If you have some time to spare, there are a lot worse things to do than go fishing. The last month has seen some days where the fishing has been too easy and the very next day Pittwater resembles a wet desert, with no surface activity and fish that are hard to tempt.
The only way to justify this is the water temperature. Along Pittwater we have been getting days when the temperature has exceeded 27 degrees, which tends to make the kingfish a bit lethargic. When the water temperature drops below 24 degrees, the fish seem more willing to play.
On those days when the river feels like bath water, try hitting the deeper areas of Pittwater. Sometimes the fish will head to these cooler depths for a bit of a recharge. If you can get a live squid or slimy down, it will often see some interest.
With the warmer water we have had schools of striped and mac tuna arrive en masse, and these are a heap of fun on light tackle. If you are lucky enough to get 1 of the smaller striped tuna, don’t be afraid to send it out live while his mates are busting up the surface. There have been a couple of big kings around the schools, smashing 1 or 2 before going back to cruise mode.
Most of the action over the last month has occurred around the Longnose Point area through to Scotland Island. There are other areas to try for kings, with West Head and Barrenjoey being a bit more reliable than the other points along the bay. These areas are best covered by downrigging or slow trolling live yellowtail and slimy mackerel. Once a school has been located, they have been receptive to metal slugs, micro jigs and of course soft plastics.
Broken Bay has been fishing well for a few other species as well. There are some lovely whiting coming from the Box Head bar when using live nippers. The Pearl Beach area seems to be the better spot to try for a flathead, as most other areas seem to be devoid of any numbers.
Flint and Steel has been slow fishing of late, but not far away from this reef is an area called Middle Ground. This has been fishing well the day after some rain. There are school mulloway eating prawns and squid strips, small bream, and only the odd smaller flathead. Even though the fish haven’t been big, most are legal and will provide a feed for those wanting to eat some seafood.
Blue swimmer crabs are certainly on the move along Pittwater and are worth trying for. For the best results, place your traps near the edge of weed beds and make sure you don’t put them in a channel or amongst the moored vessels. If you are going to use frames or fish from the freezer, might I suggest that you also tie in a can of cat food with a few holes in it. The can will attract the crabs and your other offerings, and will keep them interested until you pull the trap. The blue swimmers are big and if left for 3 hours, 3 or 4 will climb into the trap.
Along the coast the warm water is still coming in close and dragging with it some great predators. Out in 70m, there have been mahimahi willing to play. There is also a great chance at a marlin or 2; in fact, there were marlin caught at Sydney Heads just over a month ago.
The headlands along the coast are seeing rat kingfish, but if you drop your baits closer to the bottom there are samsonfish to catch as well.
The reefs have been a bit tricky, with some sloppy seas testing customers. If you are lucky enough to head offshore, there are flathead to 55cm on the 50m mark. The reefs are seeing small snapper caught, but there are some big snapper making their presence known in shallow water before the sun rises. Most people are catching snapper from the Mona Vale through to Long Reef area by using soft plastics. There are some great fish amongst them, with one of my mates recently giving up on kingfish to catch 55-70cm snapper from his kayak.
The deeper water reefs in 50-60m are showing a lot of fish. There are some morwong, marbled flathead, nannygai and trevally. The better baits have been fish baits, especially if you can pick up a striped tuna on the way to your spot.
While you are bouncing the bottom for reef fish, set up a live bait under a balloon. There has been the odd mahimahi encountered while drifting, so it is worth the effort.
Lastly, for those that love to fish from the wharves, there are a few bream, whiting and blackfish to be caught. The better fishos have been using berley to attract the fish to the shallows, and live nippers to tempt the fish. There are also some bully mullet to be caught using bread, and leatherjackets falling to small pieces of prawn.
Children love fishing, especially if there are kingfish to be caught!
Another Pittwater kingfish that couldn’t help eating a downrigged live squid.
Billy showing off his hard earned dinner.Reads: 351