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Central coast starts to simmer
  |  First Published: December 2014



The year has flown by so quickly that it’s hard to believe it’s now summer and the holidays are about to begin. Even though the weather has produced some very warm days lately, it feels like winter only ended a few weeks ago.

Those warmer days with lots of sunny hours do a lot to increase water temperatures around our estuaries, so all the fun fish like whiting, bream and flathead have been active in the past weeks and should remain so throughout the holidays.

Some reasonable catches of prawns have been coming in from places like The Entrance. When the tide pushes them out the channel mouth, they tell me that the mulloway are often waiting on the beach nearby. It would be worth keeping that in mind, but a few extra people fishing around that area is to be expected through the holidays and weekends this month.

The east coast currents are also warming the ocean along our patch of coastline, which spells better fishing for offshore anglers. December is normally pretty good for small to medium size kingfish, and a handful of others like bonito may also show up. It’s not yet the full-blown warm water scenario with the ocean teaming with pelagics, but it’s now time to prepare for that, with plenty more kings and bonito inshore and mahimahi and marlin out wider.

At present there are still schools of salmon roaming around and you may find these alongside kingfish. Both species love small soft plastic stickbaits like the good old 4” PowerBait Minnow, but plenty of similar plastics work just as well.

Bottom fishing continues to yield mixed bags. Pan-sized snapper and flathead have been common enough to put a feed of fish in the icebox, along with a few trevally, morwong and leatherjackets. The only catch is that the wind and swell has been a bit limiting lately.

The ramp at Norah Head should be nearing completion now, but from what I understand it may not actually be open to the public until after the holidays, so visitors should check first and be prepared to launch at Terrigal or Swansea if need be.

As I mentioned, some mulloway have been caught near the runout channel at The Entrance. Beach fishing in general is set to pick up from this month onwards. The odd mulloway has been caught at other beaches from Budgewoi down to Pearl Beach, and they will be a likely target over the coming weeks.

Salmon numbers are definitely thinning out and most of them will move on when that first really good lot of warmer water hit the beaches. For now though, they’re still here and a few tailor and bream have also been taking baits. Whiting are another summer favourite, but so far they haven’t shown up in any great numbers.

Off the rocks it’s still all salmon, with the odd tailor and a few bream around the washes. Some decent drummer and blackfish are also about, but I haven’t heard of any really amazing catches of either species — just enough to make it worth trying. Hopefully some of those kingfish and bonito will become an option from the ledges at Avoca or Wybung Head in the next few weeks.

Back to the estuary fishing, and those whiting, bream and flathead are going to be the main catches through the holidays, so visitors shouldn’t find it hard to catch a few for fun or to chuck on the barbie. Either baits or lures will catch fish now. My preferred way is to cast lures, especially topwaters, for bream and whiting.

The more popular spots around The Entrance or the lower parts of Brisbane Water will see anglers out in force at this time of year. The fish will definitely be in those areas, but you may wish to do some exploring and try and find a quieter patch if there’s too much boat traffic around.

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