FISH OF THE WEEK: Rutherford’s Wally Morris with Jason Maher and Gianluca Naldi and their 140kg blue marlin caught off Port Stephens. Call into Tackle Power Sandgate, at 53 Maitland Road, Sandgate, to collect your prize. FORTUNE will favour the brave, and the protected, this weekend if a predicted strong southerly kick-starts the mullet run.
Winds about the 15 knot mark, big swelland rain are tipped to hit the Hunter on Friday night and carry into Saturday and Sunday, dampening the spirits of anglers.
However, all is not lost, according to Jason“One For” Nunn, fromFishermansWarehouse at Marks Point, because of mullet on the march andlooking for cover.
“Just looking at the weather for the weekend, it’s not going to be overly friendly,” Nunn said.“But what’s going to happen, especially with the forecast, you are going to see a lot of mullet movement along the coast.
“Most estuaries are holding a big quantity of mullet and there havebeen some schools starting to move around the breakwaters.I know the Swansea crew got a few hundred boxes,and there was a big haul at Stockton beach, so fish are going to be moving around.
“The southern protected corners, Stockton breakwater, Blacksmiths breakwater, those headland areas over this weekend with the mullet on the move are going to be real hot-spot for fish such as bream and mulloway.
“If it does get up to 25 knots or whatever, you’ll see a lot of these mullet schools come around the headlands and hold up or go into places like Salts Bay, back up the river, at Horseshoe or sit inside Port Stephens.
“There will be a lot of mulloway following with that and you’ll see bream increasing as well.”
In Lake Macquarie, Jason said stick to “protected shorelines, like Pulbah Island, over near Wangi, or up towards Toronto” if thesoutherly winds blow as hard as predicted.
“Other spots that will fish well with a lift in swell are Salts Bay and theSwansea channel.”
Up north, Ross Duffy, from Salamander Bait and Tackle, was also on alert for the southerly-mullet run combo.
“The mullet will probably start to run pretty hard this weekend if we get the southerly they are talking about,” Duffysaid.
“There’s been a few small schools starting to ball up inside, so it won’t be too far away.”
He said Sunny Corner at One Mile Beach and theledge at Fingal Beachwere among the many good spots to fish up his way in a southerly buster.
BREAM BOOMINGThe coming mullet mayhem is expected toincrease an already strong presence of bream in most systems.
“The bream have started to really come on the chew now,” Duffy said.“They are schooling up inside mainly on the breakwalls, up in the rackson the back of Soldiers Point, they’ve been going off pretty good.
“The bream on the beach are going good as well, they are starting to travel a bit.
“Dave Schofield got a stack ofbream the other day. Nine bream and seven whiting about 6kmdown on Stocko beach.”
“Jumpin”Johnny Frith, from Fishermans Warehouse at Marks Point, was another to hook into the bounty of bream.
“Johnny fished the Lake last weekend and they got their bag limit fishing for bream, some up to a kilo, and he said there was plenty there,” Nunn said.“They threw plenty of smaller ones back and he reported no problems with tailor.
“There’s already been very good numbers this week and last week for bream, throughout all the estuaries.Night time is proving to be a little bit better for fishing, and using oily baits seem to be the pick.”
While bream is booming, whiting is still plentiful on the beaches.
If chasing bream inSwansea Channel, Nunn had a tip to avoid a growing problem.
“What’s happening in the first of the run-in tide, we’ve got a brown slime weed that’s moving in and out,” he said.
“To fish it successfully, you must fish on the last of the tides, when the tide has slowed right up and the weed has sunk towards the bottom or isn’t moving through at pace.”
A GROWING TALELongtail tuna is another species still offering plenty for fishos as the change of season gradually kicks in.
Paul “Ringo”Lennon, fromTackleworld Port Stephens, said: “Longtail tuna has been really good this week, and there are pretty spread out up and downthe coast, from Tomaree to Seal Rocks and any of the headlands in between.
“There’s also been a good number in the bay, pushing up into the estuary up near Soldiers Point.
“A few guyshave been getting them on metals, some on stick baits. There’s been a few caught on live baitsin the bay as well.”
Lennon saidBrad and Brenton Rostam were among those getting in on the action.
“Both got longtails over 20 kilos through the week on stick baits,” he said.
Duffy, who detailed the best ways to catch longtail in last week’s column, said there was “still a stack” of the fish around.
“The boys are getting them inside, off the wreck at Salamander, a few off the front of the jetty at the back of Soldiers Point, and the land-based platform at Tomaree,” he said.
Lennon said nice jewfish, snapper and even the odd Spanish mackerel were biting in the deeper waters just off Port Stephens.
Duffy said:“The blackfish are just starting to come on. They’ve been getting a few off the breakwall at Nelson Bay and the jetty at Little Beach and Shoal Bay.
“There’s still a few jew aroundMiddle Island at the point, just on the change of tide using live baiting. They were catching up to 15 kilo during the week.
“Blue swimmer crabs still pretty good anywhere around TaylorsBeach, North Arm Cove, and most of the recognised points are all fishing good.”
“Therock hopppers are still going OK.
“There’s still plenty of tailor moving through on the headlands, Boat Harbour, Cemetery Point at Birubi, those sort of areas.
“Offshore, they arestill chasing longtails off the Gibbers, and snapper have been OK. There aregetting a few off the front of the lighthouse at Fingal. Three-kilo stuff.”