It’s rags or riches
  |  First Published: June 2014

Once again the last month has seen sporadic fishing. There doesn’t seem to have been any pattern to the fishing. One day the kingfish were biting their heads off along Pittwater and the next day the place was like a desert. With this in mind when fishing Pittwater and Broken Bay, you should have three or four plans and roll with whatever is biting.

Those mornings when there is surface activity there are kingfish, frigates and tailor to be caught. If the school is approached quietly a few can normally be enticed to chase or hit 6” white Slug-Gos or small poppers. The schools aren’t on the surface for very long so have a rod prepared so you can cast straight to the bust-ups on arrival without losing any time.

Most of the decent kingfish that have been captured recently have been towards the mouth of the river. The fish seem to be moving along the river with the run-out tide and areas such as The Motor, Mackerel Beach, Soldiers Point and West Head are all worth trying on the last of the run-out tide. If you find some of these frustrating large kings and they don’t want to eat live squid, slimy mackerel, yellowtail, soft plastics or lures, try sending down a handful of pillie cubes or prawns. It doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try if all else fails.

The Supermarket area has small kingfish about and squid strips are working well for those wanting to drift or downrig the area. There are big kingfish in this area and they are often seen but with the area being hit morning, noon and afternoon they have wised up to those who anchor and berley. For your best chance at a big king from this area, downrig live squid and don’t be scared to use a big one.

Squid have been spread out along Pittwater with no real best area. The usual areas of Palm Beach weed beds, The Basin, Mackerel Beach, Careel Bay and West Head are all seeing squid being caught. There are a few thumpers amongst them with most of the larger ones coming from just inside Barrenjoey Headland.

The best colours have been orange or on the hardbodied jigs the flashy pilchard colour is working a treat. The better size has been 2.5g but have a small 2.0g one handy in case you find them in the shallows.

As mentioned earlier you should spread your efforts and try to catch a few different species to see what’s biting. Drifting Pittwater’s steep sandy or muddy drop-offs will put you in with a chance at a flathead or two. They are still about but not in great numbers. Use soft plastics around the weed fringes to yield a few fish but be prepared to lose some tails to leatherjackets and pike. The rewards always outweigh the loss of tails though.

Another area to try is Broken Bay reefs. Reefs such as Flint and Steel, Lion Island and Juno Point are just a few areas that will see you in with a chance to catch a mulloway, trevally, bream or tailor. Choose the period two hours before the change of the tide right through until two hours after the change. This period sees the tide slow and this seems to be when most bottom dwellers become active. Remember if you are going to berley make sure you are berleying back towards structure and your bigger set lines are amongst the offerings. If you are going to try for a few bread and butter species, only use enough weight to get it to the bottom and change the sinkers as the tides back off.


The offshore fishing for pelagic species has still been the easiest way to get amongst some fish. The FADs at Broken Bay and Terrigal have quite a few mahi mahi (dolphinfish) around them but most are still small. There are some 85cm models being caught but with aggressive starving mutton birds around the FADs it’s been better to use diving hardbodied lures rather than live yellowtail or mackerel.

If you are after bigger dollies the wider grounds near the shelf are seeing prominent current lines and temperature breaks. Troll along these breaks and the dollies are being found often.

The other species to look out for has been striped tuna schools as there have been yellowfin to 15kg being caught amongst them. Standard Christmas tree lures are working, and pink or lumo green seem to be their favourites.

Closer to shore the reefs off Broken Bay seem to be pretty quiet. If you travel down to the Narrabeen area and hit the broken grounds in 60m to 80m of water there are small snapper, morwong, trevally and the odd flathead being caught. There still seems to be the odd patch of leatherjackets about and these appear on the sounder like a fine dust along the bottom. For this reason it is better to sound out some baitfish that are balled up near the bottom before starting a drift.

I hope this report sees you out on the water wherever possible to enjoy our wonderful part of the coast.

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