Fishing Port Stephens…
Fishing Port Stephens was really tough this season. The main problem being the lack of bait, the big schools of Slimey Mackerel were not on their usual grounds, either inshore or offshore. Also, along with the lack of bait the juvenile Black Marlin had not shown up in their normal numbers. Offshore the Southerly current racing along at 3.5 to 4 knots and water temperatures up to 29 degrees Centigrade in early February was unheard of. However, it did come down to a more reasonable 26-27 degrees later in the month.
There were those who persisted with the inshore fishery chasing the Blacks going far and wide in search of their quarry. Some of the more experienced fishermen did manage a few fish but they were far from consistent.
To top off the lack of inshore Blacks, the weather didn’t help for those going wider chasing Stripes and Blues. The first day of the Garmin Shootout was very rough. So, once you reached the 3.5 to 4 knot Southerly current pushing into a 20 to 25 knot South-Easter the sea, with a 3 to 4 metre swell on it just stood up. Consequently lots of boats returned to Port and but some persisting inshore.
Fortunately, the sea eased off after that first day, but the fishing didn’t get much better. Those that put in the hard yards got results and there were some really good catches made. However, it was only on the last day of the Interclub Tournament that fishing got significantly better. And the last few hours saw a marked increase in the fishing results both inshore and offshore.
Incidentally, the winning T&R boat for the Interclub was ‘Doghouse’ with a number of Blues amongst which were two taken on 15kg. line, I still don’t know how you catch Blue Marlin, especially big ones, on such light line.
Sadly, though the fishing picked up on the Sunday of the Interclub and was looking like returning to the fishing we normally expect at Port the weather has done it again and who knows what we can expect now.