Surface shines for summer
  |  First Published: December 2013

What a contrast these past few months have been compared to the same period over the previous few years. Rather than too much rain we have now been in the grip of an extended dry spell that has caused terrible bush fires, but also makes our lakes and rivers so clear that fishing becomes much harder than it normal.

In the lakes bream fishing has remained pretty good despite the clear water, although I am sure it would be better with some more rains. With summer now underway and the past few months being so warm, water temps are also up. This means bream will be keenly chasing down surface lures around the edges of rocky points, weeds and sandy bays. Work the tides in Brisbane Waters so that you can be fishing over the flats just as the water is rising. Try the lakes early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Whiting have been smashing lures briskly worked along the surface. Some real thumpers are about at the bottom of Lake Macquarie but you can find big whiting in Tuggerah Lakes, especially around The Entrance and also over the flats in Brisbane Waters.

Don’t be afraid to use large lures for whiting as this can attract a better class of fish. A 65 Sammy could be a starting point and others like a Bassday Sugapen or even an 85 Sammy could be worth casting around.

Flathead can really explode if a surface lure passes their nose in the shallows. They can wake you right up and a big flatty will put on quite a fight in super shallow water. Although they often come when you least expect them, they are not as common on surface lures as some people make out. It’s soft plastics or baits that will be better if you would like to score a few flathead to take home for the table or target larger flathead and release them after a photo.

Flathead can be caught throughout our waters at this time of year. Even at the height of the holiday period, at places like Woy Woy or The Entrance, flathead can still be caught regularly despite all the added fishing pressure and boat traffic. However, it’s probably better to target them earlier in the morning before too many people get on the water.

This month some other estuary species worth considering are mulloway in Brisbane Waters, flounder, garfish and of course prawns during the dark moon phase. A few blue swimmer and mud crabs should also be active.

On to the beach fishing, the mulloway should now be showing up a bit more, mainly along the bigger open beaches after sunset. Salmon may still be around but as the water gets warmer nearly all of them will head back down south and tailor will become much more common.

For a more relaxing style of beach fishing, take the lighter gear along and try a rising tide through the day for whiting. Beach worms, blood worms or peeled prawns will all work well on whiting at the beach, but you may also find some pipis under your feet while you’re fishing. They are another top bait and even better because they don’t cost a cent and aren’t hard to find or catch.

Those who like to fish from the rocks may still find the occasional salmon, as well as tailor if using whole pilchards on ganged hooks.

At any time from now though, harder fighting species like kingfish and bonito could show up and they certainly don’t mind a pilchard bait. But if these fish do show up then most keen anglers will be casting chrome metals at them in the 30-45g range.

Out to sea the water temperatures have been getting better by the week, however, it can be a bit cold at times so results may not always be consistent.

Inshore there should be tailor, bonito and smaller kings, while out wider around the ships or any floating buoys or objects some mahi mahi may be present. Marlin too will be starting to move down the coast.

The fishing is looking good along the Central Coast. Let’s hope some decent rains fall that will improve estuary fishing. Have a great Christmas.

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