Catches more consistent
  |  First Published: November 2011

This month the fishing should finally start to pick up and become a little more consistent.

The warmer water is on its way south and, to be honest, I am like a kid waiting for Christmas.

With the warmer water we can expect a myriad of baitfish and predators hot on their little tails.

As a bonus, the fish now present in our estuaries, harbours and bays will be more active and willing to feed.

The fishing along Pittwater has picked up a little over the past month as the water slowly warms and the baitfish are starting to hatch from the weed beds.

The bounty has started for species such as bream, flathead, tailor and salmon so those hungry kingfish and jewfish shouldn’t be far behind.

The kingfish along Pittwater have also started to fire up more days than not, but to find them feeding on the surface you have to be on the water at ‘sparrows’. It seems that most days the fish are feeding deeper as the sun rises higher.

The majority of the action again seems to be concentrated from Longnose Point through to West Head.

Most of the fish that are feeding on the surface are responding to poppers or soft plastics but the bigger fish that are generally deeper are partial to slimy mackerel, fresh squid heads and small live squid.

Some of these bigger fish are nudging a metre and they don’t get that big because they eat anything that’s in the water. To put yourself in with a real chance at one of these, use live bait.

Flathead are becoming more evident at some places along Pittwater, with Portuguese Beach producing most of the larger fish and Mackerel Beach to Palm Beach producing numbers of smaller flathead.

Soft plastics are a great way to target flatties in both of these areas and you may pick up a jewfish as by-catch.


Luderick are still present in good numbers at most of the public wharves and green weed is starting to become a little easier to find. The better wharves to try are the Church Point wooden wharf, and those at Bayview and Careel Bay.

You will have to use berley in these areas and although some weed can be gathered at most of these places, there isn’t much so bring some along with you as a back-up.

Over the next month we should start to see those beautiful jewfish showing up around areas such as Flint and Steel, Walkers Point, Juno Point, Gunya Point, Middle Ground and the bridges.

These great fish are best targeted during the last hour before and after the turn of the tide and fresh bait is a must to give you the best chance.

I find that the best bait most of the time is fresh-caught squid but use whatever you are confident with and rig it so it looks and swims naturally.

Remember when using strip baits to check your baits quite often because pickers will find them pretty quickly.

The odd day Barrenjoey Headland has seemed like it’s the land of milk and honey with all of the fish that seem to be there. On a good day the salmon, trevally, tailor and kingfish have been in separate schools popping up at different stages and giving a great variety of fish to chase.

Notice that I did say ‘the odd day’: on some of the other days the area has seemed like a wet desert.


The reef fishing over the past month has been a little slower than expected but we have still been able to get great mixed bags on most charters.

Reefs in 40m to 60m seem to be the most productive.

Boultons, Trawleys, Newport Reef and Long Reef are the better areas. Here snapper, morwong, trevally, tailor, marbled and tiger flathead and, for those that are blessed, the odd trag has been hauled over the side as well.

Best bait seems to be fresh-caught squid but I wish you good luck trying to find any in Pittwater on the way out!

Again the blue-spot flathead are starting to gather at the 50m contour. These fish are very easy to catch so please, take only what you need for an immediate feed instead of filling the freezer in case you may like to eat some in a month or so.

Drifting over the 50m line with a paternoster rig with two hooks and two pilchards will enable you to go home with some very nice eating fish.

The kingfish along the coast have started to show up but, as they did last year, they are spread out over a large area and at times can be a little tricky to tempt.

Yellowtail and slimy mackerel are the baits when targeting kings outside. Try East Reef, Newport Reef and the No1 wreck off Narrabeen.

These areas are some distance from each other, yet there seem to be few fish along the reefs in between.

I am sure that by the time you read this the fish will have moved again but at least you all have a starting area to work from.

Remember, if you wish to target big kingfish, we are only a phone call away.

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