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Once more into the fray
  |  First Published: December 2015



Once again, the kings are back in Pittwater and showing up along our part of the coast. Broken Bay is seeing some surface activity in the mornings, which has given everyone a chance with lures.

Small metal lures are working well if you work the school properly. Don’t be discouraged if you cast a few times into or at the edge of the melee and don’t get a hit or a follow. When this occurs, the first thing most anglers will do is change over lures. Sometimes this is the answer but more often than not a simple change in your retrieve can be all it takes to get a hit. Try to let the lure sink to the bottom before you retrieve it. If this fails then change your lure style or size and try again.

Surface feeding kings can be a frustrating way to start the day, but when it all comes together for you the failed retrieves are soon forgotten. Another area to watch for surface activity is the Longnose Point to Stokes Point area. There seems to be a fair amount of baitfish building up in this zone. Tow a small live yellowtail around on a downrigger, or better still a small live squid – the current best performing bait. Pittwater has a lot of super small squid amongst the weed beds and they are difficult to catch. Normally these squid are first seen chasing the bigger jigs back to the boat and from there it’s a simple matter of introducing the small jig into their line of sight. The better size jig is the small 1.8g jigs and the natural colours are working well.

If you are unlucky enough to miss out on some surface activity first thing in the morning don’t worry, there seem to be plenty of other fish to target at the moment. Lately we have been doing a bit of micro jigging and once again these methods are working extremely well. On many occasions we’ve caught kingfish, mulloway, flathead, tailor and salmon while drifting around structure near deeper water. These lures have a small rubber squid above the hook and with all of the small squid along Pittwater it’s a no brainer why they are working as well as they are.

Flathead

For those wanting to catch a flathead or two, the drop off from Palm Beach to Mackerel Beach is a great spot to grab a feed of fresh flathead fillets. Casting soft plastics towards the weed edges on the shallower ground or dragging bait down the drop off is a great way to spend a few hours. There are some big flathead in Pittwater at the moment and it is worth trying some of the points and holes along the river. Lovett Bay has a large sand flat at the end of the bay and on the run out tide there is usually a flathead or two sitting in the hole in front of the flats. Working small paddle tail plastics from the shallower ground into the deeper water is extremely effective.

Along our part of the coast kingfish have shown up in patches. Once again there is some surface activity on those still mornings so have your live baits caught early or be loaded up with a variety of 4/6” soft plastics. Some places that have seen recent activity are Barrenjoey Head, Avalon, and Newport Reef. In fact, most headlands have had a patch of fish at some time in the last week. The better bait has been small yellowtail or slimy mackerel if you can find them!

Downrigging areas such as Barrenjoey Headland or Newport Reef, is a great way to find a decent king. Watch for the balled up bait schools on your sounder and hang around that area. The reef fishing is starting to pick up as well. The species that are being encountered vary from day to day with snapper, morwong, flathead and trevally making up a few species.

Water depth of 60m seems to be working well and finding the baitfish near the bottom part of the water column before you deploy your baits is standard. Over the sand 50-70m of water will see you catch your bag limit of flathead.

There are a few smaller fish to catch before the bigger fish are located. Using a paternoster rig is a great way to pick up two fish at a time. The better baits have been squid strips or pilchard pieces. For something a bit different, place a soft plastic on the top hook of the paternoster rig and watch how many flathead swim past a bait on the bottom hook to nail the plastic. You may be surprised at your results.

I hope that you are able to get out on the water to enjoy our wonderful part of the coast.

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