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Cooler season fish are on the move
  |  First Published: May 2015



We’re really getting into the cold stuff now, with a few freezing mornings already under the belt and plenty more to come. The good news is that May is another of our peak fishing times here on the Central Coast.

The past few months have been fantastic for bream in our enclosed waterways, with enough rainfall and warm weather to keep them active. Now though, water temps are rapidly falling and although most of the bream are still there, it’s going to take some deeper and slower tactics to bring them undone.

Of course, good quality baits like fresh local prawns, strips of mullet, tailor or garfish, as well as one of my favourites, white bread, will be the front line offerings if you really want to get into bream now and into winter. The Entrance is always a good place to drown baits, but there are plenty of productive spots throughout Brisbane Water. The bridges at Woy Woy, Paddys Channel, the Gosford Broadwater and down around the Rip Bridge are some I can recommend.

Lure fishos should be using Gulps or vibes like the amazing Daiwa Gekkabijin or Ecogear ZX30 if catching bream is a priority this month. Let them sink to the bottom, adjacent to some form of structure like weed or rock, and slowly work them back, occasionally allowing them to settle.

Flathead and whiting can still be in good supply this month, although they’re now moving out of the shallows and into deeper spots. By this I mean depths of 2-3m, so not necessarily the deepest holes or channels. Once again, lures need to be worked a bit slower from this stage of the season, and baits should be the best you can get. Bloodworms, beachworms, pink nippers and prawns are on the list.

From this point on, luderick should be increasing in numbers and becoming more interested in taking green weed baits. They were showing up at The Entrance in numbers this time last year, but not of a great size. Let’s hope some bigger models show up this season.

As mentioned last month, this is a prime time of year for mulloway along our local beaches. The mullet run is in full swing and other fish like tailor, whiting and salmon are out and about, so there’s a pile of tucker on offer to lure the silver slabs into the foamy gutters after dark.

It’s quite convenient that May also happens to be the peak month for big calamari squid, either caught from the rocks or inshore reefs. Mulloway will not refuse locally caught squid, so grab some of the latest and greatest hi-tech squid jigs and stock up on the best bait around. Oh, and they don’t have to be fresh either. As long as they’re stored separately from other baits, locally caught and then frozen squid is every bit as good as the fresh stuff.

Beach fishing should also remain productive for bream and tailor this month. The odd whiting, dart and flathead will probably be on the cards as well, along with a few salmon.

May is 1 of my favourite months for rock fishing. I’ll admit to being a blackfish addict from way back and just can’t stop myself from chasing these fish, especially from our local rock ledges. Over the years, many of my biggest fish have come during May, as well as the best numbers.

Beastly black drummer are another great species to target off the rocks right now. They’ll certainly take green cabbage baits intended for luderick, but when specifically chasing drummer it’s hard to go past cunje or white bread.

May is also a peak month for tailor along this stretch of coastline. Some impressive choppers hit lures or baits at places like Pelican Point, Wybung Head and South Avoca as we move towards winter, so be prepared as some of these fish can be 3kg and upwards.

Another form of tailor fishing that’s fun and rewarding is to jump in the boat and head to some of our shallow reefs just out from the beaches, casting 40g chrome lures or mid-sized surface poppers. The majority of strikes will come over shallow broken rock with plenty of whitewash spilling over into slightly deeper pockets. For safety reasons it’s important to keep the engine running and an eye on the water while fishing.

All in all, this really is a great month to get out and enjoy your fishing. Better do it now than in a couple of months’ time when things are getting a bit on the tough side.

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