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Winter kingfish reward patient anglers
  |  First Published: August 2016



With the bad weather recently along our part of the coast there haven’t been many opportunities to get out on the water to catch fish. But for those that are able to withstand the cold winds and rain there are still a few fish out there.

 It has taken a while for Pittwater and Broken Bay to settle down after all the rain we received. The system needed a flush and all of the rivers along the eastern coast of New South Wales certainly got that.
 Fishing along Pittwater has been slow, especially if you are chasing the elusive Pittwater winter kingfish. There are a few big fish cruising Pittwater, but you have to be lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time to be in with a chance. These big bruisers make an appearance when you least expect, so make sure that you at least have a small soft plastic ready to cast if they do show up. Normally small live cuttlefish is the gun bait to chase kingies in Pittwater during winter. This year with the flush we received, small squid and cuttlefish will be hard to find so yellowtail will be good backup live bait.

The areas to find kingfish are south of Longnose Point and near the Bayview boat ramp. At the moment these fish are cruising so everyone has a chance to cross paths with one. Another area to try during winter is along McCarrs Creek, but be careful as this area is full of moorings and often a decent hoo-up ends in tears.

Squidding
 The areas to catch some cuttlefish are right along the shoreline of Pittwater in areas of rock and weed. These little ink machines generally hang in pairs and seldom will chase a squid jig more than 1m from its area. Trying to track down a couple of these crunchy hand-sized baits can be a task.
 The smaller-sized squid jigs of 2g or less are the better ones to use. If you are after some squid for a feed there are some big models to be tracked down around Barrenjoey Head. These larger models attack larger jigs of 2.5g and the preferred colours seem to be wintry browns, greens and blues when using cloth-covered jigs. If you are using hardbodied squid jigs, use gold or pilchard coloured jigs.
Bread and butter

The other species to target are of course anything that splashes on the surface – and at this time of the year we are just waiting for the tailor and salmon to repopulate Broken Bay again. Once they do these fish generally venture into Pittwater and the working seagulls and other birds give their locations away.

For those of you that wish to catch your bread-and-butter species, the deeper holes and weed edges will be the place to start. You will need to attract fish to your area with berley, and if the water is still murky try using oily bait or bait that has a smell. Bream love the conditions that we have at the moment, and if you are able to find an area such as out in front of Palm Beach, berley and fish along the weed edge for the best results.

 Make sure that if the water is murky that you do not use fluorocarbon leaders, as the dirt particles seem to stick to it resulting in fewer enquiries. Use light lines and light leaders with a minimal amount of weight so that your offerings float down with the berley out the back of your boat. Another method is to try and use a float as you would if you were catching luderick. By using a float you can adjust the depth that you wish to fish, which is normally just above the bottom and you can effectively fish your berley trail.
 The better areas to try for bream are among the moorings in McCarrs Creek. McCarrs Creek is one of those areas that can be out of the way of most boat traffic and winds, to allow for a quiet morning chasing bream.
Offshore

Offshore reef fishing should be brilliant. Before all the bad weather hit there was some great fishing in water depths of 40-70m. The better fishing seem to be over areas with broken ground rather than hard reef, which makes it perfect to drift to cover ground and locate fish. There are patches of leatherjackets in some areas, so watch your sounder intently before making a drop.

The better areas to try have been the container, the ordinance grounds and off Mona Vale after the sun has risen. If you get out there before the sun gets too high in the sky then Avalon and Newport reefs are worth trying for a good snapper. On offer in the deeper water are morwong, plate-sized snapper, flathead and for the odd lucky angler a kingfish or two.

 The better baits to use offshore changes, so cover your bases by taking squid, pilchards and even prawns to see what works better on the day. As usual if you can gather some fresh bait fishing at the reef or before getting there, your chances of catching decent fish will greatly increase.
 I hope this report sees you getting out of the house and getting on the water to catch the species that are still available even after the horrific weather that we have put up with.
• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au

1

Nice-sized flathead are still around the 70m mark.

  

2

Not a monster, but any kingfish is a good one.

3

These fellas shouldn’t be far away from Broken Bay.

 

 

 

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