I love fishing at this time of the year. We are starting to get to the changeover period when the summer species seem to fade off into a distant memory and the winter species start to show up.
At this very moment we are still seeing warm water along Pittwater but with cooler water along the coast it won’t take too long before things start to change – so get out there and start fishing if you haven’t ticked off all the fish on your summer species list.
The kingfish are still active along Pittwater but the bite isn’t lasting that long. The better bite has been on the outgoing tide and the kingfish have been working with that tide towards the mouth of the river. There are some big kingfish starting show up along Broken Bay so it won’t be long before they attack Pittwater for a few weeks. The bigger kingfish are blowing away the odd angler near Barrenjoey Head and the common theme has been live squid. The ocean side of the headland is a great area to catch squid and the bigger kingfish are willing to eat one that is pinned down about 5m off the bottom.
For those with smaller boats, don’t worry as there are some big kingfish in Pittwater as well. The Sand Point area is seeing the traveling school cruising through, and Soldiers Point is also seeing a few being tangled with. Other areas to try are at West Head, The Kingfish Highway, The Motor and The Super Market. All of these areas are best fished with a downrigger but if you don’t own one use a “poor man’s” downrigger. It is as simple as attaching a heavy snapper sinker to your swivel by a rubber band or clip and troll slowly. This method will get your bait down but you won’t know what depth you are fishing.
The other method to use in these areas is to simply drift over the structure or drop-offs, lowering or raising your baits with the help of your trusted sounder. Kingfish prefer moving baits or, better still, a panicking moving bait.
There are flathead along the usual haunts along Pittwater and Broken Bay. The Hill, the Palm Beach drop-off and Mackerel Beach are great places to try. The points such as Rocky Point, Longnose Point and Sand Point are other places worth trying. These areas are better fished on the run-out tide, and you should fish not only the slack water behind the current but along the weed fringes. These weed areas are better fished using soft plastics due to the small pickers that will strip your bait pretty quickly.
Squid, as mentioned, are easy to catch along Barrenjoey Headland. If you are fishing the deeper water and finding it difficult to catch any, try looking for bait schools on your sounder first. I have also found that sometimes the squid will avoid the jigs on a paternoster rig and prefer a big jig sent down on its own weight. The best jigs for this are the bigger sizes of 3.0-3.5 sizes, and if you can go for the natural colours.
Along Pittwater squid can be found at The Basin, Palm Beach, Portuguese Beach and Towlers Bay just to name a few. The best colour at the moment is still anything that has orange on it or a natural colour.
For those wanting to head along the coast there are some problems with leatherjackets again, but the good news is that at the moment there are a few reefs still free of them. The Mona Vale area is one area that is still free of them but the snapper aren’t there either. The water depth that we have been fishing in this area is the 30-50m and there are morwong, teraglin, nannygai and some flathead. You do have to work for these fish on most days as well. Off Long Reef at 60m of water along the gravel beds is seeing flathead and the odd school of plate-sized reds.
The 70m mark has some flathead to be caught but unfortunately there are a few smaller fish to wade through before some decent ones are found. For those willing to travel out further, the deeper water of 80-100m is seeing the odd decent snapper being landed. However, the distance that needs to be travelled only to find that the currents are too strong, sea too rough or leatherjackets stripping lines can be a gamble.
I hope this report sees you out fishing soon to take advantage of our wonderful coast and Pittwater. To keep up to date with reports and our activities you can find us on Facebook.