‘Lake-ness Monster’ hooked in estuary flush with fish

Jack, Naomi and Orry Berry fishing off Lake Cathie bridge. Photo: Sue Stephenson.

CRACKING weather for the King’s Birthday lured scores of families to Lake Cathie, where fishers have been catching everything from bream and flathead, to a monster pike eel.

It has been a month since Cathie Lagoon was opened to the sea and locals say the fishing is “definitely better”.

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Jack, Naomi and Orry Berry joined the line of anglers on the Ocean Drive bridge on Monday as pelicans and paddlers floated on the clear water underneath.

“We’ve been catching bream and there have been flathead about, too,” Orry said.

“There were fish around before [the opening]; it’s just that now I’m happy to eat them.”

On the creek bank on the other side of the bridge, Luke Lyon and his family were enjoying a break from their farm near Long Flat.

“I’ve been coming here for years and it’s always better when it’s open,” Luke said as his son Dave snagged a small mullet.

Just a few nights earlier, Jaivan Everingham’s catches were anything but small.

Using lures near the bridge, he caught and released a giant flathead and jewfish.

“I don’t keep the big girls,” he said.

“And I don’t eat fish.

“But I took some medium-sized flathead home for my partner.”

The highlight of the night though was landing a scary looking pike eel, which he dubbed the “Lake-ness Monster”.

Fishing mate Ben Watson said it measured 1.72 metres long and weighed at least 15 kilograms.

He took photos, then returned the “heavy and slippery” predator to Cathie Creek.

“I’ve caught eels before, but not that length or that hideous,” Ben said.

Two weeks earlier, Jaivan landed a protected estuary cod, which was also released.

“I’ve been here for close to ten years now, so I’ve got to see the [lake] open and close a few times,” he said.

“It’s definitely exciting when it stays open.”

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council dug the spillway through the berm on Lake Cathie Beach to stop rising water levels entering the sewer network.

While the lake’s appearance has improved, regular testing will monitor the water quality.


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