Despite the weather being somewhat unsettled for this time of year, some terrific angling has been enjoyed over the past week. And the good news is it should only improve over the coming weeks as our winter angling season gets into full swing.
In the estuary, the lower reaches continue to fish exceptionally well for a number of species. Bream remain first class with terrific fish active along the breakwalls, up Limeburners and around Settlement Point. Best results have been achieved by those fishing strip baits or prawns after dark, however fishing around high tide during the early mornings has also been productive.
Flathead also remain terrific in the same locations, as well as the lower section of Lake Cathie, with whitebait and lures seeing great success.
Blackfish numbers have also improved, with the breakwalls well worth prospecting with either green weed, cabbage or weed flies.
We have also heard of a few decent mulloway getting about the lower reaches, with live mullet or large lures of both soft and hard varieties, fished around the change of tide the key ingredients for success.
Off the beaches, bream numbers remain excellent as they have been pretty well ever since the floods. North Beach and Lighthouse have proven productive, as have Shelly and Town beaches, especially when the swell is up.
On the tailor front, some nice fish are around as long as the swell lays down enough to enable access to the deeper gutters.
Whiting remain reasonable and should still be a viable target for another month or so, while reports of juvenile mulloway continue to come in which is most pleasing for the long term. Avoid small bates when chasing mulloway as these can injure or kill the juveniles travelling with larger fish. Try whole squid, tailor fillets or other large baits instead.
The swell last weekend saw many of the more exposed rock locations off limits, with the action centered on the protected areas. Bream, blackfish and drummer all remain active with positive reports from many locations from Hat Head to Crowdy.
Offshore, results have been a little mixed with a few good days over the past week and a few with quite a bit of swell. Best reports have come from those fishing the bottom, with some terrific snapper on offer. Close-in off Shelly Beach has been quite productive despite the poor water colour, with both baits and lures effective.
Wider out, snapper have also been consistent, along with a sprinkling of kingfish and pearl perch. Some cracking sand flathead also on offer, with the better fish coming from between 55 and 65 metres of water.