I just love April. We get the Easter break and another day off for Anzac Day – more time to fish!
I try to head down to the South Coast this time of year because I know I can tangle with some big snapper. There will be the regular reds around the home patch but to see the regular 5kg-plus models, I have to head south.
I am very keen to try my hand at catching snapper on soft plastics. Although I’ll still float bait down a berley trail, I’ll have a 3” minnow wafting out the back to try to tempt the little darlings on artificials.
The kingfish are still in Pittwater and Broken Bay but it hasn’t been as good as last year. I put this down to that splurge of cold water we had in late January and it took a bit of time for things to warm up again. Fish were harder to find and they were fussy about what they ate, more due to the lack of competition for the food offered.
Some big bream are still domiciled around the now vacant oyster racks in the Hawkesbury. That horrible QX virus might have decimated the oysters but the bream are still happy to call the structure home.
The chilly water over January-February means the salmon have hung around a lot longer than normal and there have been plenty of reports of fish still being taken. The cold snap put beach jew on hold with many an outing not even turning a reel. Usually I am plagued by sharks but even the toothy brigade spurned my fresh mullet and squid.
Great to see some recent rain we but it wasn’t nearly enough. I know it will be a pain in the rear when it happens but we need a whole week of it, 24 hours a day.
With recent rain, snapper should be a lot more receptive. I feel outgoing tides work well after a fresh and I keep close to shore for reds as they tend to come in after inclement weather.
Out wide, black and striped marlin are still here in numbers. There’s plenty of action just short of the continental shelf and a decent spread of plastics will attract attention from these hungry billfish.
Fishing off South Head, Steve Bowler and Dave Penman picked up a 4.6kg snapper as well as a kilo bream. Steve reports plenty of pickers but there were long waits between decent hits.
Only a couple of hundred metres off Newport Reef, keeper kingfish have been going bananas. They are taking big jigs ripped vertically through the water column – tiring, I know, but a very productive way of catching fish.
Using live slimy mackerel found off Quarantine, a couple of anglers tussled with some very big kings which they couldn’t control. The mark was off Bluefish Point and there’s been many a story of anglers trying to subdue these Mack trucks on gear that’s way too light.
In come the bream, flatties and whiting off the beaches at long last. Bloodworms have been taking heaps more fish than pipis and beachworms. Berley is important if you are after quantity because the schools are travelling after the influx of food washed in after the rain.
Regulars who work weed off Flat Rock at Curl Curl have been rewarded with plump blackfish. There’s plenty of cabbage on the rocks for the bait bucket and chucking a handful in now and then gets and keeps fish in the zone.
I haven’t heard of any reports yet but this occasional flush of fresh water should spark up the jewies in the Hawkesbury. Get yourself some fresh squid from the markets (unfortunately local squid go quiet after rain) and park near a drop-off or deep hole, let go the bait til it’s around a metre off the bottom and wait for the action.
Deep squid baits came up trumps for Steve Metz, who landed a 10kg jewfish recently. He dropped two other fish and the air around him turned a delicate shade of blue. The action happened somewhere around Lion Island.
In Narrabeen Lake there are plenty of small flathead on the chew, especially at Jamison Park. Hard-bodied lures are the flavour of the week, followed by Berkley Gulps in pumpkinseed colour.
Mike D’Antonio and I had a great mullet session using bread flies at the southern end of the lake. Working sinking and floating bread look-alikes, we nailed over 30 fish. A few garfish and some junior bream were also taken and released.
Monthly tip: Never say die! Keep at it when all is failing. Try new techniques and get out of the square. Keep positive and work hard at getting a piece of the action.
Think about what’s happening out there. Shake off complacency and remain active. By working vigorously at your sport, things will turn round and eventually there will be that satisfying bend in the rod.Reads: 596