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FISHING: Avoiding the holiday traffic, photos of Lake shark sightings, rules breakers and what’s biting

WITH the holiday period combining withhot weather and nice fishing conditions thisweekend, anglers should get inearly or stay up late to avoid the rush.
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FISH OF THE WEEK: Tom Pepe from Fishing Point wins the the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 95cm cobia caught in Lake Macquarie on Wednesday.

Geoff“Kanga” Ruse, fromFreddy’s Fishing World, Broadmeadow, had a customer tell him that“Lake Macquarie actually looks like Sydney harbour.He was out fishing yesterday and it was unbelievable. There’s a lot of people around.”

Paul “Ringo” Lennon, fromTackleworld Port Stephens, said it was “pretty competitive” everywhere for a good fishing spot so “the key this time of the year is getting out early and beating all the crowds. The middle of the day’s going to be really tough”.

“This Saturday, Sunday is looking really good as far as weather goes. These nor-easters are typical of this time of year but if you get out early in the morning, it should be pretty good. But by lunchtime, the winds usually get up there and make it hard.”

Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse, Marks Point, said night fishing had been another rewarding option.

“Those guys who have been doing that, some are going out at midnight and fishing till dawn, and they have got some nice jew, bream, whiting and some flathead,” Jason said.

RIVAL LURKINGNight or day, those heading out near the deep waters around Pulbah Island in Lake Macquarie will have some decent competition for big catches, if recent social media posts are anything to go by.

Two photos were posted this week on a Lake Macquarie fishing Facebook page of what appears to be great white sharkcruisingnear a boat in waters allegedly off Point Wolstoncroft. The shark or sharksare no stranger to those fishos who regularly chase jew in the area.

“He’s been down there, the big guy,” Jason said.

The shark spotted allegedly near Point Wolstoncroft.

“There’s been a few jew fish down there and obviously whatthe shark has become accustomed to is that if you have a boat, he becomes inquisitive. If you’redragging fish off the bottom from a boat, he simplyassociates a boat with a food source.

“Iknow a couple of guys fishing at night, early in the season, one of the boys here had it become entangled with his boat and itmoved his boat about. Another had it shake his burley bag at the back of the boat.”

The shark spotted allegedly near Point Wolstoncroft.

RULES ARE RULESWith the influx of visitors and increase in those free to wet a line has also come frustration over lawbreakers.

Jason said a growing number of anglers are ignoring the ban on fishing off Swansea Bridge, which he believed was creating a dangerous situation.

“I’ve had a few guys complaining that when they go under Swansea Bridge of an evening, they can become entangled in people’s lines,” Jason said.“Someone is going to get caught up, shake their head and end up in the pylon. It’s a navigational hazard and the authorities need to act.”

Also causing angst and confusion are people breaking the rules around crab trapping.

The NSW DPI Fisheries this week revealed a68-year-old man from Kurri Kurri was fined $1200 for using fourcrab traps and possessing 18 blue swimmer crabs. According to the Facebook post, “the man admitted to using fourtraps, including threethat were marked with other peoples’ details, interfering with set fishing gear and taking the 18 crabs from Wallis Lake”.Fisheries officers are targeting illegal crabbing as part of Operation Portunus.

Jason said two types of crabbing devices can be used in Lake Macquarie –thewitches hat net and a drop dilly –but all others wereprohibited. He added that the problem wasrules governing the types of traps allowed, and how many, change from place to place.

Check http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/fishing-rules-and-regsfor details.

MIXED BAGWhile friendly,light southerly winds are predicted this weekend, nor-east winds this week have led to a drop in water temperatures and a quiet timeoffshore.

However, there seems to be plenty on offer closer to home.

“There’s plenty of whiting on the beaches and in the estuaries. Live worms are the go for them,” Paul said.“Pretty much all ocean beaches are fishing well for them, Stockton, Samurai, Fingal, inside the Bay, Shoal Bay, Little Beach.

“There’s been some nice jewies caught in the estuaries, especially up to Soldiers Point, with live baits in the deeper water. There’s nice flatties around as well. One of our customers got a 99 centimetre one Wednesday.”

Jason said “the prawn run is almost done,but there’s some nice reports around” in the lake.

“There’s still whiting, especially in the channel and that will be on the back of that run,” he said.“In the estuaries, there’s been a few good school jew getting caught in the night.”

He said there had been a slight increase in squid numbers in the lake and reports of flathead, some over the 90-centimetre mark, being caught there as well

“The beaches are still fishing well,” he added. “I heard a whisper of a few mulloway along the beach, as well as flathead, whiting. A few boys have got the odd tailor as well, and I heard of a few catches this week of large tailor in the lake.”

While offshore catches are down, Paul said there was still some reports of success.

“There’s been the odd nice kingy out the front, near Broughton Island,and some nice snapper early morning up around those islands,” he said.

“Offshore has still been pretty quiet because of those nor-easters, theytend to make the water go cold, green. The water temp is down this week. There’s still been some nice snapper being caught, but the marlin scene has been slow. It will get there, but not yet.”