Herald Fishing Report - Kings stocked in Lake

NSW Department of Primary Industries has undertaken a  small-scale stocking of kingfish in Lake Macquarie as part of a research project. 

FISH OF THE WEEK: Seven-year-old Abby Graham wins the prize this week after her first night trip with dad on Stocko produced two mulloway, a tailor and a stingray.

FISH OF THE WEEK: Seven-year-old Abby Graham wins the prize this week after her first night trip with dad on Stocko produced two mulloway, a tailor and a stingray.

The project will investigate the benefits of stocking kingfish, a key sportfishing species, to enhance recreational fishing opportunities.

As reported in this column last week, the stockings were undertaken in the Lake Macquarie Recreational Fishing Haven.

Approximately 3000 kingfish fingerlings, currently about 20cm in length were stocked last week, and are expected to grow very quickly.

These targeted stockings will boost the local fisheries and provide extra incentive for fishers to wet a line.

“Kingfish are already commonly targeted by anglers in Lake Macquarie,” a DPI spokesperson said.

“These stockings will boost existing populations of kingfish in these waterways.”

The stocked fish will be closely monitored by DPI scientists to assess the effects of releasing kingfish into our waterways.

The research will also monitor the residency of the stocked fish in the estuaries and quantify their movement.

The contribution of stocked kingfish to local recreational fisheries will also be monitored.

“DPI has a fish stocking management strategy in place to ensure stockings are carried out using world’s best practices,” the spokesperson said. 

“The kingfish fingerings have been bred at the DPI marine hatchery at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute.”

Minister for Primary Industries  Niall Blair, said the NSW government is proud to support the recreational fishing industry, which generates about $1.6 billion in expenditure to the NSW economy each year and creates about 14,000 jobs.

“There are more than one million recreational fishers in NSW and we are always looking for ways we continue to make sure the sector has the best fishing opportunities available,” Mr Blair said.

“This marine stocking project is another great example of how money raised through the sale of the recreational fishing licence is being invested back into initiatives that directly benefit recreational fishers.”

Super double

Newcastle District Anglers Association kicked off season 2018-19 with the annual rock comp last week and tireless NDAA stalwart Craig Oaten and wife Melissa saluted.

In a hard fought contest with Leigh “Lazzo” Stephenson, Oaten triumphed by 16 points in the men’s division, in what the winner described as cold and windy but reasonably productive fishing conditions.

“He had three more fish than me, but I had more  weight,” Craig reported.

“He had 30 fish, and I got 27  – we only fish a maximum of 30 fish – but I ended up with something like 3.5kg more weight. 

“It was hard work in the wind. We dodged the rain but it was cold wind.’’

Craig strategically fished Fingal Bay, which offered some cover. So did Lazzo. In fact, all the big bags came from anglers working FIngal.  

In a magic double for the Oaten household,  wife Melissa took out the lady’s crown.

“It’s the first time on the winner’s podium for Melissa, a proud moment,” Craig beamed. “She had a mixed bag of drummer, groper, bream and luderick with a total weight of 8.7kg.

“I made her carry them all back to the car. Only because I couldn’t carry any more.”

Defending NDAA veterans champion Bob Hodges kicked off the new season with yet another win.

“He’ll probably be champion until I start fishing veterans,” Craig quipped.

Kane Small won sub-juniors, and Redhead Bowling Club was champion team.

“Even though the wind was on, the fish were on,” Craig said.

“We fished low to low in terms of tide, and the high tide just before dark was when the fish were really firing.”

Largest of species were as follows: Luderick 0.692kg Bob Hodges; Drummer 2.614kg Shannon Denning; Bream 0.882kg Shannon Denning; Tailor and only 0.58kg Bob Hodges; Snapper 0.91kg Nick Pryce; Groper 3.67kg Bob Hodges.

Get your game on

Spring  means only one thing for local game fishing clubs – gear up.

The Hunter is a gamefishing hotspot and local clubs roll out their official summer seasons over the next few weeks.

Newcastle Game Fishing Club’s season kicks off 7am Fathers Day. To herald the event the club is holding a sportsman’s lunch featuring soccer identity Michael Bridges at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club today from midday.

Lake Macquarie GFA’s summer season officially kicks off on Father’s Day, but  actual  competition starts Sunday, September 9.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Port Stephens GFA’s summer season gets under way, 7am Sunday, September  16. 

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