After a couple of weeks of consistent and most welcome rainfall, the sunshine and calm winds this past week have been ideal for wetting a line. There has barely been a vacant spot land-based in our lower estuary, while our boat ramps and carparks have often been inadequate to cope with demand. Let's hope this is catered for by those shaping the region's future growth.
Offshore, as is usually the case at this time of year, the Golden Lure has been the focus. To date catches have been exceptional, with plenty of black marlin in close, together with a few sharks. Wider out blue marlin, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi have been on the menu. Fingers crossed the final days of competition will see similar levels of action.
Local charter boats have been scoring some nice snapper, morwong and pearl perch, and some exceptional sand flathead from the 55 metre to 65m depths. Close-in, Spanish mackerel may also be worth the effort.
In the estuaries, Lake Cathie is again open to the sea, with nature and physics thwarting PMHC's berm scraping strategy. Whether you agree or not with this plan of action, it would seem their implementation strategy is fundamentally flawed. Nonetheless, let's see how long mother nature will let it remain open this time.
In the Hastings, there is still plenty of colour but this has not slowed the angling action. Bream remain extremely active, with pretty well all locations downstream of Hibbard fishing well. The run-in tide has been the go on mullet strips and brined prawns.
Flathead have also been consistent in the lower reaches, with whitebait and pilchards working well. Look for the flatties to become more responsive to lures as the clarity improves.
Best reports of whiting are from Pelican Island and Limeburners, with live worms the go. Little to report however, on mulloway, apart from a few isolated fish on the north wall.
Off the rocks, reports have ranged from poor to encouraging. Point Plomer has been holding some nice blackfish and a reasonable sprinkling of tailor, while Shelly and Lighthouse have both produced bream.
With warm currents now close-in, and lots of flooding up the coast, look for an early start to our land-based game season.
Off the beaches, North Beach has been producing some terrific whiting from the southern end along with some reasonable bream. Lighthouse has also held bream and a few tailor despite the off-coloured water.
It's well worth prospecting bream and whiting around the entrance of Lake Cathie, and also chasing mulloway after dark from now on.