With the holidays over and water temps peaking, it should be all systems go along the Central Coast in what is definitely one of our best months. ‘
About the only spanner that could be thrown into the works is some sort of major rain event and that sort of thing can be common at this time of year.
Let’s hope the weather behaves itself and allows us to get stuck into whichever type of fishing we enjoy most.
There’s a fair bit to choose from, but a large percentage of local anglers will be concentrating on warm-water pelagics.
That means anything from black and striped marlin out wide through to smaller marlin, kings and bonito closer in.
Of course, the rockhoppers can also get in on the action with the main targets being kings and bonito.
Each season can be different from the last, so it’s difficult to predict exactly what’s going to happen.
In the past few weeks there has been a run of quite small marlin along the North Coast and by small I mean 15kg-kg fish. By now, they may be long gone and hopefully their larger cousins have travelled down.
As for smaller pelagics, we’ve had reasonable runs of striped and mack tuna in the past two seasons, so they may well show up again.
While both aren’t exactly prized species, they do go hard on light tackle and make a nice change for local rockhoppers who spin for bonito and kings.
Throw a few tailor, salmon and frigate mackerel into the mix and you could be in for some fun times on the rocks this month.
Some may prefer to bring out the big gear and send out a live bait in the hope of a bigger kingfish. Plenty of good kings are caught on live yakkas and even live fish like sweep or mados.
Some days a few big kings cruising a rock ledge just aren’t interested in these baits. What can really bring them undone, though, are irresistible offerings like live garfish or live calamari squid.
Very close behind these baits are whole salted garfish pinned to a set of heavy-duty ganged hooks. The only problem then is landing the kingfish!
The usual hot spots like South Avoca, Terrigal and Wybung Head certainly offer good fishing but consider other rock ledges that may require a slightly longer walk in if you want to get a nice chunk of rock to yourself.
I reckon Catherine Hill Bay is a good area that has a number of different rock ledges, but regardless of where you fish, always play it safe on our rocks and never try to fish if the seas are big.
Beach fishing should be first-class this month and February is definitely the best month for beach whiting.
Pretty much every single beach along the Central Coast will yield whiting, but as usual, I would nominate the big two, North Entrance and Budgewoi.
The biggest whiting I’ve ever seen was caught on bloodworms on Budgy, down towards the Lakes Beach clubhouse. Unfortunately, the bloke who caught it had already gutted it, ready for his frypan, so I never bothered taking a photo of it, but that was around this time of year back in 2008.
Some quite decent jewies have been caught from our beaches over the past few months. They should still be on the cards this month but sometimes I’ve noticed they become a bit more elusive if the ocean temperature goes above 24°.
So if you’re not having any luck and notice the water feels quite warm then it may be an idea to fish for something else and wait until March or April, which are often a bit better for jewfish.
Of course, there should also be a few bream, flathead and tailor along the beaches.
If you haven’t yet tried it, consider casting soft plastics around at low tide for flathead. You can do it around high tide as well, but low tide normally means flathead will be more concentrated in the gutters close to shore.
The only real difference between casting softies for beach flathead and estuary flathead is that heavier jig heads and a slightly longer rod can be advantageous.
As for estuary fishing, bream, whiting and flathead are all going strong and providing we don’t cop a flood, they’ll get even better this month.
Jewfish should also be active in Brisbane Water and even a few up to 11kg have been caught in Tuggerah Lakes recently. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using live bait or big soft plastics around the bridges at The Entrance or Toukley at night.Reads: 1422