Dan Guilfoyle

Lake Macquarie Fishing Identity

Dan grew up fishing Lake Macquarie and as a youngster used to walk the banks and wade the shore casting for flathead, bream and whiting. These days he’s we’ll known as a jewfish specialist who also nails plenty of kingfish as well as visiting exotic species. In the first of a four-part series on fishing lake Macquarie Dan share the top summer fishing options and how to get amongst them.

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Lake Macquarie Summertime Lure Fishing Options

During the summer months the water temperatures and other conditions tend to stabilise and many of the fish species available in Lake Macquarie fall into a summer routine that can make them relatively predictable.

Of course, over the last couple of years unseasonal summer rains have interrupted that a little, so you may need to adjust your approach slightly, but the key opportunities still exist.

#1 Topwater Bream and Whiting

  • Bream and whiting are all-year around options in Lake Macquarie, but the warmer months see them come into shallow water and smack small topwater lures.
  • Look for clear, clean water of 0.3 to 1.5m in depth with a broken bottom of weed, sand, mud or gravel. The eastern side of the lake is popular for this style of fishing, especially from Swansea to Marks Point, although you find clean water over broken bottom can be successful, especially if you get away from the crowds.
  • A light breeze is helpful and an overcast day will see fish biting much longer – on clear days it’s best to focus on the dawn and dusk periods. Fishing a couple of hours either side of the high tide is best.
  • Dan likes a light, 7’ rod in the 4-8lb line class, coupled with a 2000 size reel and 4lb braid.
  • The best lures are walk the dog styles such as the 65mm River2Sea Sammy, 70mm Bassday Sugarpen and MMD Splashprawn. Small OSP Bent Minnows can be very effective, too.
  • A key difference between fishing for bream and whiting I that pausing the lure is very important when bream fishing – the lure is often taken whilst stationary. Whereas, whiting become more aggressive is the lure is sped up whilst they are giving chase.

#2 BIG Shallow Water Flathead

  • Flathead fishing in Lake Macquarie during summer is all about fishing the shallow edges, covering ground by drifting or with the electric motor and working lures through 0.3 to 4.0m of water.
  • Broken bottom with a mixture of reef, weed and sand is what you’re looking for, and the best fishing times are on the top and bottom of the tide. It’s best if the water isn’t filthy, but a little bit of colour is fine for flathead fishing.
  • A good flathead combo consists of a 6-12lb line class spin rod, 3000 size reel 8lb braided line and 16-20lb fluorocarbon leader.
  • Lightly weighted 4”-7” soft plastics are the most reliable lures and are easy for beginners to use. Samaki Hardilicious hard vibes in the 100mm size are also awesome for flathead in this scenario. The really big 9-12” plastics often used for trophy flathead in other systems don’t seem to be so effective in Lake Macquarie.
  • For those looking for a bit more of a challenge it’s worth trying topwater lures, swimbaits and glidebaits. These lures are fun and rewarding to use, but are also more challenging to use than the soft plastics

#3 Jewfish In Numbers

  • Dan finds that during the summer months Lake Macquarie jewfish tend to be more of the schooling size than real trophies. At night they can be found in shallow water all year round, but during daylight hours in summer they tend to head for slightly deeper water from 7-10m.
  • The areas from Boltons Point in the north down to down to Pulbah Island in the south fish best, look for bait, drop-offs, ledges and gutters and jewfish won’t be far away.
  • A 6-12lb or 10-17lb rod, 2500-3000 size spin reel, 8 lb braid and 16-20lb leader will handle most jewfish in Lake Macquarie.
  • 100mm Samaki Vibes are great fished hopping them along in depths of 3-7m (Thumpertail) or >7m (Vibelicious).
  • 5-7” soft plastic Paddletails, Jerk Shads or Curltails are all effective when rigged on 3/8 to 1/2 oz jig heads.

#4 Exotic Visitors

  • Lake Macquarie is home to a surprising assortment of resident and visiting fish species that include various trevallies (including GT), and small tunas. These often take up residence near the hot water outlets from the power station during winter, but in summer disperse themselves more widely.
  • Also in summer large schools of pilchards enter the lake and with them come bonito, frigate mackerel and dolphinfish.
  • To find these fish, look for prominent hard structure such as wrecks, reefs and bat moorings. Many of these species are unpredictable, so it pays to have a rod rigged on the boat, ready to sling a lure the moment a bust up is spotted on the water surface.
  • Soft plastic jerkshads, minnow style lures and walk the dog offerings will all do the damage when the pelagics are on the chew. Just be sure to work the lures briskly to tempt that reaction strike.

#5Lake Macquarie Yellowtail Kingfish

  • There is a good stock of quality kingfish to 1.2m in Lake Macquarie. They can be taken all year round, but are definitely more active and aggressive during the warmer months.
  • Lake Macquarie kingfish are rather susceptible to overfishing as they are easy to find and not difficult to hook once you have some basic info.

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  1. Darren Stashinsky

    Dan is a wealth of knowledge very passionate and a top bloke
    Always Great to listen to his stories and advice

  2. Jeremy

    Dan is a sponge for knowledge would love to hit the lake up with ya tight lines mate


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