The past two months of poor weather have really cut down on days that have allowed any fishing at all but the flooding rains in June that hammered our region were long overdue.
The accompanying devastation caused by floodwaters and strong winds were another matter altogether. The Hawkesbury and Pittwater have been well and truly flushed out and the back-up rains should ensure a few more great seasons ahead.
The benefits are evident now with the fish that we have been catching over the last month on those rare days that have been suitable. Recently Carolyn Rosser and her son-in-law jumped aboard for a day fishing on Pittwater.
Compared with the previous three days, the squid were easy to catch and with five in the livewell we were off to see if any kingfish were keen for a feed. Our baits were deployed and eyes were keenly fixed on the downrigger video monitor waiting for a kingfish to show.
It took only to two passes and we were on. The first fish of the day was caught by Nathan Milliner, who was pretty pleased with his first decent kingfish. Over the next hour three more kingfish between 65cm and 75cm came aboard.
Carolyn warned me that although she had fished many times over many years, a decent fish had eluded her. It took a further hour of hunting but at Stokes Point we were smiling when the 10kg outfit went off and Carolyn was pulled around the boat by a decent kingfish.
During the commotion we were called to give a live fishing report for ABC Radio and it was all taped. It recorded Carolyn’s reaction at catching her first decent fish and it was priceless. To hear the excitement in her otherwise controlled voice was brilliant.
On the most recent charter a group of Sydney Angler website fishermen toot us up on our special Winter pricing but the day started terribly with two hours gone and only Chris Taylor having a chance at a couple of cuttlefish, both missed. We then went to West Head and the yakkas were a lot more co-operative.
We first tried among the moorings and on the last pass the small yellowtail was hit and a decent kingfish was captured. We moved to Bothams Reef to berley up some bream while targeting a john dory.
We berlied continually and it started to pay dividends in the form of a 50cm jewfish on a fresh prawn bait and a second on a small live yellowtail set out for a dory.
This month should see mixed bags caught for those prepared to catch and use live bait. Current targets are salmon, tailor, bream, flathead, flounder, trevally, jewfish, kingfish and john dory.
The best areas to hunt a john dory are Careel Bay Wharf, The Basin, Towlers Bay, Lovett Bay and Church Point old Ferry Wharf. The best baits are small yellowtail, mados and even sweep.
Have your baits set about a metre off the bottom and a decent fine berley trail to attract the baitfish.
Bream are being caught from Mackeral Beach to around West Head. There are some big specimens among which seem a little warier than their smaller mates. The best bait is live nippers with fresh prawns a close second.
Trevally are showing up in a berley trail of mashed chicken pellets and can be caught on peeled prawns floated down the trail.
Salmon around 60cm can be tracked down on most days in Broken Bay when the seas allow. They can be caught using a variety of techniques and baits but of course the most exciting tends to be casting lures.
The smaller metal lures always account for a lot of fish at this time of the year, so, make sure you have a couple of 5g and 10g models in your box. A few small soft plastic fish-profile lures are worth having as well.
Squid have been difficult to catch lately but when they are located, quite a few seem to be in the same area. Bigger jigs in size 3 have accounted for some bigger squid with one of the biggest lately having a 45cm hood. The good thing about baits of this size is that if they aren’t eaten by hungry fish they can be taken home to feed the family.
Kingfish and jewies are in Pittwater coming from dirty, cold water that is only 14°. To come out and catch some fish just call us on 0410 633 351 or book through www.estuaryfishing.com.au.
• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour & Estuary Fishing Charters out of Pittwater, phone 02 9999 2574 or visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.Reads: 903