Yes it’s cold, but the fish don’t care
  |  First Published: June 2015

At last, winter’s grip has taken hold, so let’s hope the good autumn rainfall we had along this part of the coast has our waterways primed for some great fishing this month. The only trouble is that June is also notorious for the strongest east coast lows of the year, so fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

Offshore anglers on the northern part of the Central Coast are rejoicing as the new ramp in Cabbage Tree Bay was completed a while back, with 2 lanes plus a side lane for beach launching. I’m probably not alone in thinking that it could have been a bit more substantial given the lengthy time it took to build, but hey, let’s just be grateful we do have new launching facilities there.

Larger vessels heading out from Norah to the wider jigging grounds this winter should find it a little bit easier to launch. The next hurdle is the weather being kind and granting us plenty of calm days to get out there. Hopefully it’s a good season for the kings, with less in the way of leatherjackets, sharks and seals, which all make pests of themselves at times.

Of course, there are snapper, morwong and trevally closer in as well. As I always say, don’t be afraid to put in some effort over the shallow grounds from 20-30m or even closer near the headlands or bommies this month. The best fishing isn’t always in deeper water, that’s for sure.

There may also be some kings still around the shallower reefs this month, with freshly caught calamari squid, live pike or garfish being the best bet to entice them. Tailor, a few salmon, and the odd bonito or frigate mackerel, are others that may be worth trolling or lure casting for.

Back inside calmer waters, we can expect a mixed bag of bream, blackfish, flathead and whiting this month. Tailor can also become more abundant as we move into winter, and judging by my last few outings in the past week there could be a lot of choppers about through June. The bigger models are fun to catch and I like eating them, but the little ones are nothing but a pest when trying to catch other species.

Although I haven’t been specifically chasing them, plenty of small whiting have latched onto my bream and flathead lures lately. They do love small blades and I’ve definitely noticed whiting have a soft spot for pumpkinseed Gulps, regardless of the exact size or model.

If you’re keen on getting into a few flatties, then go deeper and further into the system at this time of year. The lower to middle sections of creeks such as Erina or Narara are a good example, but deeper channels around Woy Woy or even at The Entrance are all worth a shot this month.

As with bream, if you’re using soft plastics, remember to slow down with the retrieve, as fish don’t move with the same aggression as when the water is warmer.

On the rocks, some big calamari should still be around this month, so whether you want them for food or bait, put in the effort now, as they’ll start thinning out as July approaches. The same applies for fish like bream and luderick, as June is normally a better month than July or August.

Love them or loathe them, it’s salmon time again. Although the peak of the season is still a month or 2 away yet, it shouldn’t be too hard to find sambos off the rocks or along our beaches right now. In fact, it may even be too easy, especially when throwing whole pilchard baits into the surf. As much as I enjoy catching them, it would be nice if a big bream, tailor or mulloway took the bait instead!

Bream, drummer and blackfish should be reasonably easy to come by from the rocks at the moment. So overall, there’s a range of species worth chasing both from the rocks and beaches through June. Despite the potential variety, it’s always best to specifically target 1 species, which maximises your chance of success. Exactly which one to go for depends on personal preference, but I would say that bream or salmon are the easier fish to catch, as they’ll take a wider range of baits than blackfish or drummer.

This early part of winter can be quite a good time of year for fishing, but as the weeks pass things will get a bit harder, so get stuck into it now!

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