Find the warm water . . . find the fish
  |  First Published: August 2013

Towards the tail end of winter we will have some slightly warmer days, so it would be easy to think that fishing is starting to get better. Temperatures may start to increase on the land, but down in the water it will still be freezing cold for sometime yet.

I wouldn’t get too excited about this month. It can be very tough with few rewards. But for those who are keen to put in sometime on the water, there are some fish around but they may take some coaxing to bite.

Bream and flathead can still be caught in our estuaries, just not in the same number as during the warmer months. Some bigger fish though are possible in late winter.

Good bait is probably a better thing to cast out if you really just want to catch a few fish. Peeled prawns, small crabs, fresh mullet or something similar has a better chance of being picked up by a bream than a lure.

Flathead are not as fussy as bream but baits will still do better on them as well when the water is freezing cold. Anyone like me who prefers to throw lures, even when we know natural bait can work better, will have to work a lure very slowly and close to the bottom. Try applying a scent to any vibes or hardbodied lures and if using a plastic then probably a Gulp with its own flavour is a better idea.

Finding fish can also be hard, but try to seek out any warmer spots. Shallow rocks, especially the darker coloured rocks, can attract some warmth from the sun. If a warm wind is blowing, then fish a bank the wind is blowing onto rather than away from. This can push some warmer water in and attract a few bream or flathead. A rising tide coming in from the ocean can also bring slightly warmer water inside the estuary. On the Central Coast that means areas like Swansea Channel, The Entrance and Half Tide Rocks up into the lower parts of Brisbane Waters.

Some fish, like salmon and tailor, don’t mind the cold too much, so they can be worth looking for in our estuaries if you are not finding many bream or flathead. At least you will be catching something and enjoying yourself if you find them.

The other coldwater fish is the luderick. Green weed has been growing right around the lakes so it shouldn’t be hard to find some good quality luderick bait. As the weather starts to warm though this weed may become harder to find.

Fishing from the rocks and beaches is also hard going in August. The seas have been often very big recently so it’s not safe at all to be rock fishing. Then other days when the ocean is flat it has been very windy. These are difficult times, but on the days where you can fish the rocks safely, there are mainly salmon, some drummer and blackfish on offer.

You would be mad to try beach fishing without a warm pair of waders at this time of year. There should mainly be some salmon about if the beach isn’t too rough or too calm. Outside fishing is not much easier than the rocks or beaches right now. They tell me some good kingfish have been caught jigging on the wide marks, but the leatherjacket are very bad some days, biting lines and expensive jigs off.

Closer in, some snapper, trevally, morwong and leatherjacket have been caught. Again, the weather has made it hard for the offshore angler with big seas and strong winds. Hopefully I will have better news next month.

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