A strong marlin bite off the coast last weekend highlights great fishing conditions at the moment.
An opportune influx of warm water, possibly assisted by sporadic southerlies, have kept the temps up and there has been an upsurge in pelagic action, most notably a good show of bonito up and down the Hunter coast, along with the odd marlin, yellow-fin and some big dolphin fish.
The warm water has been pocketing in along local beaches too, bringing on a nice whiting bite which has extended into local estuaries, and accompanied by some great bream action.
Of note in Lake Macquarie, but also reflected up in Port Stephens, there have been some fantastic kingfish caught in the estuary, giving new meaning to the concept of sports fishing.
"There were some fantastic game fishing results last Saturday," Jason 'One For' Nunn, from Fisherman's Warehouse at Marks Point, said.
"Aaron Bevan, on Reel Keen, tagged a marlin and also hooked a couple of yellow-fin out on the shelf.
"There was a lot of talk coming out of Nelson Bay, with blues and stripes hooked. Rack Em Up got a striped marlin."
Jason is teaming up with the crew of Fifi to give it a crack this weekend, and with very little current out on the Shelf he's hopeful of success.
"We'll go out and have a look see," he said. "The presence of yellowfin and dolphin fish offers the lure of a bicatch to bring home.
"I'm having a crack this Saturday before works soaks up all my spare time coming into Christmas. We'll give the boat a run in preparation for the game tournaments in February."
The warm water out wide has pushed in, producing a distinctive improvement inshore with water temps ranging round the 19-20 degree mark.
With that has come the first real solid sighting of summer pelagics like bonito which have been caught off Swansea and Port Stephens in number this week.
"They have turned up in good numbers with decent size," Jason said.
"Guys have been getting them spinning and trolling and this is an indication that the water is warming.
"They were up round Seal Rocks five weeks ago and the water has moved down
"Wtih that there has been a few reds getting caught along the edge as well.
"I expect as we come into the new moon that we'll see trag and mulloway move into local inshore reefs."
Paul "Ringo" Lennon, from Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters reports a strong surface whiting bite in the bay and along ocean beaches.
"Live tube worms is the key on the beaches," he said. "Fishing the gutters on high tide with a long shank hook.
"The more worm the better. You'll possibly pick up salmon, jew and bream as bicatch.
"Guys have been getting good flathead up to 90cm and there's been some bonito coming off the rocks.
"It's good to see them around so early."
Been some good snapper caught from Broughton Island up to Seal Rocks.
"A guy I know, 'Mullet', got reds up to 6kg through the week but got blown away by some absolute stonkers he couldn't stop," Ringo said.
The resurgence in kingfish being caught offshore and in the channel has been commented on before, but the fact that anglers have been getting kings inside Lake Macquarie up to 1m has been very exciting.
"Guys have been getting them at Swansea bridge for a while now but it can get congested, but there have been a few crackers caught in the lake this week," Jason said.
"Catching 1m kings in the estuary armed only with light tackle, its very sporting to say the least.
"It means the kings are becoming very accessible no matter what size boat you have. The kings have been offshore but getting to them can be a challenge.
"The bridge gets a bit busy, but now you can find them in the lake. It's very exciting."
Last week's prawn run was quite productive and contrary to the October prawn run, best results occurred early in the run.
"It has certainly fired up the estuary," Jason said.
"Been some great bream about from 25cm up to 45cm - super quality.
"And the whiting are starting to spread out from the estuary to the breakwalls and now the beaches.
"All up the fishing at the moment ticks all the boxes."
FISH OF THE WEEK
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Email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday each week and you will be in the running.
Entries are kept on file, meaning if you don't win this week, you're still a chance.