December is the best time to enjoy the waterways on the Central Coast. The downside is that you also have to battle the crowds.
This is the main reason I don’t like December. Despite the first-rate fishing, I really don’t like crowds, water skiers, and excessive heat! Nevertheless, these issues are certainly not enough to keep me off the water.
The best thing that anglers can do during the next few month is to really be selective with when they are on the water; this will be a big advantage to getting into some great fish. Trying to work the right tides early in the mornings or later in the afternoons. They’ll be fewer crowds and the fish are less shy and more likely to pounce on your offerings, whether it is bait or lure.
The lake has plenty of great fish on offer at the moment. There have been some solid kingfish already encountered around the drop over markers and around the Swansea Bridge areas. Down rigging live squid is your best chance to tangle with these tough fish and for lure anglers try flicking lightly weighted 5-7” flick bait style plastics.
The bream have really started to turn it on for those fishing the shallows. Shallow running hardbody lures have been pulling some great bags. The sand flats are the obvious place to start out and some good whiting are also in the mix. Bait fishers have also had success and many have been anchoring just in the deeper water out from the shallows. A good berley trail will have the bream on the chew in no time. Other spots that have been producing include Salts Bay and Belmont Bay. The lakes edges are a good place to start as well.
Flathead numbers generally increase over these warmer months. The numbers of large flathead are certainly less than the cooler months but we are still finding a few solid girls well into the 80cm range, just not as many.
The majority of deep-water areas that fire in winter are pretty well shut down now as the fish move into the shallower waters. Areas in the 1-4m mark are good places to try; Belmont Bay is fishing well and so is Bonnels Bay, you just need to be in and out before the skiers arrive. We have found that soft plastics in the 3-5” range are working well and trolled deep diving hardbody lures are also producing some great fish.
Offshore fishing has picked up nicely. Those after a feed of fish are doing well hitting the offshore reefs. Some good leatherjackets are around and although they can be a pest they are a great fish for the table. Along with the leatherjackets are some nice reds, nannygai and flathead.
The waters are now warming and the bait schools are building. This should see marlin on the chew and species like mahi mahi not far away.
Shark fishos have managed some very good catches with a few tigers to 350kg being caught.
Kingfish are also in good numbers and although there are loads of rats around there are plenty of good fish in the mix with some going to 10kg. Live yakkas fished down deep have been producing good results and those hardcore jig anglers are certainly going well with many good bags of 4-8kg fish coming home for the table.
It’s great to hear that so many anglers these days are catching a few for the table then putting the rest back for another day. It really is a positive sign to see this happening more and more.
Rock and beach fishing are also going well with some great catches of bream coming from the washes along the rocks. There have been loads of rat kings caught by a few of the anglers working off the rocks and there is every chance of getting into a few solid fish as things warm up. It really is a matter of persistence pays and picking through the rats will see you hit the bigger fish sooner or later.
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