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Brilliant water and fishing
  |  First Published: February 2013



The water quality lately has been brilliant and the fishing has been just as good.

We have been mainly targeting kingfish along the coast around areas such as Newport Reef, Long Reef and Queenscliff, where there are a lot of smaller kingfish to 60cm.

But if you run live bait and try where the smaller ones aren’t, you may be surprised at the size and quality of the fish that you can find.

On one recent coastal outing there was a fair number of boats casting lures to the smaller kings on the surface.

We also caught a couple each, just to get some runs on the board, then it was off to other grounds nearby to try for a bigger king.

At Long Reef we were again met by boats racing around after surface-feeding kingfish so we headed for some quieter water and started running along the 18m contour and were met by a massive bait school and a quadruple hook-up on metre-plus fish.

Unfortunately two of the biggest ones hit the ‘silly string’ outfits meant to catch 75cm fish, not these brutes. The kings on the other two outfits promptly smashed into the reef, leaving my customers shaken by their pulling power.

Over the next three passes we used the two downriggers only and started to land these beasts.

The best for the day, 120cm to the fork, was released. This brute really knew his grounds and how to fight dirty. Many others were over 115cm and all were released.

These bigger kings have now petered out a little but if you don’t hit the big-fish areas, you reduce your chances.

Big kingfish at this time of the year like East Reef, Whale Beach Headland, Newport Reef, the Narrabeen wrecks, Long Reef and Queenscliff. All these areas hold big kings at different times of the season so arm yourself with a few marks from a couple of areas and go hard.

The best baits are slimy mackerel, yellowtail and squid. We have found the kings prefer different baits on different days so go to your spot with a variety of live and dead bait to better your chances.

Some kings are being caught in Pittwater but again these fish are rather active and you might have to cover a few areas before you find a hungry fish. Try Bothams Reef, the Supermarket and Longnose Point through to Soldiers Point.

Most mornings you will see some surface activity if you venture along the western shore and even though the small fish are on the surface, some larger fish are among them.

The bigger kings in Pittwater are still playing hardball but with persistence and a couple of days to play with, you should be able to come home with a story and pics of metre-plus kings.

SQUID, MULLOWAY

Squid in Pittwater are still hard to locate and catch. The best areas seem to be around the mouth with West Head reasonably good. These squid are only small but that is what the kingfish are chewing on so take your size 2 jigs and make sure you have an orange one in your box.

Other areas worth trying are around The Basin and Careel Bay.

A few more jewfish should move into Broken Bay over the next month or two. Flint and Steel is again being targeted by a few trap fishers so please be careful when fishing this area.

Other areas to try are Juno Point, Gunya Beach and the bridges.

Try any of these areas with very fresh dead bait or live bait to target the bigger fish. Tide changes are very important at the moment so make sure you are in your chosen area an hour before to an hour after the change.

BOTTOM FISH

Further out to sea the reef fishing has been a bit patchy. One day we fish in warm, blue water and the action is brilliant but the next day the current has shifted and the colder water comes in.

There are a lot of fish to be caught on the reefs but you have to wade through the numbers to catch quality fish. On offer from Boultons Reef through to Newport Reef are mostly small snapper and nannygai, decent morwong, the odd just legal kingfish and flathead.

The flathead have been a little tricky to find. The 50m contour off Broken Bay has schools of small leatherjackets waiting to take all of your terminal tackle and a heap of line.

To find the flathead we have been heading further offshore to 70m or 80m and dragging pilchards along the bottom to.

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