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The fishing's as hot as the weather
  |  First Published: January 2015



Finally the warm weather is upon us, and the mornings are mostly calm and perfect for fishing. If you are able to grab a rod and hit the water early, don’t pass up the chance because the sunrises have been simply stunning.

Talking about stunning, the fishing has been like that as well.

Along Pittwater we have pelagic action most mornings at first light, with the fish showing up in different spots each day. The easiest way to locate surface action has been to watch for working seagulls and terns.

Most of the surface activity has been tailor to 50cm, but there are small kingfish mixed in with the schools. These can be caught with soft plastics of around 4-6” long and as long as there is some white on the lure, you are in with a chance.

The good news is the big kings of over 1m are still cruising Pittwater and Broken Bay. These bruisers are playing hardball at the moment and are being spotted in the shallows, often while we are chasing squid.

There are keeper kingfish spread out along the river and with the fish constantly on the move, it has been better to down-rig from one area to another. Picking up the gear and racing from wreck to wreck is normally a great way to get a few fish, but at the moment there are so many fish cruising different schools of bait, you will miss out if you don’t cover the ground.

The areas to try for a few kingfish are around Scotland Island, Longnose Point, Careel Bay, and finally West and Barrenjoey headlands. The better baits have been squid 1 day and yellowtail the next, so cover your bases and track down both.

Squid are a little tricky to find occasionally, but generally have been pretty easy to catch. The hot colours seem to be fluoro pink or orange, and on the hardbody jigs the pilchard colour is attracting the bulk of attention. The better areas to try are Towlers Bay, Mackerel Beach, The Basin, and along the weedy fringes of West Head.

The other inshore species that have been making their presence known are flathead, and some schools of whiting have shown up as well. The flatties are spread throughout the river and they can be caught in the deeper holes in front of sandbars at the back of bays. Soft plastics’ fishing is a great way to cover ground and paddle tails are very easy to use, especially for kids. The softie only has to be wound through the water and close to the bottom to put you in with a real chance of a flathead or two.

The shallows area such as Towlers Bay, The Basin, Mackerel Beach, and the Palm Beach weed beds have whiting to be caught. There are some decent fish amongst them and catching them with surface poppers over weedy areas is a heap of fun. If you want to chase them with bait, you can’t go past nippers or bloodworms.

Mulloway are showing up along Broken Bay in decent numbers and fresh bait is needed for a chance at a decent fish. The better bait to use is fresh squid, but butterflied yellowtail, mullet, pike or slimies will all be looked at in the coming weeks.

Remember to be at your prime location an hour before the change of tide through to an hour after the change. Mulloway are lazy and prefer to come out from structure as the water current eases. Areas to try are Flint and Steel, Juno Point, The Bridges, Bar Point, Little Settlement, and really just about any deep hole or point that has baitfish nearby.

Outside, along the coast there are kingfish available from Barrenjoey Headland through to Sydney Heads. Not all these headlands and reefs have big kingfish, but they are all worth trying. Other species being caught are samsonfish, big trevally, and with all the flying fish about, it won’t be too long before we hear about inshore marlin being caught.

The reef fishing offshore over the last month has been a bit tricky. The surface temperature has been great, but the sinkers are coming up very cold, meaning the cool water is still present and determining what is being caught. The 40-60m depths seems to be where all the slimy schools are to be found, and the same depths are seeing most of the reef fish being caught.

There are big morwong, pigfish, trevally and flathead available in the above-mentioned depth range, and fish strips and baits seem to be working best. If you are after a few snapper, an early start is needed and the water depth of 30m or less seems to be best before the sun rises. The snapper are going off the bite after the sun hits the water and moving to unknown parts of the ocean on me.

For those fishing the reefs off Broken Bay, there are some snapper being caught on the odd day at the Trap Grounds. These fish aren’t monsters, but are big enough to take home for a feed.

The mahimahi are in the same area, so if you are going to drift and bottom bash, leave a livie on the surface under a float or balloon. A mahi or two should inspect it.

Lastly, pearl perch are still being caught on the same grounds, but we are yet to get a keeper. These small pearlies have been pushed south with the stronger currents to reefs off Broken Bay, and hopefully there will be bigger specimens to take home soon.

So as you can see there is no better time to get out on the water. There are lots of species to chase and I am sure you have all worked hard enough during the year to treat yourself to time on the water with friends and family.

1

Roman with his personal best flathead. There are plenty more big ones like this to be caught.

2

There are still plenty of kings roaming Pittwater and Broken Bay.

3

There are loads of undersized mulloway eating bream baits. This one was caught on 3kg mono and measured 67cm.

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