FISH OF THE WEEK: Five-year-old Hamish Dunne wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for the monster 87cm flathead caught on poddy mullet in Swan Bay.
HOLIDAY fun with the prawn run, and everything that chases the Aussie Christmas treat, will be on the wishlist ofmany anglers over the festive break.
With the sun expected to break through the clouds over the weekend, Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse Marks Point, said there was no better time to scoop up your own Christmas lunch.
“The highlight has got to be the prawn run,” Jason said.“That will be the thing on everyone’s mind when they see how much prawns are, they’ll want to catch their own.”
He said the prawn run started on Wednesday night but will be in full swing over the weekend on Lake Macquarie.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get out there with their family and experience it, whether they are walking around in the shallows or getting out in the channel and anchoring up with a light,” he said. “I always like to get out in the boat but the key is you’ve got to get out on the beginning of the run-out tide.”
Brent “Hammer” Hancock, from Tackleworld Port Stephens, said the Myall River “up around Tamboy” has been a hot spot for prawns in his region.
PRAWN CHASERSThe prawns on offer should make for great fishing for whiting, bream, jew and flatheadover the Christmas weekend.
Whiting and bream have been mainstay catches in recent weeks, while flathead have also been in solid supply, as can be seen by our fish of the week winner, Hamish Dunne.
Proud grandmother Lorraine Davies took the photo of five-year-old Hamish and his grandfather Warren Davies with the whoppingflathead caught on December 10.
“He came over to our place for a fish off the jetty in Swan Bay, Marks Point,” Lorraine wrote.
“First throw out I thought he had snagged the bottom and I watched from a distance as he was fighting to reel the fish in. He was excited with his efforts on catching this beauty flathead measuring 87cm. Now he said he is going to teach Pop how to fish.”
Jason said the catch was a sign of things to come.
“That’s a big fish,and what you will start to see is these fish gather up, because they are not far off going in for that spawning period,” he said.“These big females will now be carrying lots of eggs and we’ll see through January and February them coming in to mate.
“There’s been some really good catches of flatties in the channel and I’ve had some really encouraging reports of bream. Salts Bay has been fishing quite well but also in the Marks Point, Belmont Bay area.”
He said the mix of prawns, spawns and warmer weather should make for plenty of bites.
“Whether it’s the seaward side of Salts Bay or up towards the dropover, and of course on the fringe of the lake, fish will cometo take advantage of the situation,” he added.
He said lake jew around the 90cm mark were getting caught on high tide usingsoft plastics, while there had beengreat reports of bream around the Wangi area, some around 45cm.
It’s been a similar story at Port Stephens.Brent said bream were biting at the back of the Nelson Bay, around the racks at Soldiers Points.
“One of our customers got one that was about 1.6 kilos on a surface lure during the week,” he said.
There were also solid reports of flathead up Tilligerry Creek, near Lemon Tree Passage, whilejew had been on the chew in the bay.
”Adam Hodges got one over 20 kilos there early in the weekup around Soldiers Point,” he said.
Matt, from Duff’s Salamander Bait and Tackle, said “crazy Steve the painterwas down into the bream the other day off Marsh Road.He got four bream and two weighed over a kilo and a half.”
LIVELY OFFSHORETruckloads of trag and some striped marlin are the talk of offshore fishing, which has improved with warmerwaters.
“Everyone is catching trag, from Broughton Island toNorah Head,” Jason said. “They are everywhere and I heard of a five kilo fish getting caught the other day. There has been snapper and nice catches of jew, but the guys who are catching the jew offshore are going out of an evening and live-baiting.”
Brent said “there’s a few striped marlin starting to turn up on the shelf, a few boats have been out there getting one or two a day.”
Dolphin fish up to 10kg have also been caught on the FADs. Matt said one customer brought in four.
DARTING INWhiting continue to dominate beach fishing but dart have also made an appearance.
“Usually the larger dart are around the Coffs Harbour area, but there’s a lot around mixed in with the whiting, and some flatties,” Jason said.
Brent saidheaps of whiting had come in off Shoal Bay beach with live tube worms the No.1 bait.
Mattsaid Dave “Schoey” Schofield was into the whiting again on Wednesday morning.
“He had 15 whiting, two bream and a very large skipjack, which looked like a queen fish, all on live worms, down on Stockton Beach at about three and a half ks,” he said.