Herald Fishing Report - Taggers earn big rap

FISH OF THE WEEK: Rob Hopkins wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 115cm mulloway hooked off Stockton Beach last Friday night.

FISH OF THE WEEK: Rob Hopkins wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 115cm mulloway hooked off Stockton Beach last Friday night.

There’s been some good flathead tagged in Lake Macquarie this week as part of the  Lake Macquarie Trophy Flathead Fishery Program.

The Trophy Flathead Fishery 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.

“Alex Schmaler-Loomes, who works at Fisherman’s Warehouse, got some nice ones between 70cm and 80.5cm,” lake tagging co-ordinator Mark “Wilba” Williams reported.

“I got two 70cm fish through the week as well, but they have been pretty hard to find.

“Guys have been putting fair bit of effort in.

“Steve Norris has been tagging a few as usual, as has Nathan De Bono.’

A total of 126  flathead have been tagged since the  program launched in October last year.

“It’s a good effort but when you think the lake is 110 square kilometres, it’s only one fish per kilometre, so we need to tag more,” Wilba said.

DPI Fisheries is beginning to do some preliminary analysis on the data gathered and hopes soon to be in a position to offer up information to recreational fishing people and also those who make decisions about the management of this species.

“Those guys up in Lake Macquarie have been fantastic,”  a DPI spokesperson said.

“They’ve really grabbed the bull by horns and it’s great to see  guys being proactive about trying to improve their fishery.

“It’s the same with the other guys in  Tuross Lake and the St Georges Basin.

“Over 120 fish since October is an amazing strike rate.”

Stocking coup

A little birdy reported this week that DPI were stocking yellowtail kingfish into Lake Macquarie which is more great news for the lake fishery. 

Hooking up

Seas have been a little hairy this week, but there have been reports of snapper and kings around  Broughton Island, the Sisters and Cod Rock.

“Winter snapper have been smashing squid and slimy baits close in-shore, Big and Little Island in-close is always worth a pilchard bait or slimly fillet on a 6/0 Octopus hook,” the guys from Duffs Salamander Bait and Tackle reported.

“Trag and reds off Gibber reef. Work the V, 21 and Outer 21 reefs on the bottom for reds and flathead.”

Building it

For evidence of the infrastructure being built using money from fishing licences that goes into the Recreational Fishing Trust check out the new fishing platform extension added to the disabled access ramp at Nelson Bay's Little Beach. 

The new fishing platform is now open to fishing with further works by Port Stephens Council to replace deck boards scheduled this month. 

New product

Geoff “Kanga” Ruse, from Freddy’s Fishing World at Broadmeadow, attended the national tackle trade show up on the Gold Coast recently and reported a few interesting items on the way into circulation.  

“I was really impressed with the Shimano Curado DC eggbeater reel,” Kanga said last week.

“It’s got a little computer inside. It’s sealed, and when the spool spins, it generates eclecticty that the computer reads, slowing or speeding the spool as per the way you programmed. In effect, it does the thumbing for you.

“There have been other reels with a computer built in but they’ve been very expensive.

 “The Curado comes in at under $400 and is great for bait casting and bass fishing.

“It’s Shimano’s way of getting round the Daiwa Mag Force Z and V systems.”

Daiwa has a new model Tatula out that has one extra feature that the Curado doesn’t have.

“You can open and close the Tatula when you cast out, giving you more distance and accuracy,” Geoff said. “You can be a novice caster and you are on song straight away.”

“Daiwa have just brought out their new Exist reels, which Geoff says are, incredibly light and beautiful to use, along with their  TD Black carbon fibre, ultra light and super strong rods.

“They can  do everything from bass through to inshore fishing,” Geoff said.

For guys who like going after bar cod in the deep water off the continental shelf there’s an interesting new offer from Daiwa – the Seabord MJ series.

“Winding up from 300m or 500m can be a not very comfortable operation,” Geoff said.

“The Daiwa Seaborg MJ addresses that challenge. It comes in two sizes, 800 and 1200. Both have 22 bearings and are super efficient, designed to take on the biggest things on the bottom.”

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