Kingies arrive in numbers
  |  First Published: August 2012

Once again the weather has been a real issue and the cold mornings are certainly sorting the brave from the weak!

The good news is that the big winter kingfish have once again come into Pittwater. On most occasions we have found kingfish on our charters but it is up to our customers to subdue these metre long kingfish.

The best way to target these bigger bruisers is to gather live squid or small cuttlefish and cover ground by down-rigging. Unfortunately most of Pittwater has little to no current so anchoring and berleying only feeds or attracts the fish in the immediate area. Down-rigging allows you to seek the fish.

These bigger kingfish can be a fussy bunch and taking a range of lures and any bait you can think of is sometimes needed. That being said, if the kingies don’t want to bite, they won’t.

Once the school of kingfish are found make sure that a few lures are cast about to try to get a second hook up, as this can fire up the rest of the school.

The better areas to try in the mornings seem to be along the western side of the river. They have been caught from McCarrs Creek right up to West Head. Keep an eye out for working birds as the kingfish, salmon and tailor won’t be far behind them.


Squid are a bit tricky to catch in Pittwater so a better bet has been to hit the ocean side of Barrenjoey Head and drift around near any present bait schools. With your first squid, put him on a line and send him halfway to the bottom, you may be surprised by a cruising kingfish as they are in the areas that the squid are inhabiting.

If you can’t get to the ocean side of Barrenjoey Head I suggest you try for squid over the Palm Beach weed beds. Casting size 2 squid jigs in the winter colours of iridescent blue or the natural browns and greens will prove to be productive.

The only other area that has been supplying any decent numbers of squid has been Towlers Bay. Winter coloured jigs are also working well here.

The salmon are showing up on the surface at the change of the tide along Pittwater but they are still being caught sporadically throughout the day. When the salmon are on the surface they seem to be chewing on live bait only, so getting a hook up on soft plastics and small metal lures can see many casts before any interest is shown.


Cowan Creek anglers are once again seeing those prehistoric chrome bars showing up at Waratah Bay on the odd night. The only reason these fish are camped in this bay at the moment is due to all of the yellowtail that are in there.

Hairtail can be caught during the day and night and there are numerous ways to catch them. Hairtail can caught using pilchards, yellowtail and also on lures. Barra spoons and lead head jigs can be used to tempt them when they are actively feeding. Soft plastics can also be used as can your hardbodied lures; it’s all about getting them down to the right depth.

If you’re going to anchor up and berley the baitfish to your boat it is better to fish as mentioned the change of the tide and fish on the edge of the shallow water to the deeper water. It is important to use as little weight as possible to allow the pilchards or bait strips to waft their way slowly to the bottom.

We only use a small amount of wire to avoid bite offs and vary the depths of the baits until a feeding depth has been established. It’s important to keep the yellowtail around the boat as once they disappear the hairtail follow.

When fishing for hairtail it is often worthwhile to cast out a bream rod and also a bait for a cruising jewfish. On many occasions a great bream or jewfish bite has appeared out of nowhere when fishing for hairtail.

Flathead are still about around Broken Bay and the better way to find them has been to use soft plastics and work the points and drop offs. The area out in front of Umina is worth trying and if you would rather use bait, pilchards are once again working well.

The washes around Broken Bay will be the area to try if you are after some big bream. Light tackle and fluorocarbon leaders are a must and berley is essential to to get the most out of a bite.

The reefs along our part of the coastline are seeing the odd day where there are some fish to be caught but these days are few and far between. On most charters there are many reefs that have to be covered before some decent snapper, the odd morwong and trevally are caught. The trouble is trying to get through all the leatherjackets to get to a decent fish.

The reefs have seen the odd kingfish bite and the water depth to target seems to be in 60m of water.

We are once again running our winter specials and hope that this report sees you all eager to jump aboard to enjoy a day on the water fishing with us. For more information visit www.estuaryfishingchartes.com.au.

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