Flipside to large seas is snapper (25/7/14)

FISH OF THE WEEK: Jaden Pilley, from Boat Harbour, wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this stud 44cm, 1.67-kilogram bream caught from Nelson Bay breakwall floating a cooked prawn, beating his personal best by 3cm. Call into Tackle Power Sandgate, at 53 Maitland Road, Sandgate, to collect your prize, mate. Don’t forget to bring a copy of the fishing page for verification. To enter Fish of the Week, email pic to [email protected]南京夜网.au with contact phone and catch details. BIG westerlies and bigger seas again played havoc with fishing plans this week.
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But prospects are looking good this weekend, with the waves tipped to abate as a high pressure system moves in to settle things down.

And there’s never a better winning strategy than fishing the wash for snapper and other species trawling round for a feed after a stir-up.

Bream boost

BRIAN Pilley, father of Fish of the Week winner Jaden Pilley, pictured right, reports there’s plenty of bream and luderick on the chew at the breakwall in Nelson Bay.

It’s the same throughout coastal waters and in Lake Macquarie.

With an hour to kill earlier this week between picking up kids, Brian slipped down to the same spot at Nelson Bay breakwall where Jaden hooked his personal best bream, pictured right, last week.

“I ended up with 10 fish up to 32 centimetres.

“They were all legal bream,” Brian said.

“Nothing huge like Jaden’s – that was a once-in-a-lifetime bream – but all good.

“It was a bit of a catch-and-release session.”

It felt a bit odd fishing for bream in among all the luderick fishos, he said.

“They were out in force and pulling them in left, right and centre,” he said.

It was the same story along the footpath at Nobbys in Newcastle this week as the weed brigade took advantage of user-friendly high tides during the middle of the day.

“I was just fishing the high tide with floating baits like I did with Jaden the week before,” Brian said.

“It had been too windy on the outside so we tucked inside.

“You get obliterated in the westerlies on the bay so there was good cover with the breakwall,” Brian explained.

“First cast Jaden got that ball-tearer, it was a shock.”

Quality fish haven

A KEEN spearfisherman, Brian marvels at the abundance of fish along the breakwall.

“I did a swim-by once and I wonder why you don’t catch more, it’s a haven for quality fish,” he said.

“Some of the bream are massive, I’ve seen snapper up to 6kg, jew to 20kg, kings upwards of 15kg.

“It gets all the little fish on it and the big fish come in chasing them, I guess, plus the current runs right through there so it’s good for food trails.”

All in the family

BRIAN is an active member in the Shoal Bay Fishing Club, which he thinks is a fantastic way to bring juniors, like Jaden, on, and help you bond with your kids.

“It gives us our weekend away every second weekend,” Brian said of club outings with just a hint of bravado.

“I just tell the wife: ‘Fishing club this weekend’.”

He may pay for that comment, but he’s an equal opportunity parent.

His daughter Shayla is also a member of the club and the family have spent many pleasant outings on the water wetting a line.

“You’ve got to have a pastime and there’s nothing better than sitting down on a rock at sunset fishing,” he said.

“You can leave all your troubles behind.”

Brian and Jaden like to get out to Broughton on their boat, too, sleeping overnight before hitting the reefs in the early light.

“The V19R-series Haines Hunter I have is a great diving boat, big enough to handle the trip out to Broughton in relative comfort and the hull is really stable in waves,” Brian said.

“Similarly I can take it up the Myall River to the lakes. It’s a really good all-rounder and relatively easy for two guys to get in and out of the water.”

Kids on board

IT’S interesting talking to some of the local fishing clubs about the challenge of maintaining membership numbers.

These days kids are more likely to be interested in playing computers than getting outside.

That’s why Brian is a big rap on the Shoal Bay Fishing Club junior program.

“Luke Williams, the 2IC, really pushes the junior side of things,” Brian said.

“We have junior weekends, club junior days, show them how to catch whiting etc. The next one will be the second full weekend of August.

“It’s a real good way if you want to go and learn.

“There’s really quality fishos in the club and you get to pick their brain about catching species and stuff.

“Like we did some research on how to catch drummer and groper and first go out we applied that and got fish up to 7kg.”

Brian also believes it’s important to impart that when it comes to fishing, it’s all about sustainability.

“It’s not rape and pillage, it’s what you can catch and what you eat – everything else gets thrown back,” Brian said.

Worth a look

SINGLETON angler John Picton’s team took out the Family Bassin’ round at Lake St Clair last weekend, weighing in more than eight kilograms for their eight fish.

“They were getting them on the edges on plastics,” Andrew Low, from Freddy’s Fishing and Outdoors, said.

“By all accounts there plenty of fish about despite the westerlies – a lot of people got their bags.

“Definitely sounds like it’s worth a look if you get up there.”