The game fishing focus turns to the Marlin Skins Shootout this Saturday.
The Central Coast Game Fishing Club is running the rare one-day tournament, where boats are able to leave from their home port.
The event at Gosford looks set to be held in good early weather before a strong sou-westerly change and large swell is expected makes life difficult for anglers late in the day and through Sunday.
The contest follows last weekend's East Coast Classic, which was hosted by Newcastle Game Fishing Club.
After the Marlin Skins Shootout comes the Big Fish Bonanza, hosted by Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club on March 28-29. It was rescheduled due to rough weather in February.
Still on the competition front, the Twin Rivers Fishing Tournament is on March 20-22.
Hosted by the Junction Inn Fishing Club, the event is contested from the weir on the Williams River and from the Junction of the Paterson and Hunter Rivers down to the breakwalls in Newcastle Harbour.
HODGES ON TOP
Bob Hodges edged out Craig Oaten with some decent flathead catches to win the Newcastle District Anglers' Association estuary competition last weekend.
Hodges went to familiar grounds at Nelson Bay to snare a maximum bag of 30 fish with a total weight of 14.26 kilograms.
Oaten stuck to Swansea Channel to also catch his maximum but with a total weight of 13.535kg.
"Most of us were in Lake Macquarie but the winner fished up at Port Stephens," Oaten said.
"He had a nice bag of flathead, a couple of bream, some lano mullet, a couple of small tailor, but the flathead were really nice.
"Bob wouldn't really tell us where, just up in Nelson Bay somewhere.
"He fishes up there a fair bit but lives up this way.
"I mainly just fished in Swansea Channel and got 10 mullet, 10 bream, a few nice tailor, a couple of flathead and a coupe of whiting. It fished pretty good."
The competition went from midday Saturday to midday Sunday with the weigh-in at Redhead Bowling Club.
"It blew southerly and was trying at times, but it didn't rain, which was good," Oaten said.
Amy McEwan was the ladies champion and her son, Kai McEwan, was runner-up in the sub-junior category in his first competition. The sub-junior champion was Kane Small.
The Veteran side of Hodges, Mick Brewer and Steve Hector claimed the champion team title ahead of the Golden Eagles line-up of Oaten, Simon Howard, Josh Brewer and Travis Broadbent.
Hodges also claimed the largest of species in the flathead with a 3.71kg fish. Bream went to Lee Stevenson with an 880-gram catch, Matthew Small won tailor with 1.15kg, Brewer claimed jew with 3.87kg and Oaten topped whiting with 280g.
The NDAA has also completed its rock, freshwater and beach competitions and next has the saltwater boat edition in May.
Squid and bream have been the highlights of fishing in Lake Macquarie this week as flathead and tailor prove inconsistent.
Jason "One For" Nunn, from Fisherman's Warehouse, Marks Point, said anglers should make the most of Friday and Saturday before the southerly change.
"The lake is fishing very well for squid, whether it be at Murrays or down at Belmont bay, any of the normal haunts at the back of the sand island," Nunn said.
"There's a good variety of sizes, some are eating sizes and a lot are around that bait size, but there's plenty.
"Also the volume of the bream around and their size has been a highlight.
"There's quite a number of good bream being caught in the lake and in the channel, and there's still plenty of kings around too."
He said schools of tailor were appearing but the sizes of fish were hit and miss. The situation is expected to improve over the next month.
He said good flathead were still around but, as is normal with this time of year, they were starting to head out of the estuaries and onto the beaches and offshore.
On the beaches, he said there was a big run of top jewfish catches across the usual spots like Stockton, Blacksmiths and Redhead over the past month.
"The guys who are putting the night sessions in and using squid have been catching anything up to a 1.1 metres," he said.
"The best I've heard so far is 1.12, so a lot of fish between that six to 10-kilo mark.
"Offshore, there's still plenty of bonito around and interestingly there's quite a few frigate mackerel that have been seen at the entrance to the heads down on the breakwater.
"They've been coming down as far as the drop-over on the run-in tide and then back to the bridge as it turns.
"So there's a bit of sport there for anyone who wants to use some metal slugs and chase some frigates."