Warm water does the trick
  |  First Published: December 2011

Over the past month we have seen some pretty average days but after a more consistent flow of warmer water arrived, the fishing has really picked.

We are have experienced a great kingfish bite along the coast. They have been off most headlands and seem to be favouring yellowtail over squid.

The other issue with using squid at the moment is that all of the sweep that have gathered over the reefs are eager to eat them. These fish have also been a menace when anchoring and using berley.

Sweep just never seem to fill up and as long as you have the energy to throw something in the water, these small grey fish will be there to eat it.

I have found that instead of using a lot of berley, we have recently been soaking a sponge in tuna oil and placing it in a weighted berley bucket so the oil leaks out and attracts the fish.

Tuna oil is great to attract the bigger fish as well; the kingfish have loved it and you’re not just feeding up the sweep.

The kings are a fair bit bigger than last year on average. These fish are fatter than and even the throwback fish (sub-65cm) are solid fish.

Areas to try along have varied from week to week but many of the headlands between Box Head to North Head have produced numbers of fish.

Last week the better area for us was at Newport Reef, with Mona Vale a close second. The fish aren’t monsters but the consistent 70cm kings are fun to catch and are a great eating size.

The most successful lure lately has been the new Shimano Waxwing. Their action is unbelievable and anyone who uses them instantly falls in love with them.

These lures were designed in America to target kingfish.

It’s as simple as casting out, pointing the rod at the lure and just winding. The angler applies no action; this lure just does its own thing and catches fish.

The Waxwings are also very popular with bonito, tailor, bream and flathead. I tried the smallest 68mm model at our local wharf and on the first cast I had a school of 30 small bream swarming all over it.

The next cast I caught a respectable tailor of 45cm, as I did the next cast. On my fourth cast I let the lure sink to the bottom before retrieving it. On about the fifth crank of the reel I was hooked onto a 50cm flathead.

I am sure that those that target jewfish with these lures will also catch a few.


The fishing along Pittwater has been good most days but a bit tricky on others.

As usual, the kingfish are moving along the river in search of a feed and most of them have been seen up on the weed beds chasing luckless baitfish and squid.

The more consistent bite seems to be along the Kingfish Highway. We have been finding kingfish in this area pretty consistently now and travelling a fair bit has been the key. Smaller kingies are being caught on Waxwings and small white Slug-Gos.

While trolling off the downrigger, get one of the crew to cast lures to the sides of the boat to attract fish from further afield.

The other technique that works a treat is to drift among the moorings with a fresh squid head or a live squid placed just out of sight.

While drifting about, cast poppers or the other lures mentioned in all directions. If you find a fish that just follows the lure, when it gets near to the boat, a fresh meal is there waiting to tempt it.

Try this among the moorings at The Basin, Palm Beach and Clareville. This method works everywhere or anywhere there is structure or kingfish haunts.

Flathead have been hard to locate in any decent numbers in Pittwater but there are good numbers to be caught in Broken Bay and offshore in 50m to 70m.

At Broken Bay the flathead are being caught on the drift on pilchards. Remember to use a heavy sinker so it puffs up sand as it bounces along the bottom and a pilchard not too far away.

Soft plastics are also working and with the faster moving tides, use heavier jig heads and work the holes and eddies of the points around the bay.

Jewfish are still being caught at Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury. We have encountered them at Flint and Steel, Juno Point, Gunya Point, the Middle Grounds, Elanoras Bluff and Walkers Point.

All of these are worth trying.

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