Water temp yo-yos
  |  First Published: March 2011

The fishing in Pittwater has been a little patchy and we’re all hoping it will all settle down soon.

The water temperature in Pittwater has been all over the place but with a couple of weeks of half-decent weather we should see more favourable conditions to target some bigger kingfish.

Over the past couple of months we have seen most of the pelagic fish cruising Pittwater smashing small baitfish that can be matched only by a fly.

As usual, I like to use a downrigger for our kingfish and have found in recent times that the bigger kingfish, deep under the bonito schools, are still receptive to a live squid.

We have been staying about 15m away from the bonito feeding frenzies on the surface and the kingfish have been smashing live squid or fresh squid heads and pieces.

The usual haunts along Pittwater are still producing the odd fish but the best bite has been along the western side of Pittwater in the afternoons.

The fish have been rising to the surface as the sun goes down and if you are lucky enough to find them, they are taking white 9” Slug-Gos.

The bonito in Pittwater seem to be everywhere and are rising and diving quickly. These fussy bonnies are fixated on the smaller metal lures of 10-15g. Some of the schools are so particular in what they eat that they refuse everything thrown at them.

These are the schools that you are better off leaving behind and going in search of an easier target.

Tailor are still about the river and there are some great fish among them. We have caught three recently between 55cm and 60cm – no kissing those!


Bait fishing in Pittwater and Broken Bay has improved over the past month and some great fish have been encountered.

Jewfish, samson, kingfish and big flathead have been encountered from Soldiers Point through to Mackerel Beach, mostly on fresh-caught squid or bonito but the flathead are chomping on anything.

The bigger flathead can be caught also on soft plastics and if you are very lucky, a decent jewfish may also show itself.

Another area to try is Longnose Point. This area is best fished on the edge of the reef, right on the drop-off to the channel. It is deep but with little current it can be fished with minimal or no weight to maximise your chances.

The Hill is seeing some flathead attacking most things dragged on the bottom but unfortunately most fish are of the releasing size.

We are finally starting to see some decent water hitting the coast and some better kingfish have showed up. They have been moving from one day to the next but most mornings they are not far from the bonito schools.

Live yellowtail, slimy mackerel if you can find them or a small bonito have been the best live baits.

A lot of the bonito we have caught have showed signs of healing after being hit by much bigger fish. This is why we are using bonnies as trolled baits.

Areas such as Newport Reef, Whale Headland, West Reef and Barrenjoey Head have recently had some fish swimming by. With the bigger kingfish and masses of baitfish, there also have been some big sharks lurking.


The snapper have been a little tricky but in the next month or so we should see them move closer to shore and become a little easier to catch.

Snapper have been caught recently in 60m towards the edges of the reefs and right over the rougher ground.

Flathead are starting to gather along the 40m contour and unfortunately there are a few leatherjackets about in patches to annoy everyone, too.

If you do find a patch of these tackle terrorists, it is better to move 1km away and try again.

The flathead are eating a variety of baits as well as soft plastics.

A simple paternoster rig with two baits or soft plastics will normally result in tasty flatties coming into the boat two at a time.

Please remember that when you find an area that is holding a lot of flathead, take only what you need for the immediate future and release the rest so they can be caught next time.

Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.

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