A full moon and favourable tides auger well for jew fishing this weekend, but Fish of the Week winner David Sykes isn't fussed.
David's 155cm, 32.1kg prize-winning mulloway was his 31st big jewie, and he reckons there's no real pattern or omen, other than using fresh squid.
"I've tracked all my fish - when I've caught them, where, how, on what etc - and I've got them in wind, on full moons, in the dark. It doesn't seem to matter.
"The one consistent thing has been squid, and I got this one on squid too."
David's previous PB jew was 122cm, 14.5kg, so he has quite literally smashed it.
"My goal this year was to catch a fish 20kg-plus so I can tick that off," he said.
David is generous with his fishing knowledge and quite happy to reveal where he caught the monster.
"In the lake," he said without batting an eye.
"I hooked up at 1.15am, it took me 20 minutes to get it to the boat and 20 minutes to get into the boat - it was just too big."
Which is always a good problem to have when you're fishing solo.
"It was dead calm and freezing cold," he said.
"There was no head shake so I wasn't sure it was a jew at first, but I thought if it was, it going to be a good one.
"My big worry was getting spooled."
David is the reigning Lake and Estuary champion at Swansea RSL Fishing Club and usually tries to get out and fish at least one night a week - all the way through.
After weighing the fish yesterday morning, David gave it to the owner of Swansea Newsagency.
"He's got a big family, and I had to head north to get my car attended too, so it would have been an issue keeping the fish," he said.
Sean Griffith, from Fishermans Warehouse at Marks Point, paid tribute to David when he came into the shop yesterday.
"He deserves it because he fishes hard and is always on the water," he said. "He puts in the hours and like you can see, he's very generous with his information."
Jamie Culver, who is a very keen angler and runs a cool fishing Instagram page (portstephens fishing) got a 20kg fish off Fingal last weekend in the howling wind, but was most impressed by David's catch.
"I'm still defrosting after my fish, but a 155cm jew in the lake is really good news," Jamie said.
"A mate of mine got one last year 165cm off the beach, but that was an outlier from the ocean.
"To get one that big in the lake is really impressive."
Salmon turn up
Concern had been growing that we might miss out on the salmon this year, but after last week's big westerly winds, they've turned up in numbers off Blacksmiths breakwall.
"There's thousands of them with a few seals thrown in," Sean reported.
"They [salmon] had been patchy but it seems like last week's big winds might have pushed them up the coast.
"Everyone thought they were going to miss them this year.
"They've been responding to pilchards, chromes and stick baits.
"People have been getting some great size larger size models."
Still plenty of tailor kicking around in the channel.
Luderick have been a bit hit and miss the last week but still worth chasing.
Been some great bream coming off Blacksmiths Beach.
Down south, guys have been getting kingfish up to 95cm on squid, which are about in patches.
Brent "Hammer" Hancock, from Tackle World Port Stephens, reports anglers have enjoyed good snapper fishing off the bay this week.
"Last weekend was obviously a write-off with the wind, but a few people got out through the week and there's some nice reds about," Hammer said.
"Crab and Mullet [two anglers] fished Wednesday throwing plastics around Broughton and got reds up to 6kg in the shallow reefs."
Hammer also reports there's been some really good bream and jew coming off the beaches.
"Our cured beach worms are the go," he said.
"Special herbs and spices - an unbelievable worm.
"With the full moon and tides after dark this weekend, it's looking pretty good for jew fish," Hammer said.
"Not too much wind or swell, should be cherry ripe."
Paul "Ringo" Lennon, from Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters reckons the estuaries are coming alive with bream and flathead.
"Harley Price caught a stack up around Soldiers Point on the rock walls through the week and there's been plenty of flathead coming on the chew as the water temps wake them up," Ringo reported.
"Mainly up the back half of the bay around Karuah, North Arm Cove and Tilliegerry.
"I also heard of a few adventurous types who got wide this week and landed some smaller model yellow fin up to 30kg. They got them cubing and didn't see any fish busting up."