Paul "Ringo" Lennon, from Fish Port Stephens Estuary Charters, says rising water temps have got the lizards leaping.
"The water inside Nelson Bay has lifted significantly from that chilly 14-15 degree range," Paul said.
"We're seeing temps up to 18 degrees, in some areas, which is still pretty fresh - 20 degrees would be ideal - but that spike triggers the flathead to start making their way down the river systems to spawn. Anglers working the upper reaches of the system this week, around Karuah, report seeing some nice flathead on the move."
Paul reports local fishing legend George Trinkler and his sons got on the water on Father's Day and picked up some solid jew around Soldiers Point
"George Trinkler got one, and so two did each of his boys - not bad fish, up around the 10kg mark," Paul said.
There's been a few snapper on offer in the shallow waters off Port Stephens - from Fingal up to Seal Rocks.
"Soft plastics have been doing the job," Paul said.
"Chris Pride got out through the week and got a couple of 80cm fish, fishing up Broughton Island way."
Ocean beaches will also start to light up as the water temps rise.
"Expect to see whiting showing up," Paul said.
:"Hit the guttters later arvo and early morning with sand worms and you should get whiting and bream.
"Rocks are fishing all right for drummer, but they will slow down over the next few weeks.
"Same with luderick, they're still around, but rising water temps will see them fade out, replaced by seasonal pelagics like bonito, kingfish and the odd tailor.
"It's great fun to have a spin off the rocks with small metals."
Warm to weekend
Simon Rowe, from Tackle Power Sandgate is looking forward to the weekend and expecting things to warm up.
"The water temps at the moment are still a bit low and definitely an incentive not to fall in," he said.
"But conditions are expected to heat up Saturday and Sunday and if I had my preferences, I'd be hitting Fullerton Cove on the outgoing tide to chase flathead.
"Any rocky points around the region will likely turn up a snapper two.
"It's the time of year to hit the western side of Lake Macquarie for flathead.
"Keep an eye out for baitballs and you might get lucky with some tailor too.
"There's been a few bream nice coming off the beach this week.
"All that should continue to accelerate as the mercury rises."
On the freshwater front, early reports suggest bass have been quiet but yellowbelly have been active around the base of trees in the impoundments.
Talking of flathead on the move, young Chelsea Feenan boated a trophy fish in Lake Macquarie on a Shimano Stradic with 6lb line on a soft vibe this week.
Meanwhile, Blakce Goodchild caught a 63cm flathead with his first cast using soft plastic at his secret spot in Swansea Heads.
Pearl of a day
Shane Dixon enjoyed a fruitful session at Catherine Hill Bay last week, capped off by 5lb pearl perch.
"We had a good day as we bagged seven snapper as well," Shane reported.
"Conditions were a bit lumpy and windy, but that's often when you'll get snapper, and I was holiday so I had to grab that window of opportunity.
"Sadly, I'm back at work this week."
Dad's pride and joy
Young Holly Brock caught a fantastic 42cm, 1.26kg bream on Father's Day morning in Lake Macquarie.
"She was fishing from a canoe using her Alvey reel spooled with 12lb line," proud dad Andrew reported.
"She wanted to get up early and was all organised and ready to go at 5.30am.
"She's been fishing before, but I think she really loved the idea of spending time with dad on Father's Day."
The pair fished the northern end of Lake Macquarie around Speers Point and encountered a hot bite.
"We caught four bream that morning," Andrew said.
"One was nearly the same size as the 42cm fish and the others were well and truly over the legal mark.
"We also caught a tailor and a couple of flounder - so all up, not a bad return in about three hours.
"Hopefully Holly is as hooked as much as the fish were."
Fish of the Week
For your chance to win a prize to the value of $45 each week, courtesy of Tackle Power Sandgate, email your Fish of the Week pics to firstname.lastname@example.org with contact details and a bit of info about the catch.
A new winner is announced each Friday, with other entries held over for future consideration.
To pick up your prize, call into Tackle Power Sandgate, at 2/15 Murray Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West, and identify yourself with either a copy of the paper or online verification.