FISHING: Swansea Channel jumping

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PAUL Sheppard reports nice numbers of luderick lurking in Swansea Channel and throughout the lake this week, plus the odd surprise.

“I was out chasing off the point near Arcadia Vale – it beats mowing the grass,” Paul explained.

“We must have been 15 metres from shore, fishing into the bank, when I spotted five kingfish swimming by.

“They were all over 80 centimetres, all keepers, very exciting.

“I’ve also heard from a certain retired school teacher that there’s a few flathead about.”

Shane Munro hit the lake in his trusty tinnie on Tuesday and can confirm the flathead rumours.

“Me and my mate got 30 between us, all on lures in deeper water on the western side of the lake,” Shane said. He was not inclined to reveal exactly where on the western side.

“On the tide, just bang, one after the other,” he said.

“Then I headed into the shallows and picked up one about 80 centimetres. We only kept a feed and let the rest go.

“I also hear it’s been standing room only off the breakwall at Nelson Bay and in certain spots in Swansea Channel as guys go after luderick.

“They’re all spawning now so it’s red hot, although I’d prefer to eat flathead any day.”

Robert Mitchell got a nice bream kayak fishing with lures. Very tasty, by all accounts.

Secret to jew strikes

ANDREW Thompson, fresh from joining up with Redhead Fishing Club, reports there are good jew and snapper about in and off Newcastle.

“I’ve been going all right on the jew in Newcastle Harbour,” Thommo said.

“Two weeks ago I weighed a 15-kilogram mulloway, and last week I got another one the same size.

“The first one had a mullet in it, just freshly killed, looked like someone had scaled it.

“It’s amazing how they scale them with their gills.”

This led to an interesting discussion about jew fishing.

“A lot of guys will tell you that when they get a jew, typically it’ll run, then stop and give the fish a rattle before running again,” he said.

“When it stops, it’s actually scaling the fish with its gills before swallowing it.

“A lot of blokes will tell you this is the time to strike.”

But there is a risk, according to Thommo, because deciding to wait may well cost you the fish.

“I fish with a strike drag,” Thommo explained.

“It’s a dual hook set-up with one hook through the back of the fish, and one fish on a short leader that swings around the fish.

“When the fish hits the bait, it immediately hooks the fish – you usually get one hook in the corner of the mouth and the other right up under the jaw.

“It’s a high percentage hook-up and takes out that indecision of when to hook the fish.”

Low-pressure fishing

THOMMO reckons barometric plays a big role in whether or not jew will get on the chew.

“When it’s dropping, the pressure on the jew’s stomach decreases, it relaxes and it gets hungry,” he explained.

“I find the barometer is usually on the way down the day before a southerly hits, so I’ll try and go out then, at night.”

It depends on where he’s fishing, too.

“Three things come into it for me if I’m fishing a wreck, for instance,” Thommo explained.

“The pressure has to be dropping, I have to fish a north-west wind and it has to be on a low tide.

“High tides are good on reefs as the jew will come up.

“I like the low tide when it’s coming out of the river.”

Meanwhile, go to the Herald Fish File online at theherald上海夜生活 and check out the monster jew Whitebridge warrior John Finnie hooked recently while travelling around Australia.

Tuna and snapper tales

SOURCES within the Redhead Fishing Club (Thommo) report sightings of albacore off the shelf and high anticipation of yellowfin tuna not too far away.

Closer to shore, Thommo has been cleaning up on snapper.

“We were at Big Sandhill off Birubi last Sunday in about 25 metres and got 25 snapper, some up to three kilograms cleaned,” he said.

“Got them on baits but had more success with the bigger fish with soft plastics like Berkley gulps, particularly the four-inch minnows.”

Fighting emperors

GUYS in the know, particularly guys from Redhead Fishing Club, (again Thommo) are aware there’s spangled emperor working off the rocks up around Nelson Bay.

“They’re usually about when the water’s warmer,” Thommo said.

“But they’re there and they are a great fighting fish.

“The boys reckon a two-kilogram spangled emp goes harder than a drummer.

“There are plenty of tailor about.

“There’s been a few good ones in the lake, but outside they’re a bit smaller.

“We’ve even seen a few bar cod outside too, in reasonably shallow water for bar cod.”

It’s a full moon this weekend and the club is off in search of big trag and snapper up around Crowdy Head.

Caring for our fish

THE Department of Primary Industries is calling for people to join the Fishcare Volunteer Program.

Fishcare volunteers help promote responsible fishing practices in NSW at events such as fishing competitions, shows and field days, and the Get Hooked . . . It’s Fun to Fish schools program.

SNAP THAT: Peter McIntosh, from Maitland, wins the Jarvis Walker tackle box and Tsunami lure pack for this 75-centimetre, 7.5-kilogram snapper caught off Port Stephens.