Rain? It’s overrated!
  |  First Published: June 2011

I don’t know where you live has had enough rain but at Pittwater we certainly have. It’s not the rain that has been the only worry either. Big seas and strong winds have also taken their fair share of fishing time off us all.

Some areas of Pittwater have produced hot bites but other areas have been bare.

The best way at the moment to catch some fish seems to be head out into Broken Bay to find cleaner water. The water quality seems to be a lot better and the bird activity and fish movement are apparent.

The cleaner water is hosting some tailor, trevally and salmon.

All of these fish can be caught at anchor on one of the many reefs in Broken Bay and in calm water if you don’t fish swells over a metre.

Broken Bay is a dangerous area to fish from when you are fishing in a ‘bathtub’. There is so much water that travels out of Cowan Creek, the Hawkesbury, Brisbane Water and Pittwater and if you get a situation where the wind, sea and tide are all opposing, it can turn a great day into a scary situation very quickly.


If you pick your day right, there are also some kingfish still being caught. We have picked up a few early in the morning while downrigging and casting lures.

Barrenjoey Headland has been the most reliable area and it’s been a 50-50 chance of landing one of the bigger fish once hooked up. The rough grounds about 100m south-east off Barrenjoey Headland, where the trappers usually have a trap or two, is the area where we have been encountering these monsters.

This area is holding a heap of baitfish due to the bait in the traps and if you fish down current of them, a few bigger kings seem to be lurking.

After spending most of the morning along the coast it can be worthwhile targeting some bigger fish on Pittwater as well.

Last June Dave Butfield and Paul Welsh tangled with kingfish that measured in at 94cm to 96cm and one great fish that Paul landed was 104cm. There were bigger fish there as well but the ‘smaller’ 90cm models kept getting to the bait first.

June is normally when the bigger fish seem to play in Pittwater. The bite is normally short but if fished correctly, half a dozen kings will normally pull some string in a session.

The secret to catching kingfish in Pittwater in Winter is simple. Get off the lounge, catch a few small cuttlefish and start downrigging.

Covering ground is important, as is fishing often. Kingies seem to be creatures that, once found and the time of the tide noted, can be caught for the next few days in the same area at the same time of the tide. This is not always the case but on most occasions it is.

For those who like to catch smaller table fish, this month the trevally should show up in numbers as well as the odd salmon, tailor, bream and flathead.

The best to catch these fish in Pittwater is to anchor at one of the reefs such as Soldiers Point and berley.

Make sure you are positioned in the current (the small amount there is) and use a weighted berley bucket.

Fish light lines with only a small amount of weight and use fluorocarbon leader to increase your chances.

There are normally plagues of undersized snapper everywhere and they will swallow a lot of your baits but please release these fish carefully – they are our big snapper of the future.

You can reduce the numbers of baby snapper you catch and increase your chances at trevally by raising the weighted berley bucket about half-way up the water column. The trevally will pounce on a lightly weighted prawn piece when allowed to enter the berley trail and float down naturally.


The reef fishing is great in some areas and poor, if not darn expensive, in others. The toadies seem to have taken over a few of the deeper reefs so we have been fishing in closer.

Some of the shallower reefs in 40m are producing small snapper, morwong, nannygai, leatherjackets and flathead on a variety of baits and can be best caught on the drift.

Once a bite has been found it’s a simple task of marking the spot and drifting through it again or anchoring and laying out berley.


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