Warming up for Xmas

FISH OF THE WEEK: Jai Lonsdale wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this Long Tom caught in Lake Macquarie last weekend.

Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse Tackle World at Marks Pointreportsan improvement in offshore water temperatures at the moment.

“It’s sitting at around 21 degrees and attracting good numbers of bonito,” Jason said.

“Trag are also now starting to be caught from Catherine Hill Bay right through to Port Stephens.

“Snapper are a little slow but for those who are prepared to spend a bit of time burleying there have been a few up to 3kg taken on floating baits, most of the inshore gravel patches are holding plenty of flathead and some large Flounder.”

Tube timeIn Lake Macquarie, Swansea Channel and the surrounding flats abound with whiting and bream.

“Tube worms are the best baits by far over the sand flats, however, quite a few large bream have shown a preference for Hawkesbury prawns,” Jason said.

The December prawn run this week was only average with the first few nights being the pick.

Lack of rain and too many strong N/E winds have prevented a lot of prawns travelling up from the bottom of the lake, Jason said.

Flathead numbers have increased, with the shallow water holding a lot of fish.

Tag teamsAs reported over the last six weeks, Lake Macquarie has been designated a Trophy Flathead Fishery by the Department of Primary Industries.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage the release of all dusky flathead over 70cm in length.

As part of that initiative, a crack team of Lake ‘flathead whisperers’ have been recruited by DPI and Fisheries to tag flathead over that magic measure.

More than 20 fish over 70cm have so far been tagged and released.

As the fish are recaptured and data collected scientists will be better able to understand the growth rates and movements of these fish.

In the long run, this research will go a long way to keeping this popular form of recreational sports fishing sustainable into the future.

It’ll be good not only for you but your son and your grandson who will all be able to enjoy the thrill of catching fish.

The positive effects will flow on to the local economy too.

So if you catch a big lizard over the break, and it’s got a distinctive pink tag located next to it’s second dorsal fin, take a photo of the tag number on your mobile, make a note of the length and location of the catch and send that info [email protected]

Don’t forget to release the fish as well.

Big mummas over 70cm are primary breeders and pivotal to sustaining stocks.

Epic journeysSpeaking of tagging, Fisheries recently released some updates on fish tagged,including one about amulloway caught in Coffs Harbour July last year and recaptured inthe Gold Coast this year –a 265km journey in 411 days, growing 21 cm in the process. Similarly a kingfish tagged last year in South was recaptured at Seal Rock this November, travelling a straight line distance of over 700 nautical miles.

TheNSWDPIGame Fish Tagging Program issues tags free of charge and works in close association with theNSWGame Fishing Association, the Game Fishing Association of and ANSA. More than 455,000 fish have been tagged under the program so far. If you would like to get involved, phone (02) 4424 7423 or [email protected]

Moon beamsWith the full moon in the first week of 2018, it is looking good for mulloway fishos, Jason said.

“Some solid fish up to 15kg have been caught during the past week.

“Squid, however, are still hard work but there are a few patches around if you are prepared to have a real look.”

Beach bombsOn the beaches the cooler water has shut most things down recently, but the sudden increase in water temp has lured some excellent-size whiting back into action.

“Some of these fish are around the 44cm range, but be aware there are still a few big salmon to contend with which can really sort out your light gear,” Jason said.

Get onto itOut wide it’s now or never, Jason said.

“The current hasn’t picked up yet. As a result we have reasonable numbers of striped marlin cutting through big schools of sauries around the 85 fathom line.

“Unfortunately, out wider, the temp has cooled, and although there were no blue marlin reported last weekend it won’t be long before warmer water hits the area.”

Fisherman’s Warehouse will beclosed on Xmas day but reopens 5.30am on Boxing day and hasplenty of last-minute gift ideas and/or vouchers for those who have everything.

Merry Christmas to all.