March is one of my favourite months to get out on the water, regardless of what type of fishing I’m doing. The results are normally pretty good and the weather is easier to deal with than midsummer or midwinter. It’s simply a great time of year.
Throwing around topwater lures for bream and whiting should be high on your list of things to do this month. Many of my biggest bream and whiting were caught in the earlier stages of autumn. The air may be starting to cool off but the water is still nice and warm, and the fish are enjoying it while it lasts.
Surface lures of all shapes and sizes will interest bream and whiting, but I have had some truly memorable sessions when casting oversized lures around 100-120mm. Yes this is big, but even average size fish will have a go and some real beasts will crunch it as well. Some of them come up and belt it so hard you would think a kingfish was having a go rather than a bream. These bigger lures work best when the wind puts some decent chop on the water.
A number of mulloway were caught in Brisbane Waters, Broken Bay and Lake Macquarie over the summer months. The good news is that autumn is just as good if not better for these prized fish. Some people just get lucky and catch a few jewfish while chasing bream or flathead, but most anglers will have to put in the hours with quality baits or suitable lures at the prime times. Most of the time that means right on the tide changes early in the morning or at night.
Also in our estuaries this month will be the usual flathead, blackfish and so on. Some prawns and blue swimmer crabs should be there for a while yet, too.
Of course the big talk at this time of year is marlin and other smaller pelagic fish that come with the warm currents. Marlin were caught on the wider grounds last month, mainly small blacks and stripes, and they will still be out there this month. The occasional small black has also turned up much closer to shore, mainly off Terrigal and Avoca, but most anglers only just see them near the boat or get busted off on their snapper gear. Hopefully a few close encounters will happen this month and you’ll be prepared!
The keen central coast rock anglers are out and about with their spinning tackle right now, as this is one of the better months for bonito and frigate mackerel. Live baiting with a yakkas, garfish or squid off the rocks will hopefully result in kingfish now as well. Most of our deeper rock spots are worth live baiting, but South Avoca, Wybung Head and Frazer Park are amongst the better ones for kings.
Other fish like bream and tailor are well worth chasing from the rocks if you prefer a more laidback approach. Blackfish are also available year round so if you can’t catch much else, try for them on the weedy ledges.
Beach fishing should remain very much the same as last month. We did have endless days of strong northeasterlies that made it difficult to fish the afternoons and evenings, but these onshore winds normally ease off in March. It should now be easier to target mulloway, tailor or salmon from the beaches.
During the day the calmer conditions will also make it easier to cast light baits into the gutters closer to shore for whiting or dart. While most dart that show up on the central coast are only bait-stealing pests, a few of them are big enough to enjoy catching, and the whiting can be a very good class of fish.
You really shouldn’t have much trouble catching whichever species you chase this month. And even if they aren’t biting, it’s still great to be out there and enjoying some nice autumn weather.Reads: 1056