Pelagics on the prowl
  |  First Published: March 2013

Another great season on the pelagics looks like continuing this month.

The warm currents have brought a whole host of species including some decent mackerel tuna, which have been harassing bait schools around Broken Bay. Casting small metal slugs on light spin tackle has never been so much fun, but remember to approach the schools from upwind so you don’t spook them.

There have been other species like small chopper tailor, cowanyoung and slimy mackerel mixed in with some of the schools so it’s a real lucky dip as to which species will come to the net next.

These all make exceptional live bait for anyone heading offshore looking for marlin or mahi mahi. A bait jig cast into the schools will quickly determine if the bait is in attendance.

Kingfish won’t be too far from the action and there have been good fish caught off the headlands and into Pittwater.

Live yellowtail have been the standout bait on recent charters. Live squid were going untouched for multiple passes, then we made the switch to yakkas and hey presto!

Another charter produced just about one of every species, including a snapper on the downrigger and a small samson fish, which ate a live yakka next to a hooked kingfish.

Other species included decent tailor, sergeant baker, bonito, salmon and kingfish. There are plenty of fish along our coast so pick some good weather and get into the action.


In the main river flathead are keeping most anglers happy.

After spending the morning live-baiting for jewfish, I took father-and-son clients into the oyster leases to berley up some bream. The bream didn’t show but the flathead action was awesome, young Nick scoring his PB of 57cm on a pumpkinseed grub.

Bream and flathead have been caught around Windsor and Pitt Town on fresh Hawkesbury prawns and live worms. Fish light and berley a little to get them in the mood.

The shark reports started in late January and are still flowing in. With such a dry year, small bronze whalers are pushing right upstream and it’s common to see carp carcasses in the tidal water with several bites taken out of them.

If you get snipped, it’s a fair bet the sharks have moved in. You have two choices: move to another location or rig up with wire and have some fun.

Bass fishing will be great this month, especially of we get some much-needed rain. The creeks have produced some great sessions but the number of fish seems to be down a little on previous years. I suspect this is due to the lack of rain restricting their ability to migrate to the upper reaches.

The tidal water from Windsor to Wisemans Ferry should fish well for the next couple of months with bass, EPs, bream, flathead and jewies feeding up for the leaner times ahead.

I really look forward to Autumn, with the temperate weather and cooling estuaries turning on some memorable fishing.

Soft plastics are by far the best lures approach for fishing these reaches. They allow you to probe the rock walls, drop-offs and weed beds with the same lure by simply altering the weight of the jig head. I don’t know how we fished for so long without them!

Jewfish have moved back into the river and are taking station on the reefs and drop-offs.

Live bait will be quite effective but I generally switch over to lures this month. They allow me to search out multiple spots on one tide change, increasing the likelihood of encountering fish.

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