The arrival of some cold water has unfortunately bought with it the dreaded Aussie piranha – leatherjackets.
Luckily, there aren’t too many at the moment and there are reefs that are devoid of them.
Spots that have been worth heading to have included Newport Reef, Mona Vale Reef and Long Reef. All these areas have been producing morwong, smaller snapper, tailor, trevally, nannygai and the odd lost flathead.
We have found the most productive depths are 50m-80m. Pilchards seem to be the better bait for most fish but the snapper and decent mowies are chewing on squid or prawns.
There are patches of reef in shallower water that are holding fish but an early start may be required to get the most out of the bite.
In Pittwater the water is still hovering around 18°-20° so there are still active fish to be caught.
Kingfish are lurking in the usual areas but their bite pattern, as for most of the past season, has been sporadic. One thing is certain, though: if you catch small cuttlefish and tow it on a downrigger around the various structure and wrecks along Pittwater, something decent will eat it.
This month we will also start to see the bigger kingfish make themselves known along Pittwater.
These bigger bruisers seem to prefer those small live cuttlefish but to cover your bases, also gather a few yakkas. Some days they just prefer fish to squid but they rarely leave a cuttlefish alone at this time of year.
In Pittwater try at West and Barrenjoey Headland, Soldiers Point, Longnose Point and around the bays on the western side. These areas still have baitfish in the shallows and the bigger kingfish are often lurking close by.
Squid have been easy at the time but that will change any day now. Most of the squid have been quite large and although it’s hard to put what could be your next meal on a hook, give it a go.
When big squid are in Pittwater to breed and spawn, the bigger kings are here to eat them.
We have been catching squid around Towlers Bay, The Basin, Careel Bay and West Head. The better jig colours have been blue, green and my favourite at the moment, purple and black. Size 2.5 has been best for the bigger squid and for the few smaller ones, size 2 is dynamite.
The other fish to target in Pittwater and Broken Bay has been bonito.
There have been a lot about this year and there are some big fish among them.
Trolled bibbed lures of around 10cm have been working well, as have trolled surface lures.
When the bonnies have been schooling in Broken Bay they also have been eating cast 20g metal lures.
It has been amazing to see other species come out from below the surface bonito. There have been trevally and flathead on the bottom and a mix of tailor, small kingfish and salmon at mid-water.
If it’s a calm day and the water is flat, a trip out to Broken Bay may be worth your while.
For those wanting to soak bait on a reef on flat-water areas such as Flint and Steel, Middle Ground and Juno Point, there have been some rewards.
The smarter fishos have been using berley to attract the fish and target bream, trevally and jewfish on the change of high tide.
Fish for as long as you can because in the colder water fish eat less often and you may have to spend longer on the water to find the short, but hot, bite.
The other thing that is a must is fresh bait. Fresh Hawkesbury River prawns, mullet and fresh bonito strips up will tempt any hungry fish.
The next run of fish to wait for is hairtail. Over the past few years we have seen great seasons and everyone is hoping this will another bountiful year. Start getting your gear ready.
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