If it were possible to select just one month and stack 12 of those in a row to make up the year, April would definitely be my pick of the bunch.
I mentioned in the previous issue that we’re coming into good times and if the weather behaves itself, this could well be the best few weeks of the year.
Possibly my favourite places to fish each April are our local rocks. Those small pelagics like bonito, mack tuna and frigate mackerel should still be zooming around and willing to hit small metal lures.
That’s great, but what makes it even better are the increasing numbers of tailor and salmon that get in on the act. Add the occasional kingfish, silver trevally and the possibility of striped or longtail tuna, and pelting lures from the rocks can be a very exciting way to fish.
Go to the extra effort of catching some live yakkas, garfish or squid and a decent kingfish, jewie or even a cobia could be the reward.
Of course, the best ledges to try that sort of thing are around Cape Three Points, Avoca, Wybong, Snapper and the southern or northern side of Catherine Hill Bay.
If simply catching a feed of fresh fish is the main aim, bream should be abundant around most headlands and rocky outcrops.
Trevally, blackfish and drummer will complete catches from the rocks this month.
Thankfully, we have so many great rock spots along the Central Coast to chase these fish from, so long walks or rock climbing aren’t at all necessary.
Beach fishing is normally fantastic in April. In fact, it’s the peak month for jewfish. Quite a few jewies have been hooked along many of our beaches over the past few months so I strongly advise spending some time catching bait and driving around checking out the gutters. By putting in that extra effort, you’ll double your chances when it comes time to cast a bait out.
Tailor, bream and salmon will all be cruising the gutters this month. A few whiting, dart and flathead will make up the rest of the catch.
So, like the rocks, beach fishing should be a great way of securing a feed of fresh fish and they don’t come any sweeter than fish caught from the surf.
Offshore prospects are also looking good this month.
I often emphasise fishing much closer to shore than most locals do around here. If ever there was a time to try in close, it’s right now.
Head out 5km-6km and you may end up with some good snapper, flathead and kingfish for the dinner table. Stay closer to the inshore reefs, bommies and headlands, though, and there’s a fair chance that you’ll double your catch and use half the fuel!
The main fish on offer within a kilometre from shore this month will be kingfish, jewfish, snapper, bream, tailor, salmon, bonito and trevally.
But rather than drop baits down on heavy rigs, go lighter or even fish unweighted baits and use some berley.
Casting or trolling small lures is another way of rounding up a good feed.
Be prepared, though, because not all fish caught in the shallows are small. Some of the biggest kings and jewies will be lurking in close this month because the mullet are starting to run.
Back inside our estuaries, the action should be equally impressive.
Bream are definitely the most active local fish at this time of year. Plenty of them will be heading out to sea but they’ll also be quite widespread around the lakes and Brisbane Water.
First-class baits like live or fresh prawns, pink nippers, mullet, tailor or white bread will score plenty of bream, as will a variety of lures.
If you’re a surface lure addict, make the most of things this month because they’ll begin to slow down as we move into May. For now, though, surface lures should do quite well.
Plenty of flathead are around and although whiting may start to slow down, they’ll still be worth chasing at places like The Entrance and the lower end of Brisbane Water.
Blackfish numbers start to increase from now on.
April is also a top month to chase jewfish in Brisbane Water.
As I’ve often mentioned, if you really want to catch Brisbane Water jewies, use live bait. Mullet, tailor, pike or herring all get smashed if you put them in the right places at the right times.
In general, that means close to structure, not too far from deeper water, at night, around the tide changes.Reads: 810