Reliable options
  |  First Published: December 2010

With some hot weather now upon us, it’s time to get stuck into your fishing before the Central Coast becomes crowded with the annual holiday madness.

There are a number of reliable options this month, so I’ll run through some that should get your line stretched and put a few fish fillets on the table before our population swells.

Bream at this time of year are out and about in our estuary systems, as well as along the rocks and beaches.

However, the greater numbers are in the calm water and bait soakers and lure chuckers shouldn’t have much of a problem getting into a few.

In the past I spent countless hours dropping baits into Brisbane Water and Tuggerah Lakes for bream, although these days I exclusively target them with lures or fly.

For Brisbane Water I recommend fresh green or live prawns, cockles, strips of fresh tailor or mullet, mullet gut, freshly pumped pink nippers or the smaller green nippers which can be found on the mudflats near Woy Woy.

The same baits will also do well in Tuggerah Lakes, although I would be trying to use fresh strips of tailor and mullet or blackfish gut a bit more.

Live prawns may seem like a good choice but honestly, I’ve found the fresh tailor or gut baits to be better in these lakes.

Anglers fishing from boats in Brisbane Water should firstly try the deeper holes at The Rip bridge, as this is where some of the biggest bream lurk.

If that fails, move on to some of the oyster racks around Paddys Channel and Woy Woy and fish lightly weighted baits on a rising tide.

If you’re shore-based, the channel that runs through Woy Woy can be pretty good, as can the bridges at Woy Woy.

In the lakes, try under The Entrance bridge at night, around either end of Toukley bridge at night or Budgewoi Channel through the day.

Other good early morning spots are the mouths of Ourimbah and Wyong creeks and close to some of the more prominent rocky points around the lakes.

Lure casting for bream will also score plenty of fish. Surface poppers and stickbaits are effective and fun but if not enough action is coming your way then swap over to shallow-diving lures.

Failing that, you can always go back to lightly weighted soft plastics or even blades in deeper water.

Mostly, though, I would be sticking to surface lures.

There are way too many good shallow spots around Brisbane Water and the lakes to run through all of them here.

As a start, I would be looking at The Entrance, Woy Woy Bay, Saratoga, Cockle Bay and Hardys Bay. Try to fish a rising tide in Brisbane Water and get out very early when fishing Tuggerah Lakes.


There will also be plenty of flathead and I reckon they’re about the best thing on the dinner plate. All of the bream I catch are released to fight another day but the poor old flattie tastes a bit too good for that !

Live prawns, small live mullet or strips of fish flesh certainly work well on flathead but these days there are so many good lures available that trick flathead so easily that I would mainly be sticking to lure casting.

Again, you’ll bump into flathead throughout the lakes and Brissy Water but some spots are better than others.

The idea is to cast and retrieve lures along the edges of weed beds, drop-offs and rock walls.

Slowly and thoroughly work lures along these places and if you’re not catching fish, move along to another spot and keep trying.

Top areas to try include The Entrance, the lower reaches of Wyong, Ourimbah, Narara and Erina creeks, as well as the flats around Brisbane Water.

Whiting have been active over the past few months and will certainly be worth chasing now.

Surface stickbaits and poppers will catch them in very shallow areas but the more reliable way to go with whiting in most cases is with bait.

The very best whiting baits are live bloodworms, fresh or preserved beach worms, fresh green prawns and you could add pipis to the list when beach fishing.

Prawns and blue swimmer crabs are out and about, especially in the lakes. Catching these will help keep the kids occupied through the holidays and provide some extras to that Summer seafood dinner.

Offshore anglers can expect plenty in the way of small kingfish this month.

There have been a lot of bonito around as well although it’s hard to predict if they’ll still be out in force through December. Normally the bonnies show up in better numbers later in Summer.

Along the rocks and beaches we can still expect to catch a few salmon, with tailor and kingfish mixed in.

Jewfish, blackfish, drummer and calamari squid are other species well worth considering. Good luck and all the best for Christmas.

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