Our relatively mild winter has so far seen quite pleasant temperatures and predominately onshore winds. Last weekend a reasonable amount rain fell, although well short of what is needed with scarcely any real colour added to the Hastings and negligible improvement to the Lake Cathie system.
Off the rocks, drummer are now in good numbers with most ledges worth a visit, as long as they are reasonably washed out and free of sand. Prawns and cunjevoi are the pick of baits, but don't discount using bread, especially if this forms the basis of your berley.
Bream remain in solid numbers with Hat Head and Plomer both fishing well. Blackfish are plentiful around the washes for those floating a bit of cabbage. On the tailor front, the big swell has temporarily ruled out many of the premier ledges, although by all reports there are some nice fish about. Just need the seas to settle.
The constant swell during the week has seen challenging conditions off the beaches. A few reasonable formations remain at Lighthouse and North Beach, where bream and whiting are about. When conditions allow access to the deeper gutters you might find some tailor. Mulloway have been a little quiet apart from the odd school-sized fish on North Beach.
In the estuary, blackfish numbers remain reasonable with nearly all locations in the lower reaches producing fish. Best results are from the south wall, although the coal wall is also worth a look. Bream numbers have been good, with night sessions at most locations producing good fish. Yabbies and gut baits are your best bet.
A few nice mulloway to around 15 kilograms have been taken off the breakwalls, with large soft and hard-bodied lures doing all the damage. There's a some school-sized fish up river, while the canals are holding some nice trevally - a terrific sport fish.
For outside fishos, only limited opportunities have been available in the past week. Hopefully smooth seas will return in the near future. Snapper numbers appear to improving close in, while leather jackets have arrived in numbers wider out.
Might pay to make sure you have a supply of wire on board if you venture out in the coming weeks.