It’s not over until a fat lady swims

Tony Moy wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 100cm flathead, caught and released in Lake Macquarie this week.NOW the weather is warming up, the flathead are on the move throughout all local estuary systems, according to Brett “Hammer” Hancock from Tackle World Port Stephens.
Shanghai night field

“The water warms up quickly and it’s a breeding time of year.

“Guys are mainly getting them on soft plastics.

“You get one or two big females hanging with a bunch of males.

“The big girls can be easy to catch because they congregate in numbers.

“You want to let those fish go, anything below 60 centimetres keep, but above, let them go – it’s not good to kill the big girls.

“Everyone wants a feed of fish but be selective.”

Hammer said flathead usually have two breeding times: October/November and March/April.

Fighter released

THERE’S been no shortage of flathead in Lake Macquarie this week either.

Tony Moy, pictured, caught a 100cm flathead at Swansea on Friday.

Tony and mate Steve hit the water just after sunrise and while targeting bream on light gear, Tony’s rod buckled over and line went spooling from the reel.

Steve thought a big jewfish had picked up Tony’s bait from the way it ran for deeper water.

“After a long battle on light line with the fish running from the boat several times, we found it was too big for our net so it was lifted in carefully with a gaff placed under its jaw so as not to hurt the fish,” Tony said.

“She was always going to be returned to the sea to breed and keep the waters filled with fantastic fish like this.”

Later in the day Tony landed a 75cm flathead so there are plenty of lizards about.

Byrnne Tran with his 80cm flattie.

Byrnne Tran got an 80cm flattie fishing the lake around Valentine last Saturday. He backed that up with a bag of bream on Sunday.

Sasha Garner got this 70cm flathead off Pulbah Island.

Sasha Garner got a 70cm flathead off Pulbah Island on Sunday, while Noah Hamilton caught and released a 76cm lizard on plastics using bream gear.

Noah Hamilton caught and released this 76cm lizard.

Meanwhile, Ryder Sutton, 11, opened his fishing account with a shovel-nosed shark up at Forster the other day. Check out the pics online.

He’s on. Ryder Sutton braces for battle.

Holy cow. Ryder takes on board what he’s taken on board.

Easy does it now. Ryder takes control.

Proud moment. Ryder parades his catch.

Flathead Classic

WHILE we’re talking lizards, don’t forget the Allworth Flathead Classic is running next weekend, October 24 and 25. Pre-entries are available online. For further details ring 0428 945 860.

Marlin whispers

THERE’S been some great snapper around on the inshore reefs off the coast. Plenty of fish around the 5-7kg mark in the shallows off Big Island and even off the rocks, according to Hammer and Duff.

“Blake Chaffey nailed some nice reds up to 3kg around Boat Harbour,” Hammer said.

“And there’s a good chance you’ll get drummer too after this southerly change. Definitely worth a crack early morning.”

Duff reports a few kings and jew off Horse Shoe Bay and around Big Island and flathead in the 50m line.

“There have been a few whispers about marlin but nothing out of the box.”

Those whispers may have come from Hammer who tagged an 85kg striped marlin out on the Shelf a week or so ago.

“It was in a patch of water about 21 degrees with plenty of pilchards,” Hammer said. “We were hoping for a yellowfin to no avail.”

Hammer was speaking to a longliner this week who said he’d been getting stripes and big-eye tuna about 110 kilometres off Forster.

“It’s that time of year where the water fluctuates on the Shelf,” Hammer said.

“It can be a lot of water between fish but if you put the time in you’ll get results.

“We should see some big dolphin fish wandering down in this water soon, it doesn’t have to be that warm for dolphin fish to show up.”

Weekend for jew

SPEAKING of warm, local beaches have been red hot hot, throwing up jew, whiting and bream, along with a steady supply of tailor and salmon.

“This should be a really good weekend to target jew on the beaches, actually,” Hammer said.

“We’ve got some really good tides just after dark and it’s about a week since the full moon.”

There’s been some nice whiting turning up on Fingal and Samurai and still plenty of salmon to keep people occupied.

Off the rocks anglers are getting squid in most of the inlets.

Drummer and luderick are lurking too.

Mud crabs on go

ROSS Duff, of Salamander Bay Bait and Tackle, reports lots of luderick on Nelson Bay breakwall and some nice bream around the oyster rack.

Jew have landed up to 15 kilograms around Middle Island.

Sand whiting are starting to come into Shoal Bay and Jimmys Beach and are well worth a shot on the turn of the tide with live worms.

Mud crabs are on the go, with lots of good size.

Diggers day out

A LARGE turnout attended Nelson Bay Diggers Fishing Club’s monthly outing last weekend in glorious weather.

Barry Malvern took overall honours with heaviest fish going to Ken Higson’s prize flathead.

Pam Dooley took out ladies and Mitch Dooley saluted in juniors.

Next month that club will host its annual Invitational Fishing Tournament.

Clubs from Sydney, North Coast, Hunter and Newcastle will attend.

Last year they had 124 entries.

If you want to find out more, ring Chris on 0407 945 192.