This month should produce some great fishing from both inside the estuaries and offshore. The water temperature will be slowly increasing as the month progresses, providing a far more suitable habitat for visiting tropical species.
There will be some nice kingfish on offer in close to the headlands and islands. A live slimy mackerel or fresh squid slow trolled off a downrigger works very well. If you don’t have a downrigger, a large ball sinker on a running sinker rig attached to a swivel also works. Fifty-pound braid with 80lb leader is my usual outfit when fishing for kings in close, but at times it is still not enough to stop the big hoodlums in heavy reef.
Bonito and tailor will also be cruising the washes this month, and trolling or casting lures in close produces results if the fish are there.
The Gibber gravel beds, 21, and deeper reefs in around 50-60m of water are producing teraglin. A simple paternoster rig baited with small live baits or fresh strips will catch them easy enough. Keep an eye out for bait balls up off the bottom, as trag often sit a few metres underneath them.
A few marlin have been tagged along the shelf and at the Car Park already, and over the next couple of months the activity and number of fish should increase.
Mahimahi should become a more common catch this month, and depending on the currents the FAD ought to be holding plenty. Also keep a lookout for fish traps or anything floating in deeper water, as these often hold larger fish. Unweighted pillies work well, and small live slimy mackerel pull the bigger fish.
Sand whiting and bream will be the most common catches on the beaches this month. Box, Samurai and Stockton beaches should all fish well. Concentrate effort around visible gutters or holes, and an hour either side of high or low tide always fires the fish up.
Inside the bay, our estuary fish will be starting to get into gear. Whiting will become active on the flats, taking both worm baits and lures like small surface poppers. Bream will be another common target, readily available around the oyster racks, The Anchorage and Soldiers Point.
Flathead both big and small will be spread throughout the bay, actively taking lures such as soft plastics and vibes. Whitebait and pilchards work well if bait fishing is more your style. Drifting is the best method when fishing from a boat, but if land based, simply casting and slowly retrieving the bait is all it takes to trigger a bite.
Jewfish are biting well, with some nice fish around 14kg being caught at the wreck and in the deeper holes. A good number of smaller schoolies have also been caught lately, which is an encouraging sign of things to come.
At this time of year, it’s also worth chucking the crab traps out around Karuah and Tilligerry Creek for muddies.Reads: 973