Steve Norris, flathead whisperer, notched up the ton for the Lake Macquarie Trophy Flathead Tagging Program last Friday.
He then followed up with the 101st lizard shortly after.
The Trophy Flathead tagging program is part of a DPI initiative to gather data on the behavioural patterns of large breeding flathead stocks in Lake Macquarie.
Only flathead 70cm and over are tagged.
It’s part of a wider tagging program taking in St Georges Basin and Tuross Lakes.
“Very happy to achieve that goal in just under 9 months since we commenced the program,” tagging program co-ordinator Mark “WIlba” Williams said.
“We also had our 8th recapture last week.
“Darren McCloughlan, well known lake angler, got a fish originally tagged by Steve on December 29 last year.
“It was caught very close to where it was originally tagged.
“It went from about 73cm to 75cm in the time.”
As we move past the 100th flathead tagged, it’s the data coming in on recaptures that is really important.
The record movement for a fish recaptured is 41km – tagged in the lake and recaptured on Stockton Beach.
“That was the record movement of any tagged flathead in any fishery and really excited the DPI people,” Wilba said.
“Darren said the tag of the most recently recaptured fish was heavily covered in weed growth so it might be hard to spot them now after 7 or 8 months in the water.
“They’re starting get marine growth on them.
In light of that, take a good long hard look. They will always be found next to the second dorsal fin.”
Getting that tag number, along with length and location is essential for the key data of Fisheries research.
Wilba said the taggers had really earned their dues cracking the magic 100, after being stuck in the nervous 90s due to a run of poor weather.
“Dan got 98, Nathan De Bono got 99, Steve got 100 and 101, and I got 102,” Wilba said.
“There was a bit of glory attached to the 100th.
“It’s a significant milestone for the program.
“But when you realise Lake Macquarie is 110 square kilometres in size, that’s just a fish per kilometre so far, so we need to tag a lot more fish yet.”
Looks like we’re in for some sparkling winter weather this weekend.
Sunny conditions and westerly winds are predicted. Fshing opportunities abound with bread and butter species like bream, luderick, mulloway, tailor and salmon frequenting estuaries, bass in abundance inland, while offshore, snapper are on the chew and kings are on the jig.
Wilba reports some nice jew caught in the lake in recent days.
“Rodney Austin and Dan Guilfoyle have been excelling themselves on Samaki Vibes with fish up to 90cm,” Wilba said.
“They’ve been on the bait fish and chasing tailor.
“And there’s been some good size tailor about too – real thumpers – chomping on soft plastics and vibe lures round places like Pulbah Island.”
Congratulations to Luke Rosseti and Rob Alcrington who cracked a second placing at the Berkley Super Series 2018 round on the Lake last weekend.
It was an awesome effort from the local anglers who have been working hard all series to earn a spot in the final.
Luke got the biggest bream of the comp, a stonking 1.75kg fish which combined with the second placing had the pair daring to dream they’d join the top 25 in the final.
Alas they missed out by a mere two points.
“Bit devvo but you can’t complain with the result like that,” Luke said. “Me and Rob have been in the series for the last two years and we were looking to do it for our sponsor Daley, from Hot Tackle at Toronto, but we fell just short, which sucks, but what can you do?
“We’ll set our sights on the next ABT round on Lake Macquarie next month and be back bigger and better for next year’s BSS Series.”
The BSS series is contested over five rounds with events held from Sydney Harbour up to Port Macquarie.
Round winners automatically qualify for the final along with the top 20 point scorers over the series.
Local Lake anglers Dan Wright and Ryan Forbes, and Rocky Hodges and Brock Harmer qualified for the final.
James Kilpatrick from Hunter Water Sports and his son James junior, 8, enjoyed a top day at Glenbawn last weekend.
Top tournament angler Peter Phelps put on a fundraiser for Beyond Blue with first prize a chance to contest the Family Bassin Tournament at Glenbawn accompanied by a top Glenbawn fishing guide – Peter Phelps.
Pete duely put the boys on the fish and James junior ended up catching the biggest bass of the comp (1.54kg).