It’s been a long time coming but the warm water has finally arrived and is crashing into the rivers and coastline. With the warmer water the pelagic species are firing up and there is some great fishing to be had by those willing to start early and get off the water before the northeast sea breeze kicks in around lunchtime.
Our charters have started as usual, gathering live baits so we can travel along the coast targeting kingfish. There are also other species to catch and there are a few odd ball species starting to show up already.
Bonito are still hanging around but for those of you that love to hear a screaming reel, mac tuna and striped tuna are also taking cast or trolled Waxwing and bibbed hardbody lures.
The areas along the coast to try for pelagic species are dictated by the schools of baitfish. Not every headland has baitfish so it may take a bit of searching before a school of panicking slimy mackerel or yellowtail is found, but once found, the bigger boys aren’t that far away.
The areas that have been most successful for us over the last couple of weeks are Long Reef through to Newport Reef. Whale Headland has been a bit of a hit or miss affair this last month but when the fish have shown up there have been quite a few bigger fish lurking beneath the schools of baitfish. The best method to target some of the bigger fish is to grab a small slimy mackerel and down rig it underneath the school of baitfish.
The predators haven’t been driving the baitfish to the surface but have been feeding on them down deep in the cooler water. Try Glow-Bait on your live bait to make it a standout target.
Wider offshore there is quite a bit of activity for those fishing the bottom. For the snapper fisher, if you start early, anchor and float down baits there are some fish to 5kg to be caught. The areas that we have tried have varied from charter to charter but a great depth to start is 40m and if the action is slow we have been moving out to the deeper depth of 60-80m and starting again.
There is a lot of current out wider and sometimes the strong current has meant that we have to fish the shallower water depths as it’s no fun to fish with sinkers heavier than 12oz. For those that do persist there are snapper, flathead and nannygai but feeling a bite with such heavy weight dictates that you must use braid if you want to feel the bite.
Pittwater is also firing up. The commercial fishers are still making it difficult for fish to move into Pittwater as they still are raping the river of baitfish, squid and your bread and butter species.
In short, if you want to fish along Pittwater, be prepared to travel to find baitfish. If the levels of food for the predators aren’t that great the predators will move on and find better grounds and so should you.
For those that are chasing kingfish along Pittwater the better areas to try are along the Kingfish Highway, The Supermarket and The Motor at Palm Beach. There are fish to play with as the sunrises at Barrenjoey Headland and these smaller kingfish want to play with yellowtail or squid strips. These fish are normally making an appearance on the surface every 20 minutes or so and can also be targeted with soft plastics or my favourite, Shimano Waxwings in the silver pattern.
Flathead are being caught on the run-out tide at the drop-off at Palm Beach. Drifting up the drop-off using soft plastics has been very productive. When we have used baits, such as pilchards or prawns, there are way too many smaller pickers about and are stripping the baits before a flathead has been found.
Other areas to try for a flathead are Towlers Bay, The Hill and the drift in front of Portuguese Beach.
Broken Bay is starting to fire up as well. The better areas to fish have been Flint & Steel, Middle Grounds, Juno Point, Gunya Point and Walkers Point. All of these areas have fish to be caught ranging from flathead and mulloway through to bream and flathead.
To target mulloway use fresh squid heads or butterflied slimy or yellowtail and pick the change of the tide for your best chance. If you are going to fish for a mulloway or two remember to scout around an area first to find structure or a drop-off. Make sure that you anchor accurately and if that means re-setting the anchor a few times, so be it. Accurate anchoring will provide you with the chance to catch mulloway at other times of the tide instead of just on the change of the tide.
I hope this article sees you wanting to hit the coast and our wonderful waterways. If you are after some of the above mentioned species, give us a call and let us show you a great day on the water with friends and family.Reads: 751