A tricky time of year
  |  First Published: September 2014

This can be a tricky time of year to fish on Pittwater. The water is cold and very clear so a change of targets is required.

The colder water is seeing some salmon on the change of the tide towards Lion Island, and tailor are amongst the washes. The surface activity is not always a sure thing but if you troll the headlands with a hardbodied lure there will be a few fish caught. The incoming tide seems to be the best to fish when fishing Broken Bay.

The westerly winds have been blowing hard and the water is clear along Pittwater. For those wanting to target bread-and-butter species, you must be in stealth mode. The area to catch bream has been the Pittwater side of West Head, and berley is needed to get a few fish around the boat. There are some trevally in the same area as well as the odd flounder. These fish have been responding to a variety of baits, with oily fish fillets and prawns getting most bites. Light tackle will see more bites, and you should float the bait down with only enough weight to get it on the bottom.

Another area to target bream has been the rocky shoreline between Portuguese Beach and Soldiers Point. Once again it is important to float the baits down the berley trail and keep the tackle light. Check your leader every time it is back in the boat for nicks, and if there is a brown slime on the line, move to another area.

If you are after squid then once again this month you should be able to catch a few bigger ones for dinner. Catching squid at the moment is a little slower than a month ago but if you try at Careel Bay or Palm Beach weed beds you should go home with a smile on your face.

There are still some big squid lurking around Barrenjoey Headland if the conditions allow you to try in close. The better colours have been the more natural colours, with brown or gold getting the most attention.

For those who like chasing luderick they are starting to show up at the wharves along Pittwater. According to the local fishermen, finding green weed has been pretty tricky so it is best to buy some at a tackle shop before arriving.

The wharves to try are at Church Point, Taylors Point (high tide), Bayview Wharf and Careel Bay Wharf. The fish aren’t thick but with patience and berley they seem to show up.


Offshore the fishing has been quiet but with the dying westerlies this month we might get a decent drift in. When the planets have all aligned and allowed us to drift with the current there have been fish to be caught. Morwong and nannygai have been pouncing on prawns, flathead have liked pilchards and when snapper have been found the better sized fish have loved freshly caught squid pieces.

Some of the better fish have been caught along the gravel grounds but most are coming from the 60-80m range of water and near or on hard reef. The broken ground off Long Reef through to Mona Vale has been great if you are prepared to find the fish before sending a line down.

If you find a patch of balled up baitfish over the hard ground get your lines down straight away. If no decent fish are caught after a few drifts you may need to anchor to entice a larger fish if there are any about. Don’t forget to berley and fish in the trail.


For those after a big winter Pittwater kingfish, it’s the same scenario as last month I’m afraid. The key is small live cuttlefish and covering ground.

Small cuttlefish are caught along any of the rocky areas along Pittwater and once a couple have been caught try amongst the moorings along the eastern side of Pittwater and around Scotland Island for a kingfish. There are quite a few fish being shown on the sounders but they don’t always want to play. If you are near Palm Beach an hour before the high tide, try at West Head or The Motor for a big king. Both these areas have seen big fish cruise through on more than one occasion.

The other thing that I have found is that during winter these bigger kingfish prefer to hang a lot deeper in the water column and you have to keep lowering your bait until it is at the same depth as the targeted fish.

I hope that this report gets you to dust off the rods and get out on Pittwater/ Broken Bay to enjoy a great sport with people that matter to you.

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