First, catch your squid
  |  First Published: December 2008

Welcome to Summer fishing and I hope that the holiday season allows you to spend some time enjoying one of Australia's favourite pastimes – fishing.

The action over the past month inside Pittwater has been good, providing you have the patience to track down squid.

Over the last month catching squid has been a bit of an issue. They are there, but have become a little bit finicky.

The areas to try to persuade one of these Kingfish Tim Tams to attack your squid jigs have been Portuguese Beach, West Head Beach, West Head and Barrenjoey Head. The best jig colours have been pink or orange in the 1.8 to 2.5g sizes.

The biggest squid have come from the Barrenjoey area while the smaller models have come from the areas inside Pittwater. If you are after the bigger squid around Barrenjoey, a paternoster rig with two large 2.5 g squid jigs attached is the way to go. 

Once you catch enough squid, there have been a few kingfish around Barrenjoey Head, West Head and inside Pittwater.

The Barrenjoey kings have been easy to find first thing in the morning and on most occasions can be seen smashing baitfish on the surface. This is when soft plastics can be quite successful. 

When the fish start to feed deeper, pull out the downriggers, attach large squid or big yellowtail and continue catching them.

On a recent charter Doug Tovey, his Dad, Peter, and three mates jumped aboard, the main mission to put Peter onto some larger fish than his usual flathead and bream.

Peter showed his expertise by catching most of the squid and then we started downrigging in Pittwater.

On the first pass Peter hooked up to a nice king and when Dave retrieved the Rapala lure, he got slammed by an even larger fish which he lost without sighting it and despite a heavy drag setting. Peter was able to subdue his 77cm king. On this charter we lost two big fish and had a chance at eight fish during the day.

The kings inside Pittwater have ranged from 65cm through to a whopping metre.  The larger fish have been cruising the edges of the weed beds early mornings and are often encountered when trying to catch squid, which they are very fond of.

The flathead inside Pittwater have been in all usual areas, the drop-offs near Palm Beach, Mackerel Beach and Soldiers Point. The better baits have been pilchards, mullet or yellowtail on the drift. Anchoring at Mackerel Beach or Soldiers Point has also been productive for flathead, flounder, tailor and bream.

Bream are also being caught at Salt Pan Bay among the mornings. Berley of chicken pellets, tuna oil and bread will see them happily feeding in your trail.


The leatherjackets at last are thinning out a little on the flathead grounds but there still will be half-fish being bought aboard. When an area devoid of leatherjackets has been found, the flathead have been plentiful with models up to 60cm common.

Drifting for flathead at the moment is really a no-brainer. It is as easy as travelling to a depth of 50m and dropping a paternoster rig baited with pillies. 

When you get your first bite, mark it on your GPS so you have a starting point for your next drift. Is it even more helpful if you mark a plotting trail so that you can be assured that the next drift will be as productive as the last. Using this method you can really narrow down where the fish are.

With the warmer water coming down the coast, we should soon see mahi mahi, marlin and a host of other game fish caught off Broken Bay. If the mahi mahi are as prolific as last year, it should be a great season.

The reef fishing has picked up a notch in the past couple of weeks with snapper, nannygai, pigfish and kingfish common. The reef fishing has suffered from leatherjacket plagues as well but they don't seem to the as thick over the reefs.

If you find it difficult to find fish or find good spots, call us and we’ll arrange a charter.

Peter Le Blang operates Harbour & Estuary Fishing Charters out of Pittwater, phone 0410 633 351 or visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.

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