In years gone by April, May and June have generally been associated with quite stable weather patterns. Typically, large high-pressure systems hover over the eastern part of the country, bringing weeks of clear blue skies and chilly mornings. That hasn’t been the case over the past few years.
So once more we’ve endured heavy rains and wind from all directions.
Yes, there has also been a sprinkling of that pleasant weather and I have tried to make the most of it by fishing as much as humanly possible.
However, most of us can only get out to wet a line on the weekends or when work or family commitments allow. So dealing with adverse conditions is something we have to get used to if we want to get some line stretched over the next few months.
Preparation is the first step. Keep and eye on weather maps, forecasts and tides to help plan successful outings.
Dress suitably, with warm clothing and quality wet weather gear. Even if rain isn’t forecast, it doesn’t hurt to pack a raincoat – better to be safe than sorry. That final layer of raincoat can also keep out spray and icy wind.
Another important aspect of planning your Winter fishing is to target species that are available and active, rather than trying to chase fish that are normally more abundant through the warmer months.
Baits, lures and techniques may also need some thought and fine tuning to get hook-ups with any sort of consistency.
The Tuggerah Lakes can be a very tough fishery from now to the end of September. However, we normally have good numbers of bream and blackfish that won’t be too hard to catch.
As I pointed out last month, dropping down to lighter line and fishing baits or lures in deeper water will score more bites.
The Entrance is one of the better places to cast a line through the cold months. Bream tend to gather around the bridge and are easier to tempt early in the morning or later of an evening.
Although tidal flow can be a bit all over the shop at The Entrance, timing your outing with the first of the run in is normally best.
Blackfish will also be found around the bridge, as well as right through the north channel, along the southern walkway near the boatshed and further out towards the main body of the lake along the channels and weed beds.
This month, good old green weed should be the best blackfish bait, although these fish will also fall to small pieces of worm or peeled prawns.
Although I wouldn’t bother trying to specifically target them with lures, blackfish seem to like having a swipe at small metal blade lures and those small Berkley Gulp worms. But weed baits really are the best way to go.
One would think that with the absence of commercial netting in Brisbane Water, it would fish better than the lakes through Winter. My experience indicates otherwise; fishing here can be equally as difficult, if not worse than the lakes as water temperatures fall away.
Bream are a chance right through the system, although a better class of bream will be found around The Rip bridge area, particularly in the deep holes there.
Blackfish will be found along the edges of the channels and weed beds at Woy Woy, Davistown and Saratoga. Providing we don’t have more flooding rains, blackfish may also move into Erina and Narara creeks in reasonable numbers this month.
Jewfish are still a good chance but fishing for them isn’t going to get any easier as we get into the depths of Winter. From Woy Woy down to The Rip bridge is probably the better area to target jewies, as well as out into Broken Bay.
If we don’t get too much rain, there’ll also be a few towards the Gosford end of the system. The bigger fish, though, are more likely around The Rip and the lower end of the Hawkesbury.
As I’ve mentioned in recent months, offshore fishing has been quite good this year. The bad news is that this good action will become a fading memory as ocean currents deliver colder water and those persistent westerly winds kick in.
Closer in along the headlands and inshore reef systems, I recommend chasing tailor and salmon by casting 30g to 50g metals or whole pillies on ganged hooks.
There’ll still be a few kings around closer in but the majority of the kingfish action will be out wide in 70m to 120m.
Along the beaches salmon have already been quite dominant and they’ll only get thicker this month.
Tailor, bream and a few jewies will still be around through June but regardless of which species you target, the sambos will eventually find your bait whether you like it or not.
The rocks can be among the more consistent arenas this month.
Again, blackfish will be out in full force right along our rocks, although my favourite area to chase blackies off the stones has always been up north from Red Ochre, past Snapper and up to Catherine Hill Bay.
Bream and drummer are the other main species we can rely on if we want a feed of fresh fish.Reads: 1951