Kingies bulk up
  |  First Published: April 2011

Each April we manage to capture some great fish and I am looking forward to the next month.

This is normally the time when bigger kingfish start to show up inside Broken Bay and in the various bays along Pittwater. Normally these fish will be quite active, especially during the mornings.

Last season we caught fish of over 1m long and the average size of the kings seems to get bigger each year.

I can’t wait to see what is delivered to Pittwater this year and hopefully they will be eager to eat small cuttlefish, small squid and the odd yellowtail.

It can take extra hours at this time of year to gather all the appropriate live baits but the effort is usually worth it when a beast of a fish is flopping around on the deck.

Areas to try for these larger fish seem to vary from day to day but if you can track them down one morning, they are usually back there again the next day.

Places to start seem to be The Basin area and the Palm Beach flats.

Some lucky anglers have been catching a variety of fish in these areas and with a declining water temperature the northern species such as spotted mackerel, cobia, samson and amberjack will slowly disappear.

These travellers avoided the Pittwater-Broken Bay area for most of the Summer because the warmer blue water just didn’t make it into the river until late in season.

The travellers seem to be all in the same area so once a school of baitfish under attack has been found, stay close by.


Kingfish are still all over Pittwater and are actively feeding throughout the day.

We have found that this year there have been many smaller kings caught before a few larger ones are found. The smaller kings of 56cm to 63cm are gleefully taking soft plastics, squid strips, pilchards and even prawns.

The larger fish are still marking on the sounder but they are hanging deeper and can be caught while downrigging.

Some of the better bites have occurred at Barrenjoey Headland. This area is dangerous in a decent sea because there are a lot of ‘suck-up’ zones and if you are not careful or are just unlucky, you can get into a heap of trouble very quickly.

In this area we have been catching legal kingfish on live downrigged squid and yellowtail but the big surprise has been how well they are feeding on frozen squid obtained from the tackle shops. With a dab of Glow Bait on the head, these frozen squid are catching just as many fish as the live squid.

Over the past month Barrenjoey has also seen a few spotted mackerel taken on trolled lures and yellowtail.

The squid are starting to become hard to catch again but there are still a few about in most bays along the river. The areas to try are The Basin, Palm Beach moorings, Sandy Point, Mackerel Beach and along the weed beds at Barrenjoey Headland.

The Hawkesbury River is finally starting to produce some very decent jewies from Juno Point through to Spencer.

The bigger models are falling for mullet, squid, tailor or yakkas. Fish the drop-offs and feeding areas on the change of the tide for your best chances.

Soft plastics are also working a treat for those willing to keep moving along the river to actively hunt down a hungry jewie.

The bridges are great places for these beautiful fish; remember to always fish back to the pylons for better results.

Larger flathead are starting to appear in the same areas and are very partial to mullet.

It is always worth trying for a few crabs while you are fishing the river. Muddies can be caught up among the mangroves and the blue swimmers are around most of the islands. Tailor and mullet are the best baits.


The reef fishing over the past month has been very patchy.

We have been finding plenty of flathead, small snapper, nannygai, goatfish, trevally and trag but the larger ones seem to be in big numbers.

We have been covering grounds such as Trawleys, Boultons, Mona Vale Reef and all the way down to Long Reef. The depths have varied from charter to charter but the better fish are in 40m to 60m.

A little wider, the mahi mahi have been sporadic and sparse. Those making it to the FADs have been of decent size but the numbers aren’t there. Hopefully we will be able to get into a few when they travel north again with the receding warm water.

The big surprise for the game fishers has been the occasional wahoo. Each year there are a few lucky souls who catch one or two but this year there seem to be decent numbers along the shelf and beyond.

Striped marlin have been cruising surprisingly close to shore. We have had a few reports of stripes in only 90m.

These glorious fish have been trolled up on lures and are loving green and yellow pushers.

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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