As a new year kicks off, let's hope 2022 brings with it far less challenges from a national health perspective, and some sensational angling experiences for all.
On the offshore scene the Golden Lure is the talk of the town at present, however conditions have not been favourable, with the first two days postponed and challenging conditions early in the week.
There have been a few pelagics about, including black striped and blue marlin, and some solid mahi mahi. Also short billed spearfish, wahoo and early season spanish mackerel which will be welcome news for the mackerel enthusiasts. Fingers crossed the improved forecast for the last few days eventuates.
Conditions have been challenging for bottom fishers, with the strong current streaming down from the north limiting options. There have been some reasonable results on snapper from the closer reefs, with fish to almost nine kilograms taken on both baits and lures. Some nice flathead have been caught wider out when the current is reasonable.
Off the beaches, after the big swell and tides of last week, conditions have now settled and formations have begun to redevelop nicely. Lighthouse is again holding a few tailor, bream and whiting, along with North Beach. Worms have been the gun bait for bream and whiting, while small metals have done the trick with tailor.
Off the rocks, Point Plomer has been producing a consistent run of blackfish and a few bream, while the Lighthouse has been worth a look for tailor on most mornings. Land-based game enthusiasts are also beginning to dust off their gear, with plenty of warm water and a few positive reports from a little further up the coast.
In the estuaries, the Hastings has again seen a bit of colour throughout the system courtesy of a few solid downpours in the upper catchment. Best action has been in the lower reaches.
Flathead have been the star attraction, with good fish on offer from the breakwalls, around Settlement Point and up Limeburners. White or bright soft plastics have been working well, while whitebait, pilchards, mullet strips and prawns have all seen success.
Some nice bream have also been active in the dirty water, with mullet strips seeing the better results. There have been a few nice whiting about, however the action has been inconsistent due the variable water temperatures and clarity. Worms and yabbies have been the go on the bait front, while surface lures have seen moderate success.
For prawning enthusiasts Lake Cathie produced the goods during the recent dark, albeit not quite as consistently as previous months.