Damp conditions have seen sporadic activity from anglers this week, but those who have braved the rain have been rewarded.
A consistent light sou-easterly has pushed warm water stocked with bait up against the coast and attracting pelagics on the shelf and local inshore reefs.
The January prawn run in Lake Macquarie is kicking off and the local estuary is awash with good size bream and whiting in solid numbers keen for a feed.
Local beaches have been working very well for BIG tailor and in the process triggering a solid jewie bite.
All up it's been a nice week of fishing and it's looking like it will only get better coming into the weekend with clearing showers predicted, light sou-easters and believe it or not, the chance of some sun.
"There's been some inshore black marlin caught up the bay this week," Simon Rowe, from Sandgate Tackle Power said.
"I hear there's been lots of rat kings out around the local FADs.
"The sou-easterlies are keeping the water warm and that should continue to augur good for inshore fishing."
Sean Griffiths, from Fisherman's Warehouse at Marks Point, reports local Lake Macquarie boat Fifi headed out to the shelf on Tuesday and got two striped marlin and a mahi mahi.
"All week through guys have been getting stripes out wide, and black marlin just out past the ships which is great to get them in close for a change.
"There is a warm patch of water and it's got plenty of bait.
"If it holds the fish will hold and given the weather forecast the next couple of days, I reckon it will hold."
Scott Morris, secretary of Newcastle Game Fishing Club, reports several Newcastle club members have been getting into the marlin this week.
"There's small blacks on the shallow reefs off Port Stephens and Newcastle," he said.
"The current has pushed in with with lots of slimey mackerel attracting striped marlin."
There's been a nice jew bite along Stockton and Blacksmiths beach this week, triggered by the appearance of some big tailor.
"The biggest I saw was 83cm, which is a big tailor, caught on Redhead," Sean said.
"They've been busting the surface feeding on all the bait that's around."
The recent rains have brought a bit of colour to Newcastle Harbour as the fresh flushes out.
It might be just what the prawning doctors in the Hunter River ordered.
It might also be a plus as we head into the January prawn run in Lake Macquarie.
"Swansea channel has been firing for whiting this week," Sean said.
"Fish up to 43cm coming off the breakwall and feeding on tube worms.
"Don't bother with the nippers - the tubies have been generating double hook-ups."
Lake Macquarie is boiling with big bream too as they move into position for the prawn run.
"They do it this time every year, looking to ambush the prawns," Sean said.
"The run has started already and there's good times to be had catching the fish that are catching the prawns."
Sources report arrow squid have been starting to show up in parts around the lake this week.
There's also been a few nice kings caught around Swansea Bridge and out the front of Swansea.
"Stick baits or whole squid have been doing the trick," Sean said.
A contingent of Newcastle Game Fishing Boats have made their way up to Port Macquarie this weekend to contest the time-honoured Golden Lure Tournament.
The week-long Golden Lure is traditionally a great lead-in event for locals looking to sharpen up for the local game fishing season which will be contested along the Hunter Coast through February and March, if Covid or the weather allows.
"We'll have I think five boats up at Port and we'll be looking to back up past successes we've had in the event," Scott said.
Speaking of local gamefishing tournaments, Newcastle Game Fishing Club has pulled off a bit of a coup this year.
This year's East Coast Classic, staged by NGFC on March 13-14, will be combined with the 2021 Australian International Billfish Tournament.
"It's a very prestigious event that will attract the best of the best from around the country," Scott said.
"Normally it runs in places like Cairns or Western Australia but we've been awarded it this year so we're very excited."
Boats that enter the East Coast Classic pay a nominal fee ($100) and they will also be able to contest the AIBT.