Late last year the East Coast Current made its way closer to shore, causing the fishing out wide to really pick up after a slow start to the season. Some good beakies are being hooked out wide right now. Skirted lures in the 8-10” range are the most popular, particularly the new Entice range of Hakas, Warheads and Scuds. The new Aloha series of Super Ninjas and Beauties out of Hawaii are also claiming some great scalps.
The water temperatures offshore are fluctuating between 22-25°. Finding the current changes will get you closer to the fish, and trolling in the vicinity of big bait schools will also get you in the zone. The mahimahi are moving in now, and some decent fish up to a metre are working our offshore FADs. Drifting down on these buoys with livebaits, stickbaits or big plastics will give you the element of surprise. Trolling is a great second option for hook-ups, but sometimes these fish can be a little motor shy.
Our closer inshore reefs are providing great venues for finding schooling kingfish, with some awesome fish over a metre being landed on downriggers, or with free-swimming slimies, yakkas or live squid on the drift. Micro-jigs are working on the medium-sized fish, with the slow pitch application being a favourite technique this season. Trying to stop the bigger fish on these medium outfits in shallow water is a struggle, with many a fish earning its freedom – so be sure to take a heavier outfit to suit this occasion, should it arise.
As well as kingfish, these local spots are still yielding snapper and various other bottom species. Craig Butcher recently landed a ripper eastern calamari as well as a good feed of snapper and blue swimmer crabs. Fishabout Tours’ Stuart Reid reports that the local reefs are holding kings from 75-120cm taking jigs and live squid. Rob Heunder fished with the boys recently and landed some great fish during a busy session.
The lure-casting brigade have been landing salmon and tailor from the stones, with the odd bonito also being reported. The immediate coastline has kingfish, salmon and tailor up against the edges for lure and live bait fishers, with topwater stickbaits and metal slugs being most dominant in the lure casters’ armoury.
The harbour is providing good schools of surface fish for small boat anglers to pursue this month, while some good flathead and bream have been pulled from the moorings around The Spit and Balmoral with vibes and soft plastics. Preston Lee fished with his dad recently and landed a 79cm flatty on a trolled live yakka.
Plenty of bait is currently available in the harbour, with ample amounts of yakkas at most of the local bait haunts – these are a great option and make terrific live baits, and the fish can be berleyed in at most local wharves and boat moorings. Small, bait-sized squid have moved in and are a great choice of bait for targeting school mulloway and kingfish. Smaller 1.8-2.2 sized jigs are very popular for these small squid. Don’t forget to rub some scent on them for a bit of extra oomph.
Now is a great time to put the crab traps out, as the blue swimmers are also on the move with some solid numbers being landed around the weed beds and sand flats.
Narrabeen Lake is well and picking up now that it’s flowing again after its recent closure. Gus Dowsett landed a cracker mulloway using a live tailor for bait, and after a couple of snapshots the big fish was released. The Lake is also fishing well for flathead and whiting, and Wimbledon Ave and Wakehurst Parkway are two areas worth a try.
The beaches are alive with very healthy size whiting being landed all along the peninsula from Manly to Palm Beach, with king beach worms being a very popular bait enticing these fish to bite. Shoals of whitebait are being harassed by schools of salmon and tailor beyond the breakers, and can be caught casting metal lures into the surface-feeding schools.
After the recent touch up from the swell and as the surf drops, it’s a great time to hit the whiting, as they’ll be on the lookout for a feed. A box of king beach worms and your favourite whiting kit are all that’s required for this style of relaxed fishing, as these fish are an absolute ripper on the plate and put up a fair account of themselves on super light gear.Reads: 626