THE water might be a bit dirty but there's plenty of fish about in local estuaries, particularly jew and tailor.
Shannon Malone, from Fishermans Warehouse at Marks Points, reckons six guys hooked up at once on Stockton breakwall the other day and they all landed fish over 25kg.
"I saw a pic of three of them with big fish, the other three might have been a bit camera shy but the story came from a pretty reliable source," he said.
"Lake Macquarie remains muddy and the little bit of rain we had last week has dirtied it up more.
"It will take three or more weeks before we see clarity, but it hasn't put off the fish, surprisingly enough."
Shannon reports that over the last few days there's been plenty of bream around the 40cm-plus mark and tailor hanging about under the salmon, which have returned inside and are annoying the soft plastic fishos.
"Just before the storms hit there had been good catches of bream and snapper in the lake and it hasn't really slowed," Shannon said.
"There's been the odd flattie around and a lot of school jew.
"The jew have been better off the beach, with a lot in the 12 to 15kg range.
"But nowhere near as good as the flood coming off Newcastle breakwall at Stockton."
Shannon and workmate Corey have been getting into tailor in the channel.
There's even been the odd kingfish lurking about among the salmon.
"The beaches have been producing good bream and plenty of salmon too," Shannon said. "The westerlies will make it more fishable over the weekend, but there is a lot of kelp about down near the Blacksmiths end. Very thick.
"The water is pretty dirty outside but they've been getting good reds in the 30-40m mark. A few trag about too."
Shannon said the Mother's Day weekend is looking pretty good weatherwise and it might well pay to make the most of the warmer weather before a cold front hits.
That is, of course, after you've paid your respects to mum. Better yet, take her out fishing with you.
Still fish about
IT'S been a similar story up round Nelson Bay, according to Paul "Ringo" Lennon, from Tackle World Port Stephens, who confirms the tailor have really kicked in.
"You do see them round this time of year but the dirty water seems to have brought them on, and quality too," Paul said.
"I was fishing round Broughton Island on Tuesday just on dusk, and got some cracking tailor fishing for snapper.
"I also got some nice reds, plus hairtail.
"I've never caught hairtail up this way before.
"My dad used to get them, I'm thinking maybe the floodwater has pushed them out this way.
"Tailor have also been pretty active along the beaches."
Paul said Nelson Bay was like mud but reckoned the place would be better for the cleanout.
"There's still good fish in there. Flathead have been flushed down from up the back of the system and we're seeing some good bream about, from Soldiers Point to Shoal Bay.
"Jew have been active on the rock wall.
"Peter Raymond got a 10kg mulloway in between battling kingfish on the Nelson Bay breakwall through the week.
"The water is starting to clear up now and there's a lot of food in the water."
Jews at Stockton
STEVEN Whitely, from Freddy's Fishing World at Green Hills, confirms news of jews off Stocko breakwall.
"We've definitely been selling lots of big plastics," he said. "Guys have been getting plenty.
"There's also been tailor on the beach and off the end of the breakwall.
"The fish on the breakwall have nearly greenbacks."
Steve reckons the dirty water has pushed mullet and bream into the system and wherever the mullet go, the predators follow.
"Everything eats mullet," he said.
Lost rod found
ON a lighter note, Wayne Newburn lost a rod fishing the Belmont barge a couple of weeks ago.
It had an old reel which belonged to his dad, that was of sentimental value, but the fish that pulled the rod overboard didn't know that.
Wayne put a post on social media in the vain hope someone might find it and return the reel.
Next night Cameron Perks was fishing the same spot, hooked up a fish, that then hooked up the rod.
Saturday night Cam was telling blokes at his local how he'd got this rod and reel and someone mentioned Wayne's social media plea.
The upshot was, Wayne got his rod back. Facebook does it again.
ON a lighter, lighter note: it's always good to know people are reading, and one of the best ways you can tell is when you get something wrong with Fish of the Week.
Like last week. The issue seemed to be "hairtale" or fairytale.
There was no doubting Mr Qui caught something big in Throsby Creek. The question was, what?
Ben Canvin summed things up when he wrote: "I believe the photographed fish is a pike eel and not a hairtail as stated. Pike eels are a common catch in the area and differ from hairtail in that their top jaw is longer than the bottom." Another Herald reader, "Sean", was generous in his approach: "I will first say I always look forward to your fishing report in Friday's Herald, but your catch of the week is not a hairtail; it is what I call a silver or giant pike eel. I have caught many of these in the harbour."
"Cleotia Hardbottom" told it like it is when he or she suggested: "Egos will be bruised, but that isn't a hairtail in your catch of the week. It is a pike eel, the bane of many a jew fisherman's life."
Tom Kendall concurred: "A hairtail would have to be somewhere around four metres long to weigh 18kg."
But perhaps the biggest confirmation came from "cfuller", who put the subject beyond doubt: "The fish in Friday's paper is a pike eel and not a hairtail. The Australian record for hairtail is around 6.7kg and 1.94m long and was caught in Newie harbour - I was with the bloke who caught it back in the early 1990s."