at Club Maitland City.

“We just found that patronage was down on a Saturday afternoon because people were busy doing stuff, like fishing,” Tom said.

“Wednesday night’s better, and now because it’s monthly, we’ll be able to have 20 draws for 20 mixed seafood packs.

”Tickets start selling 5.30pm with draw at 6.30pm.”

In other club news, the club has begun holding regular barbecues at club sponsor BCF Rutherford.

“The next one is Saturday, June 23, and coincides with a few specials at BCF and is well worth the gold coin donation to participate,” Tom said.

The club outing for this weekend has been cancelled due to concerns about debri, the result of the “containers overboard” scandal that struck off our coast recently.

The next Maitland City Offshore Fishing Club meeting will be July 1.

Fish forensics

Interesting news from up the coast this week about a fisho  caught out by DNA testing.

A 26-year-old man was fined for taking and harming an endangered Eastern Freshwater Cod on the Mann River near Grafton over the Easter long weekend.

Fillets were found in the icebox and when questioned, the suspect said they were Australian bass, which were able to be legally taken in the area at the time.

Not convinced, Fisheries officers took specimens and equipment   for DNA testing at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics which revealed the fillets were in fact Eastern Freshwater Cod which it is illegal to target, take or possess at any time in NSW. 

To avoid inspection by fisheries officers, it’s believed the man filleted the fish and discarded the frame and skin on the river bank  after capturing it.

“The individual has been fined a total of $2700 for a two offences being: harming a fish of an endangered species and the use of drift lines,” a Fisheries spokesman said.

“His passenger, a 27-year-old man, was also fined $200 for the use of drift lines.”

It’s a reminder to anglers to take care to accurately identify  their catch.

A maximum penalty of $220,000 and/or up to 2 years imprisonment applies for harming an endangered species.

Send your fishing  news, views, clues and reviews to fishing@theherald.com.au.