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The pinnacle of good times
  |  First Published: March 2013



Now we’re really starting to hit the very pinnacle of good times here on the Central Coast.

With cooler nights making it easy to sleep and the sun rising a bit later, there’s no excuse not to set the alarm and get out there on the water nice and early.

There’s really not much that you won’t be able to catch this month, so it’s more a case of choosing your species or location and then just getting a line in the water.

Yes, it’s possible we could see a late-season cyclone move down, turning into an east coast low. That does occasionally occur in March but if that doesn’t happen, we should be in for some quite stable weather.

Bream should be seriously firing over coming weeks and they’ll be easy enough to find right through Brisbane Water, Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Macquarie. Anywhere from the mouth, around shallow weed beds, points or up the creeks would be worth fishing and they’ll be hitting surface lures as well as any other bait or lure you want to throw at them.

March is normally an excellent month for flathead. Over the years, I’ve noticed our local flathead are more active and easier to find right now than through the Summer months.

Like the bream, flatties will be widespread throughout our estuaries but, as is often the case, the better flathead fishing will probably be in the lower reaches. That means at The Entrance, Hardys Bay, Ettalong and so on.

For those who fish Lake Macquarie, Swansea should produce a reasonable run of fish but a lot of good flathead are also caught around some of the major points further back in the lake at this time of year.

Whiting also will be very active, particularly over shallow, sandy spots.

I’ve recently come across a few new spots in Tuggerah Lake where stacks of whiting have been smashing my lures. While the majority of these fish have been small, I don’t care because they’re still fun little fish to catch.

Normally, though, the bigger models are more likely at The Entrance.

BEACHES

Beach fishing has been reasonably productive. It’s good to see tailor showing up in numbers again, which was also the case last year.

While they’re not in those big hunting packs that we used to see along the coast 15 or 20 years ago, they are much more abundant than they were through the 2000s. So if that trend continues, we’re in for some very good tailor fishing in the near future.

Most of the tailor I’ve seen or caught have been average fish of around 500g but in years gone by, March and April is when fish up to 5kg or 6kg turn up at certain spots. North Entrance Beach and Pelican Point are two such places but it’s also well worth exploring some of the lesser-known rocky outcrops in our area.

Large poppers and whole garfish are pretty reliable offerings for big tailor.

Jewies have also been going well along the beaches. Although they have been a bit hit-and-miss (as is often the case with mulloway), as we move into Autumn the chances of running into them increase.

Bream, whiting, flathead, dart and tarwhine are other species that will be possible at the beach this month.

I would be chasing the whiting; it really is the peak time for them. While fishing for whiting, though, you’ll end up with those other fish as well.

When fishing for any of these smaller species at the beach, always bear in mind that you generally don’t have to cast very far for them. They all like to swim just behind the shore dump because this is where they’ll find food like worms, crabs or pipis and, hopefully, your bait.

ROCKS, OFFSHORE

Rock fishing can be great in March. I’ve always looked forward to spinning for my old favourites, bonito, towards the end of summer and into early Autumn, when they tend to be closest to the rocks.

So far this season I’ve encountered more tailor than usual but I’m not complaining; it’s great to see them showing up in better numbers lately.

Offshore anglers will be glad to see the end of those persistent north-easterlies we’ve had to put up with right through Summer. They’ll be able to get out a bit more often and not be forced back home too early.

Again, pretty much everything is on offer this month. Pelagics from bonito to marlin are what the majority of boats will be out there for and results should be quite OK as long as the currents remain favourable.

That run of small black marlin in January and February is largely over now but that certainly doesn’t mean there won’t be a few stragglers. Of course, out wider the stripes and blues are also a very good chance.

Whichever type of fishing you prefer, be sure to get stuck into it as much as possible this month because the good times won’t last.

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