Praying for steady weather
  |  First Published: September 2011

September is one of my favourite months to fish so we’re all praying for some steady weather patterns that will allow us all to get out on the water.

Now we should start to see schools of baitfish move into Pittwater and hot on their tails will be some big predators.

Over the past month we saw some pretty windy days but there were some that were perfect, allowing us to track down decent kingfish.

The surprising has been the increase in smaller fish over the Winter. The kings have been up to their usual tricks, changing from one bay to the next, but keen-eyed terns and gulls have been leading the way.

On a few occasions the gulls have led us to a flock of feeding cormorants but most times the birds have been feeding over kingfish or salmon schools.

The preferred bait has been small live cuttlefish and the kingfish have been feeding mainly over reefy areas.

Spots to try for squid have been Palm Beach, West Head, Mackerel Beach and the ocean side of Barrenjoey Headland. The best jig colour seems to be orange or part-orange.

Cuttlefish have mainly been along the western shore, right up in the shallows, from Longnose Point through to The Basin. The cuttlefish are hard to hook, keep on the line and are also notorious for their inkings.

These little cuttlefish only seem to feed close to the bottom so be careful on your squid jig selection because you may lose a few to the rough terrain that they inhabit.

In recent weeks we have seen kingfish caught from Soldiers Point through to Portuguese Beach and another patch of fish has been present from Longnose Point to Lovett Bay.

Most mornings the kings are hard to spot so being able to read your sounder has been pretty important.

Neil McCauley was able to join us again recently to try for a big kingfish on Pittwater. Neil has been out with me many times and I have seen a huge growth in his fishing knowledge and skill levels. This day tested him.

While we were downrigging among the moorings, Neil cast a soft plastic to try to attract a strike. After a few hours of hard work he was finally rewarded with a savage hit.

Once the downriggers were up, Neil had to try to work his big fish towards the boat, no easy task on 20lb braid and a 20lb leader.

After an epic battle among the moorings, Neil was the proud owner of an 86cm king. His secret? He hooked it under a big patch of jellyfish.


The important thing fishing Pittwater has been to cover ground and if plan A doesn’t seem to be working, put plan B into action and move on.

The Pittwater bottom fishing is still a bit slow with most captures undersized snapper and the odd decent flathead. Over the next month we should see bigger flathead along the Mackerel Beach hole and on the drop-off towards Palm Beach.

Broken Bay is coming to life with schools of salmon and tailor evident most days. These fish seem to be a bit shy so a stealthy approach is often needed.

Flint and Steel has gone a little quiet but I expect this to change very soon. The reef is holding a lot of baitfish and it won’t be long before some predators move in for an easy feed.

There are still trevally being caught but most are undersized and the odd legal bream is showing up in the berley trails.

It shouldn’t be long before jewfish show up so make sure you dust off the rods and service the reels for when your dream fish does arrive.


The drifts in Broken Bay for flathead are quite good at the moment and worth trying. Pilchards, prawns, whitebait and soft plastics are all working well but make sure you vary your offerings to see what is working best on the day.

The flathead offshore are starting to gather in 40m to 60m. These blue-spot flathead are easy to catch and a load of fun.

Find the contour line on your chart and drift across it, ensuring your sinker is puffing up the sand as you drift along.

Pilchards and soft plastics won’t last long once you’ve found a patch of fish. If encounter leatherjackets, just move on to the next contour line and start again.

The kingfish along the coast are also starting to show and, as usual, the first fish seem to be the biggest.

Most of the headlands should have a fish or two but patience may be needed to entice a bite. Better baits include slimy mackerel, yellowtail or squid if they are thick.

So providing you have a variety of fresh bait, you should be able to track down a fish or three.

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