Bloody brilliant Pittwater
  |  First Published: May 2015

With blue skies, warm water and fish busting up everywhere, it’s been a brilliant month of fishing.

Over the last 4 weeks the fishing has been so good on Pittwater that we have been struggling to go to other areas to catch the same fish. Along Pittwater we have been catching, mac tuna, striped tuna, Watsons leaping bonito, tailor, kingfish, flathead, bream, whiting and mulloway.

First light and the change of the tides seem to be the trigger for surface activity at the moment. The baitfish are starting to thin out, but when you find the schools, the predators aren’t far behind. The surface activity can be anywhere at present, but a great place to start is the area between Scotland Island and Longnose Point. Watch for the working birds and approach the school in stealth mode. The feeding fish are very wary at the moment and it is better to go up-wind of the action, turn off the motor, and drift towards them. On most occasions we have had the baitfish come to our boat for protection, bringing with them a hot bite.

There are some big kings under all of this surface activity, but they prefer the small mac tuna or Watsons leaping bonito. When catching some of these speedsters, we have had packs of hoodlums follow, tease and play with the hooked fish, but disappear when 1 is sent out for live bait. It’s only a matter time before one gets hooked up though.

The area from Mackerel Beach to Stokes Point and Soldiers Point has been the better area to fish, and I am expecting it to be good again this month. The deeper water has been producing flathead, tailor, bream and mulloway, as well as kingfish that seem to be constantly on the move.

We have been drifting this area using simple paternoster rigs and fresh bait for good results. I must admit though, there have been quite a few fish caught on boxed squid and pillies. The crazy thing has been how many fish have been caught on micro jigs.

I was a real sceptic a couple of months ago, but the results speak for themselves. Most of my customers have never used them before, and have been catching the same if not more fish than on baits fished right next to them. On the 60g micro jigs we have caught mulloway to 90cm, kingfish to 77cm, flathead to 70cm, tailor, bream, undersized snapper and bonito. The best method has been to do aggressive hard vertical rips that make the braid thunk, and then let it hit the bottom. It is truly amazing how well this has worked, and if you want to target the kingies, bring it higher in the water column.

Squid are fairly easy to come by at present and some bigger dinner sized models are showing up. Most bays seem to have a few hanging around the shallows, but the best area has been Towlers Bay through to Soldiers Point. There are some being caught on the ocean side of Barrenjoey Head, and also at West Head when catching yellowtail. The best-sized jig has been the 2.5g and the top colours have been orange or gold. With the hard-bodied jigs, try the pilchard colour.

Out on Broken Bay, the fishing has really picked up. Again, most mornings there is some surface activity to investigate. Small 10-20g metals are very handy to have if fishing first thing in the morning.

Flint and Steel is starting to come to life again with school mulloway, bream, and if you fish the edge of the reef, some big flathead are waiting to scoff baits meant for larger predators. The better baits are freshly caught bonito or tuna, stripped up and floated down a berley trail at the change of tide. Squid heads are enticing mulloway, but there are a lot of pickers about that are cleaning them up before better fish can find them.

Middle Ground is producing flathead, the odd bream and school mulloway, and the last part of the incoming tide through to the first half hour of the run out. After that, the bite seems to shut down.

I am hoping to get out along the coast to target some reds and other bottom dwellers. Over the next month, early risers will see dead cuttlefish on the surface and take advantage of this first light smorgasbord. On Pittwater we should see big kingfish start to make their presence known and hopefully the salmon, bonito and trevally won’t be too far behind.

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