New year fishing scene kicks off with a bite at Stockton and Belmont beaches

IT has been a fantastic start to 2014 with anglers having a ball catching plenty of fish in near-perfect conditions.

Beach fishing on Stockton and Belmont beaches has been the domain of the whiting.

Live worms have been the ideal bait to chase one of our most popular fish.

Flathead have been a very welcome bycatch as well as plenty of undersize mulloway.

Moving on with the mulloway theme Stockton breakwall and Newcastle Harbour have both been drawing the attention of anglers.

Whether using live baits or lures, land and boat anglers have been coming across mulloway in excess of 20 kilograms.

The beaches have been a little slower but one of the best fish pulled in weighed a credible 16kg.

Lake Macquarie has been a busy body of water.

Anglers have been targeting bream and whiting around the sand islands and weedy edges.

North Reef and Catherine Hill Bay are well worth a look if you are chasing yellowtail kingfish.

Trolling or casting stick baits is a fun way to come across a couple of kings.

Marlin and dolphin fish have been about in enough numbers to keep most game fishers happy.

There have been some big blue marlin well offshore in 700 fathoms of water with some blacks on closer to keep the gameboats busy enough.