BRAVING a nip in the air, rain and pumping swell had some rewards this week but anglers will be looking forward to friendlier conditions this Easter.

TWO HANDS:Ben Abbott wins the Jarvis Walkertacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this 40-kilogram blackmarlin hooked between the Port Stephens FADs and thebay, while Abbott and his mate, Heath Procter, trolled withlight gear for tuna or dollies. Call into Tackle PowerSandgate, at 53 Maitland Road, Sandgate, to collect yourprize, mate. Don’t forget to bring a copy of the fishing page for verification. To enter Fishof the Week, email [email protected]爱杭州同城论坛

Offshore adventures have been scant due to stormy weather, but a fine forecast is expected to launch a fleet of frustrated fishers over the holiday break.

The poor conditions this week, though, brought their own rewards for a couple of Lake Macquarie youngsters.

Patrick Nunn and his mate, Justin, copped a good drenching retrieving traps around Pulbah Island but came home with a bounty of blue swimmer crabs in a sign the sought-after feed is on the rise in the Lake.

“On Tuesday they came back with eight crabs and went out again the next morning and got six more,” said Patrick’s dad, Jason, of Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point.

“They were some of the best blue swimmers I’ve seen in years – all males and fully meated up.

“They are some of the biggest shells I’ve seen, some with arms an inch around.

“Guys had been saying there weren’t a lot of crabs around, but my boy and his mate killed it.

“We’re pretty happy with that. Good Friday is looking pretty tasty now.”

Jason said squid was still booming in the Lake, joking, or perhaps warning, that some might find it easy to lose count and go past their 20-catch quota.

He said there were also encouraging signs for tailor lovers around the Lake.

“Tailor has been very skinny the past few months, there’s not lots yet but there has been some one-kilogram plus stuff, and some nice bream now that mullet is running out of the bays and estuary.

“There are a few mulloway around as well, but just not a lot of luderick. That’s probably due to there being too much sand in Swansea Channel because of inefficient dredging.”

Battle with sharks

THOSE able to get out on a boat this week have been rewarded with catches of tuna and marlin, if they can get them on board quick enough.

Brent “Hammer” Hancock, of Tackleworld Port Stephens, said there had been “a few black marlin on the inside reefs, with warm water of around 23.5 degrees” luring them in.

“There’s been plenty of longtail tuna around headlands as well,” he said.

“Guys have been nailing the longtail but unfortunately sharks have been smashing them.”

Hammer reckons it’s going to be a busy weekend with the swell coming down and Easter upon us.

“A few nice snapper will be on offer around the headland reefs and inshore as well,” he said.

“Obviously beach fishing has been iffy but before the swell there was some good whiting, especially off Fingal beach, and tailor as well, so I expect that to be on again.

“The Bay has been fishing well with good, consistent flatheads, especially in the lower part of the estuary around Corlette,” Hammer said.

“There’s plenty of bream off the rockwalls and oyster racks behind Soldiers Point.”

Hammer said a highlight for bream lovers this week was a 47-centimetre beauty caught by Laurie Chadder.

Pelican bowled

THE hardy souls from Redhead Bowlo’s fishing club battled the elements offshore to hand Pelican RSL “a beating” last Friday.

According to an impeccable source, Matty Small and the boys from Redhead weighed some cracking dolphin fish, flathead, jews and trag in a great reward for taking on the challenging conditions.

Flatheads scarce

BASS and mullet are up for grabs in the rivers but flathead is down, according to Pat Walker from Freddy’s Fishing World at Maitland.

Flatheads have been common elsewhere but Pat says they have been scarce recently up the rivers.

Meanwhile, he has heard plenty about bream in the harbour and jewfish at the bay, many between 10 and 20 kilograms.

Weekend good oil

IT was a tough week for good fishing news but Ross Duff from Salamander Bait and Tackle said bluefin tuna up to 20 kilograms had been snared inside the harbour and off the wrecks at Salamander.

Kingfish up to eight kilos had been caught on the breakwall at Nelson Bay using poppers early in the morning and there were still plenty of flathead around Shoal Bay and Wanda Head.

Duff said big tailor, two kilograms or more, were also a feature inside the harbour, off the Tubes at Tomaree and even moving into the bottom part of the harbour.

He reckons there are still plenty of jewfish around in the deep holes off Little Island at Soldiers Point, and bream are starting to school up around the Tubes and also the Boulders at Yakaba.

Blackfish have started firing off the breakwall at Nelson Bay. Outside, trag was still on offer at the V and 21s reefs.

This weekend, Duff advises trolling for tailor and kings around big and little island, chasing snapper in the shallows off Fisherman’s Bay or off the front of Fingal Head Light.

If you are staying inside, whiting at the back of Soldiers Point is good value, while bream should be abundant around oyster racks and at Taylors Beach.

Banquet of crab for Easter (18/4/14)