Lake Macquarie flatty gun cracks half a century

Lake Macquarie big flathead specialist with the 100th big lizard to be tagged and released on the waterway.

TO long time Lake Macquarie flatty lure fishers the name Steve Norris has always been associated with catches of big dusky flathead. I’ve been chasing flatties on lures in the lake since the early 1980s and among the group of local flatty fanatics that I’ve fished with over the years the consensus was always that Steve was the lake’s most consistent catcher of big dusky flathead on lures. Consequently, when NSW DPI Fisheries declared Lake Macquarie as a Trophy Flathead Fishery in October 2017 his name was high on the list of local anglers to be offered a position in the associated tagging program monitoring the state of breeding sized dusky flathead stocks in the lake.

In the ensuing months Steve has emphatically confirmed our opinions of his big flatty catching skills by becoming the leading tagger of big dusky flathead in New South Wales. He tagged his 50th big dusky in just over 12 months and at the time of writing had just tagged his 70th big girl with a 90cm beast. Only flathead of a length of 70 cm or over are tagged as part of the Trophy Flathead Fishery Program and to put Steve’s fantastic efforts into context, he’s tagged around a third of the total number of 209 big breeding flathead that have been tagged in the lake at the time of writing.

Steve’s efforts are all the more meritorious when you consider that with well over 12 months of tagging data now compiled it’s become obvious that the average size of large breeding flatty’s being tagged in the lake is considerably smaller than the other NSW Trophy Flathead Fisheries at St Georges Basin and Tuross Lakes. I’m sure that it won’t be long and Steve will be celebrating a century of tagging big Lake Macquarie dusky flatties. An outstanding effort from a skilled and dedicated local angler.

Steve Norris with a 90 cm flathead he tagged and released on the lake recently.

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