Get my drift?
  |  First Published: April 2016

With all of the warm water that has been travelling along the coast, the bottom fishing has been amazing. Along Pittwater there have been brief periods of surface activity, mostly in the early morning. If you are lucky enough to see some working seagulls, head over to the activity with 4-6” soft plastics and have a ball with some light gear.

The kings aren’t massive and the average capture is just under legal. There are bigger kings to play with, but they seem to prefer the deeper water. The deeper areas to try are The Supermarket, Careel Bay Channel and The Basin. These areas will see some changes in the coming months, but at the moment they prefer to munch on small live yellowtail or very fresh small squid heads. Other areas to try are West Head, Barrenjoey Head and Lion Island on the last of the run-out tide. These areas seem to be best in the morning – place a yakka out on a heavier rod while you are collecting yellowtail at West Head. We have had kings come up our berley trail while collecting baitfish and squid from this area. Other areas to catch squid are most bays along Pittwater, with some ribbon weed along the shallows.

The Basin, Palm Beach weed beds, Careel Bay, Sand Point and Portuguese Beach are areas where squid live. The more effective coloured jigs to use at the moment seem to be those with a splash of orange on them or the flashy hardbodied pilchard colours. Size of jig doesn’t really seem to matter at the moment as the bite is quite aggressive.

Fishing Pittwater and Broken Bay on the bottom turns up a great catch. The better way to catch a mixed bag of fish seems to be drifting the drop-offs and deep water structure along Pittwater. By drifting and using a simple paternoster rig we have caught big flathead, small mulloway (unfortunately lost a couple of bigger models though), flounder, decent tailor and the odd kingfish as well. The better baits at the moment seem to be fresh fish baits such as pilchards or whitebait. Whitebait is a very underrated baitfish, and at this time of the year they are certainly worth trapping or buying from the tackle shop. Areas to drift include from Stokes Point to Portuguese Beach, the hole near Sinclair Point, the entrance to The Basin and the drop-off between Palm Beach and Mackerel Beach.

When drifting the drop-offs with the current, check that your sinker bounces along the bottom when going from shallower water into deeper. While you drift these areas try a microjig either just above the bottom or make it thud into the bottom and lift the tip of your rod violently so that your braid makes a donk sound. This method has caught mulloway, kings, flathead, trevally, tailor and bream. I use 90-120g micro jigs and have had many happy customers using these lures. If you want to try to anchor and berley somewhere, Sinclair Point is a great place to start – especially on the incoming tide. Along our coast some big kings have shown up and once again it’s all about covering ground to find them. There are quite a lot of baitfish at most headlands and reefs to 30m, so trust your sounder and find the patches of balled up bait as the predators won’t be far away. Some of the areas to try are Barrenjoey Headland, Newport Reef, Mona Vale bommies and Narrabeen Wrecks just to name a few. Downrigging seems to be the best option. Reef fishing is hot at the moment in water between depths of 40-60m. Once again drifting with fish baits has caught a variety of fish.

The odd decent snapper is caught in 60m, and on the closer reefs there are snapper, flathead, trevally and the odd kingfish as well. With all of the warmer water I am surprised that we have not caught any pearl perch off ‘the pearly grounds’ out of Broken Bay.

I hope this report sees you grabbing the family, a few rods and hitting our wonderful part of the coast.

• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.

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