Flathead are firing in the estuaries to help compensate for continued poor offshore conditions.
Nor-easterly winds have made it difficult to get offshore in recent days and the weekend forecast is not encouraging.
And Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse, Marks Point, fears the conditions will prove a setback beyond this weekend.
“The main concern with having continual days of nor-easters is that it’s going to roll this water over and the water temperature is going to drop off considerably,” Nunn said.
“But the estuaries have been fishing really well and that’s the bright point.”
Nunn said very low tides were exposing sandbanks and forcing bait fish to the fringes of the Lake Macquarie, making for ideal conditions.
“There’s some really nice flathead being caught in the Lake and I’ve heard of a few good ones caught in the harbour as well.
“There’s been catches of 60 centimetre up to as big as 95 in the Lake. There’s quite a lot of large fish and they are spread out.
“They’ve moved from the deeper water to the shallower water and in the channel, and that’s advantageous given the wind we’ve been getting. People can find the sheltered areas.”
Bream, jew and the emergence of more whiting are also making Lake fishing attractive.
”We spoke to one guy that caught a 48-centimetre bream, that’s a good fish,” Nunn said. “We're seeing quite a lot of nice bream moving into the system.
“We’re heading into this next moon phase and the November prawn run. When that kicks in, I think our fishing is going to really escalate.
“And we’re finally starting to see some whiting happening. They have been a bit slow this year. There were on the beaches in the winter and a few were still being caught in the channel, but on the back of the prawn run, it’s a good opportunity to start having a crack at these whiting and bream.
“There were a few undersized jew caught on the weekend, around that 60-centimetre mark, on lures. I spoke to some guys who got one in the mid 80s and lost another over a metre on the side of the boat.”
Geoff “Kanga” Ruse, from Freddys Fishing World at Broadmeadow, said the Lake was also delivering “some nice sized snapper”.
“There’s been some more than two kilos, which is really interesting,” Ruse said.
“It’s something that’s been happening the last year or two. There’s always been small snapper in the Lake but it’s impressive to see some bigger ones starting to get caught. They are mostly caught on lures because it’s a by-catch.”
The flurry of flathead helped Sydney fisherman Nick Pearce turn around a tough day on Lake Macquarie on Saturday.
Pearce and mate Adrian are regular land-based visitors to the Hunter but had their first outing in kayaks.
After three hours of taking on plenty of water and disappointments, Pearce found a hot spot near the drop off on the way back in and snared four flathead in quick succession measuring 41, 85, 55 and 51 centimetres.
Anglers can find more joy chasing bass in the rivers and dams in the early morning and evenings, according to Ruse.
“The rivers are starting to fire,” Ruse said. “Obviously we’ve had a bit of rain, and water has been able to move back up, which is good,
“Blokes have been pounding them on sub-surface divers and poppers like Chubbys, and on the surface using soft shell cicadas and Megabass Siglett lures. The Allyn, Paterson, Karuah and Hunter rivers are all doing pretty well.”
Ruse said Lake St Clair, Glenbawn and Lostock dams have also been great value using lures like ZMans, Atomic and Jackall Chubbys.
Ruse said the Hunter river was fishing well for jew “for guys who know what they are doing”.
For those who have got offshore, kings have been biting in the usual spots.
“When guys can get out, the king fish grounds are still working out off Norah Head, Texas,” Ruse said. “Allmark has been producing but you obviously have to have a good day to get out there.”
Reports of yellow fin tuna in the wider areas have also come in, Ruse said.
Nunn said windswept beaches have also been hard going for fishos but a few bream and whiting have been around.
He said the rocks had been are fishing well for pigs.
In Port Stephens, whiting, bream and flathead have been the main catches.
Decent hauls of mudcrabs in the Hunter river and blue swimmer crabs in Lake Macquarie have also been mentioned in dispatches.
Charlestown Anglers will hold their Flathead Classic on November 3-4.
The release-only comp carries a $10 entry fee and all money raised goes to the Leukemia Foundation.
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