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Big tailor and plenty of bream is the mantra coming out of Lake Macquarie this week.
Turning up both in the channel and inside the lake itself, according to Jumpin' Johnny Frith from Fisherman's Warehouse.
John should know because he's just spent the last four weeks on holiday combing his favourite haunts and in his humble estimation, going as good as he ever has.
"Mate, I've been in rare form and got a 48cm bream last week along with an 86cm flathead as bi-catch, which went back into the drink as it should," John said.
"There's been some good tailor about - Jason 'One For' Nunn [boss of Fisherman's Warehouse] got ahead of the game Monday afternoon with nine fish.
"We didn't know where he went, but it's like they say - when the tide's right, you just gotta go."
There's been salmon mixed in with the tailor on the run-in tide in the channel.
"If they're not in the channel on the run-out tide they're not far away," John said.
"They head out and hang around Moon Island.
"Anglers have been still getting a few squid around Rafferty's, using them for bait or just serving them up for dinner.
"They make good eating."
As reported last week, snapper continue to bite along the coast.
"Nice plate-sized reds in close," John said.
"From Wybung up to Newcastle.
"First thing in the morning or late in the arvo - very consistent reports, but that timing seems key.
"The ones that know what they're doing are doing alright."
Lo and behold, there's been reports this week of kingfish coming off the new artificial reef off Swansea.
"It's good news for the true believers and is in line with a solid bite coming off places like Texas Reef down south - lots of kings being jigged down that way," John said.
Speaking of artificial reefs, a trawler ran aground in Swansea channel this week.
Efforts to remove it failed midweek and if they don't get it out soon, John speculates it may become the area's next artificial reef.
"It was still there on Thursday and if it's not gone by the end of the week, they'll never get it," Johnny said.
"It is going to blow it's ring off this weekend and the sea will smash it."
Jason suggests that it should be towed out to sea and scuttled.
"If you're in doubt about the situation, call Marine Rescue," Jason said.
With the weather tipped to turn ugly over the weekend Johnny is suggesting that if you are going to fish anywhere, fish Salts Bay.
"The seas will be massive and all the fish will come inside for shelter - squire, bream, salmon - all seeking refuge.
"Round the heads will be rough but Salts Bay being in the lee during a sou-wester, you can actually fish it.
"Then it will be back to Jason's for a barbecue."
Bay day alert
Brent "Hammer" Hancock, from Tackle World Port Stephens reports the fishing's been good up the bay this week, but he holds similar concerns for the weekend.
"The swell is going to jack up and It's gonna get ugly I think.
"As far as fishing opportunities go, I reckon inside the bay's you're best bet.
"It works well in a sou-wester, although having said that, there will probably be some good pothole fishing on the high tide along the rocks anywhere from Fingal down to Boat Harbour.
"But you have to know what you're doing.
"Fish will head in close to feed in the shallows."
Plenty of luderick coming off the the breakwall at Nelson Bay this week and Brent tips it will be shoulder to shoulder over the weekend.
"Plenty of good bream being caught throughout the system as well as some nice jewies," Brent said.
"Fish up to 17kg caught the back of Soldiers Point around Middle Island this week.
"Special mention to young Jack Hodges who caught a long tail and a 16kg jewie out of the bay this week.
"Also a shout-out to Mike Deamer who got an 'estuary grand slam' last week fishing with Paul 'Ringo' Lennon on Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters. He got a a jew, a longtail and a snapper. Good size fish too."
Beaches have been fishing well for bream and salmon.
"But it's going to be testing on the beaches this weekend," Brent said.
"The snapper will be on though, once the swell drops off. A guy called "Crab" got a ripper this week."
Fish of the Week winner Jasmine Williams has caught the fishing bug during coronavirus, according to her dad Ashley.
"We went fishing a couple of weeks ago and she got a fish first session and from there she's been hooked," he said.
"We've been doing a lot of night fishing the last couple of weeks - 8pm to 2am - and she's been cleaning up."
- Port Stephens: Bream, jew, tailor
- Beaches: Salmon, tailor, bream
- Offshore: Snapper, longtail, kingfish
- Newcastle Harbour: Mulloway, flathead, luderick
- Lake Macquarie: Bream, jew, tailor
- Saturday: Mostly sunny Max 16 Min 10 Wind 20km WSW
- Sunday: Raining Max 15 Min 11 Wind 30 km SW