August is a notoriously tough month for fishing along this part of the coastline, and not only due to persistent westerly winds; the clear, cold water doesn’t help things either.
Offshore anglers can still get into some line-stretching action, providing it’s not too windy to head out in the first place. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees of getting a decent patch of weather landing right on the weekend, so all we can do is keep an eye on the forecasts and keep our fingers crossed.
All going well there should still be some kingfish nailing jigs or livebaits out on the Perch Grounds or Texas. The kingies were going well earlier in the season, and without too many pesky leatherjackets or seals either. However, at some stage those dreaded ‘jackets are sure to move in and start snipping lines.
Some good snapper and the odd jewfish are also caught on these wider grounds, and smaller baits will also take the sweet tasting, long-finned sea perch. On some days the bonito can show up in good numbers too so it’s worth heading out with some smaller chrome lures around the 85-100g mark. If the current isn’t too strong a 100g lure will still get down towards the bottom and be a chance for the kings, so this approach can double your chances of hooking up to one species or another.
Closer to shore and some snapper are very possible this month. Most may only be pan-sized, but a fish of over 9kg was caught earlier in the season which just proves that there are big snapper off the central coast.
Berley in close to reef or the headlands and trevally, bream and small snapper shouldn’t be too hard to come by. Plenty of salmon are about at the moment so if nothing else is working they could save the day. Pillies on ganged hooks are always reliable but small soft plastics like the 4” Berkley Powerbait minnows really get smashed by the sambos if you can place a cast amongst them.
On the beaches, too, these salmon will now be invading the gutters. Quite often they’ll be very close to shore so a long cast isn’t always needed to reach them. The sad thing is though that they won’t always hit lures, so it can be very frustrating. However, strike them in the right mood and it can make for some fun fishing on light tackle.
There isn’t normally a lot else along our beaches at this time of year, but it’s still possible to catch the odd bream, tailor or even a mulloway – so pull on the waders, rug up and you could be rewarded.
Rock fishing is perhaps a better option if bagging a fresh feed of fish is your main objective, although the rocks have been a bit patchy this year. Providing the water isn’t too clear, green drummer will take baits of peeled prawn, cunje or white bread. There have been a few drummer caught from all of our local ledges recently, from Catherine Hill Bay down to Avoca. Some bream or blackfish can be expected when drummer fishing the washes. Silver trevally and yellow-eye mullet can also move up a berley trail, especially if plenty of bread has been used.
Those salmon are of course going to be cruising in close along the rock ledges. As with beach fishing, sometimes they’ll be in the mood to take small chrome or white lures, other times they’ll simply ignore anything thrown their way. It can be hard to cast a lightly weighted soft plastic from the rocks on tackle that’s got enough power to deal with a big sambo but still it’s worth trying, especially if the salmon show up in big numbers.
Back inside the estuaries blackfish are still the dominant species and a popular target. Plenty have been caught at The Entrance this season although some are only small fish, under the legal size of 27cm. Moving towards September they may start to fade out a bit, but will still be worth chasing.
Bream can be harder to come by in August, but again, they’re still worth the effort as some big fish are still possible. If you’re using lures just remember to keep it all slow and deep with the cold water we have at the moment. Other than that, good quality natural baits may be a better idea.
Some flathead are normally caught this month, mainly in deeper water. They may be found anywhere, but it’s common to catch them in the creeks or rivers, like Erina, Narara or Dora, again in the deeper parts. Don’t expect a lot of flathead action, but a few quality fish are likely right now and over the following weeks.Reads: 1241