Crowds have dropped off this week as the holiday hordes head home, opening up local waters a touch.
Ocean beaches have been working well for whiting and the odd nice jewie, especially off the southern end of Stockton, while estuaries teem with flathead, bream, whiting and tailor.
Unfortunately water temps inshore remain quite brisk due to a raging nor-easterly which has turned over a lot of cold water and nutrients.
One reports this week had the temp at the FAD off Port Stephens at a sphincter-tightening 16.8 degrees.
“It’s played havoc with fishing out wide, even though there’s plenty of bait stacked up,” Geoffrey Hallam, from Central Coast Game Fishing Club, said.
“What we need is a good southerly to blow through, but it’s unlikely to be this weekend.”
Paul “Ringo” Lennon, from Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters reports a few trag showing up on the V and 21 reefs off Port Stephens, along with the odd quality snapper.
“A mate of mine caught a stack up to about 6kg off Broughton this week and got smoked by a couple he couldn’t stop,” Ringo said.
“We’re seeing great bream, flathead and whiting in the estuaries and along the beaches.
“Once the warm water turns up, we’ll see the pelagics – bonito, frigate mackerel, longtails and marlin.”
Central Coast Game Fishing Club had to move their tournament last week, due to inclement conditions.
The Bluewater Classic, along with the Port Macquarie Golden Lures tournament (January 4th to January 12th) are traditionally the first of the year for local hard-core game fishos.
Attention then turns to Hunter waters from February through to March for the annual local game fishing events.
“Safety reasons dictated we move our dates,” Geoffrey Hallam, spokesperson for Central Coast GFC, confirmed.
“We had big winds and seas coming into the weekend and were mindful of the smaller boats in our fleet.”
The Bluewater Classic will now run March 22-24.
Following on from that, the Hunter game fishing tournament dates for 2019 are:
- 2019 Big Fish Bonanza hosted by Lake Macquare Game Fishing Club – February 1-3
- 2019 Garmin Billfish Shootout Tournament – hosted by Newcastle-Port Stephens GFC February 15-17
- 2019 NSWGFA Interclub State Championships – Port Stephens GFC – February 21-24
- 2019 East Coast Classic – hosted by Newcastle GFC – March 9-10
- 2019 Bluewater Classic – hosted by Central Coast GFC – March 22-24
Garry Russell, president of Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club, reports preparations for the Big Fish Bonanza (Feb 1-3) are going well: he just hopes the weather, water and fish play ball.
“My lounge room is starting to fill up with gear and prizes,” Garry said.
“We just need this nor-easter and big seas to ease up. People have struggled to get out and these cold currents are playing havoc.
“A couple of LMGFC guys were out this week and reported it was running up to six knots downhill and the water was very green with temps around 20 degrees to 22. They still managed to get a couple of mahi mahi around 20kg and a shortbill spear fish, so there is some optimism there.
“I heard fish activity was a little slow up at Port Macquarie too. They got a blue about 120kg on Ladies Day, but I think it was a bit of a struggle.
“The nor-easter has stirred up a lot of muck but there is a stack of bait about.”
Garry was also keen to remind anglers that the briefing and presentation for this year’s Big Fish Bonanza will be at Belmont Golf Club.
For more details visit www.lmgfc.com.au.
Jack Faber from Budgewoi on the Central Coast landed a monster 96cm at Winda Woppa recently on 8 pound line and 10 pound leader using a nuclear chicken.
It was his first fish of 2019 and a personal best, which he released back into the water to swim another day.
Great work that, as these bigger lizards are more than likely breeding females and anglers are always urged to look after those ones so flathead stocks remain sustainable.
Whiting are biting throughout all estuaries and along local beaches.
The key is to target sand areas on high tide with live tube worms as the whiting move in to feed.
Port Stephens estuary is awash with white bait and Ringo reckons there’s that many tailor, it ain’t funny.
“Look for the birds, and when you find them, toss small metal lures in the 5g to 10g range,” he said.
Similarly, there’s been some nice bream coming off surface lures, particularly around rock/bar areas of an early morning.