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Approaching the tipping point
  |  First Published: September 2014



Now we’ve reached a turning point, some good fishing lies ahead in the coming months. An improvement may still be a while off yet, but if we’re patient the rewards will eventually come.

It’s all warming up and there’s a lot more light in the sky, but at the same time we can still get some cold, wintery weather this month and those westerly winds are often problematic, especially for those anglers trying to head offshore or fish the lakes. From a smaller boat or kayak it’s even more difficult.

As water temps just begin to rise a little, flathead kick into gear. They may still be in deeper water at this stage, where bouncing a soft plastic or slow rolling a deep diving hardbody or vibe is likely to wake them up. Some good flatties are caught at this time of year in the deeper channels around Brisbane Waters and the lower areas of Lake Macquarie, while Tuggerah Lakes fish tend to be smaller. Still though, a few better fish are sometimes caught from The Entrance bridge down to the channel mouth.

Blackfish will still be available in the lakes and Brisbane Waters. These fish remain a good standby this month, as bream, flathead or whiting may not always be easy to catch. Then again, the blackfish can also be a bit tricky as we move into spring, and good weed for bait may not always be easy to find either.

Bream are still around, but may remain in smaller numbers or be harder to catch on lures until it gets a bit warmer. If we do get a few days of nice sunny weather around 25°C or more, it’s probably worth casting lures around the shallower sun-warmed bays or rocky points. I wouldn’t be getting too enthusiastic just yet though. Again, be patient and eventually bream fishing will get better.

A few whiting, flounder, small mulloway, tailor and salmon are others that have been caught in the estuaries lately, and as it gets warmer the whiting will pick up, while the sambos should thin out and disappear. We’re also heading in the direction of the prawning season, but it’s probably a bit too cold to expect much in the way of those tasty crustaceans just yet.

ROCK AND BEACH

On the beaches salmon have been thick as they usually are at this time of year. I live very close to a beach on the northern part of the central coast and occasionally get down there for a flick with the light bream gear. On some days they’ll smash almost anything you throw at them, while on other days you’ll be lucky if they even look at a lure. Still, it’s worth a try and these fish certainly put on the fireworks when hooked on gear that’s not meant for beach fishing.

The local rocks around Munmorah and Norah Head have also been good for a few salmon when they move in close, but there is a bit more variety from the rocks than there is from the beaches at this time of year. Some decent drummer, blackfish and bream can still be caught from most of our ledges this month. Silver trevally, groper and tailor are also quite likely to turn up in catches this month. That’s if the seas aren’t too rough or too flat. At the time of typing, there are monstrous swells rolling in as a result of a deep low pressure out in the Tasman, but September often has more in the way of westerly winds, which turn the ocean dead flat.

OFFSHORE

This is probably one of the worst months to head offshore, but it’s still very possible to score fish with a little effort and some luck. Like other parts of the coast, some larger snapper may be found over the shallower inshore reefs at the moment. Snapper fishing here may not be as great as it is up north, but the opportunity to hook into a few big reds is quite realistic. If the bigger fish don’t show, a few pan-sized snapper can save the day.

Even though many locals fish much wider here for snapper in 50-100m, remember that if big reds can be caught in 25m off Sydney, Coffs Harbour or Wooli then they can also be caught in the same depths along the central coast.

Unfortunately the ramp at Norah Head is still a way off being completed at this stage, so heading out from Swansea or Terrigal remains the best bet for anglers in the Wyong Shire. The Norah Head ramp is supposed to be ready by early summer, so fingers crossed that will be the case.

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