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Push to end Pittwater nets
  |  First Published: October 2011



Since my last report there have been a few important developments regarding fishing on Pittwater.

Recently our local State Member, Rob Stokes, has been pushing for Pittwater to become a designated recreational fishing haven and he has been vocal in the Legislative Assembly in campaigning for this, urging people contact him.

In the following few weeks Rob was flooded with an amazing response of support and soon after, he had a meeting with Primary Industry and Small Business Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.

After lengthy discussions it was announced that there would be a review into the commercial fishing licenses for NSW.

This is basically where you all come in. Everyone who reads this article needs to send to Fisheries Minister Hodgkinson an email to show that you support Pittwater as a recreational fishing haven. If you don’t think it is a good idea, you also get to voice your concerns.

For me it would be a dream come true. To be able watch Pittwater load up with baitfish again and then over the following weeks target all of those predators that follow them in would be dream come true.

The greatest thing, though, would be to catch them and then release them to fight another day.

The weed beds would no longer get hauled over and these areas could then become the fish nurseries that they should be.

We would see families along the river with smiles on their faces because their children have just caught dinner. This happens too rarely nowadays because fish are very hard to catch in Pittwater from the shore. With your support, this can change.

The evidence is clear that if the commercial guys are taken out of the equation and the system left to recover, the fishing improves within two to four years. Sydney Harbour, Lake Macquarie and Botany Bay are examples of what can happen if the systems are left to recover.

It must be said that the commercial guys have done nothing illegal and their livelihoods will be changed forever. Like you and me, they have families to support, mortgages and loans to pay and for most, fishing is their only source of income.

If the Government does take out the commercial operators out of Pittwater, let’s hope that they are well compensated.

To show your support or concerns, email --e-mail address hidden-- and in the subject space write Pittwater Recreational Fishing Haven. Your concerns or support will be registered.

KINGFISH AWAKEN

The kingfish are starting to wake up a bit and there are areas along Pittwater that still have some surface activity first thing in the morning.

Schools of tailor and salmon have been moving into Pittwater towards the mouth on the rising tide with the warmer water.

The commotion that they are creating among anglers is quite comical when you are able to sit back and watch. The boats that race all over the place as soon as a school rises are the most fun to watch though, especially when the fish are in the ‘let’s tease them’ mode.

If you can be patient, sit and wait, nine times out of ten the school comes back within casting distance and this gives you a very brief chance.

On most occasions the salmon have had a few kingfish mixed in as well. The kings aren’t very big but still they are a heap of fun on lighter tackle.

The tailor are eating metal lures up to 25g and the salmon are feeding on the smaller soft plastics in see-through colours.

The bigger kingfish seem to be still in Broken Bay but they are active and not always in the same area from one day to the next. This is great news because it gives everyone a chance at finding them.

The bigger kingfish, 80cm to 95cm, have not really had any bait preferences – as long as it is very fresh or, better still, alive.

We have caught a heap of fish on downrigged live yellowtail and on the odd day almost as many on soft plastics.

Barrenjoey Head, West Head, Lion Island, Flint and Steel and West Reef all had kingfish at the time of writing but finding the larger ones really is up to the gods.

SQUID DIFFICULT

Squid along Pittwater are still a little hard to find but the most reliable spots are on the western side of the river. Portuguese Beach has better numbers the Palm Beach weed beds the back- up area.

The more natural colours like olive green, especially in the smaller sizes of 2.5 seem to work a treat.

If you are able to go out to the ocean side of Barrenjoey there are quite a few squid but they are being monstered by smaller kingfish and tailor before you can get them to the boat.

Flint and Steel is fishing pretty well for bream, trevally and the odd flathead.

Jewfish are starting to be caught and a variety of baits seem to be the way to go to find what they are feeding on.

To cover your bases you really need fresh caught or live squid, a few yellowtail, a few bigger tailor and if you can manage some, slimy mackerel.

Pike also can be great for jewfish at this time of year but a decent jewfish normally won’t swim past a fresh squid or slimy mackerel.

The reef fishing is starting to pick up offshore with snapper captures more consistent but most are under the legal 30cm. Trevally, morwong and nannygai are also in the mix.

The areas that seem to be showing the most signs of life are between 40m and 60m.

The blue-spot flathead are gathering along the 50m contour but drop down only one line first to check for the presence of leatherjackets. Best bait has been pilchards but soft plastics fanatics will have a ball landing flathead one after another.

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