Waters are warming
  |  First Published: October 2015

Finally the cold water has started to disappear from Pittwater. It’s being replaced with the warmer water from along the coast, and the difference in temperature has meant that the fish are starting to bite more often.

Fishing along Pittwater was pretty dismal towards the end of winter, with only the odd day showing a good catch of fish. However, that all changed when the water temperature shot up from a chilly 13°C to a warmer 15.7°C. It’s still cold water but that 2.7° increase made a change to Pittwater.

In recent weeks we’ve seen small schools of salmon in Pittwater, and mixed into the schools have been tailor and kingfish. These fish were only around 50cm, but they’re still great fun if you can convince one to bite a lure on light tackle. The schools have been pretty shy of boats and have been chasing the ‘living eyes’ (small, clear baitfish about 10mm long) leaving most lures or baits cast into them.

I have recently found that if you can get close enough to the school, throwing out pilchard pieces along a trail to lead the kings and tailor away from the small fry can work. By checking out the activity each day you will see bigger fish show up as well over the coming weeks.

The bigger kings are still holding in the colder water along the moorings. This deep water is colder, and the kings need to be fired up out of sulking mode. They are often marked on the sounder but once again you really need a few small live cuttlefish to get them fired up. As soon as the big kings see those small, crunchy ink machines it’s game on.

The areas to try are the moorings between Stokes Point through to Taylors Point, Careel Bay and around any surface activity that you see. If you have only squid to use, West Head and Barrenjoey Headlands have been seeing some action on the odd day as well.

If you’re after bread-and-butter species there are some trevally, the odd flathead and bream to encounter along the river. Some areas to try are at Taylors Point, Currawong Beach, Sand Point, Palm Beach and Mackerel Beach. Trevally are being caught out of the berley trail with light tackle, and the areas where sand meets the weed will give you the best chance. These same areas are also starting to see some bream being caught, along with the odd flathead. The better area for bream though has been on the Pittwater side of West Head, early morning, on a run-out tide. Use plenty of berley.

For those wanting to travel offshore there is some great news: there are good captures of snapper starting to come in from our section of coast. There has been the odd stonker fish caught but most snapper have been around the 50cm mark. The bigger fish being caught are up to 80cm (unfortunately not on my boat) and the boys have been using soft plastics and light leaders for their best chance. Soft plastics around 6” long are catching some bigger fish, and smaller plastics of 4” are catching the smaller specimens.

Drifting to cover ground is the best way to find the fish. To start with, concentrate your efforts in the shallower water before sunrise. As the sun rises and as the skies become bright, head for the deeper water. The shallower areas (15-18m) are the go. The areas that are seeing fish are Avalon, Newport, Warriewood and North Narrabeen reefs.

Further offshore there are flathead gathering on the 50-70m contour marks. The fish aren’t big yet, but with most at around 45cm they provide a feed for the family.

There are trawlers working our part of the world from Broken Bay to Longy, which means there are fish to be caught. The best bait is pilchard, but soft plastics and micro jigs are also working well.

The reefs around the 60-80m depths are also fishing well. Once you’ve found baitfish over the reefs you can encounter trevally, morwong and nannygai. The odd tiger flathead has shown up as well.

So, as you can see, the fishing is only going to get better from now on, both along Pittwater and our coast. The best run of fish seems to occur at this time of the year, and to have a chance at catching that fish of a lifetime you should spend as much time on the water as you can.

I hope this report sees you eager to get out on the water over the coming months to chase some big fish along Pittwater and our wonderful coast.

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