Last month saw a few patches of great weather, and hopefully the next month will see more of the same.
Fishing last month we had a few brilliant charters with wonderful people, but the fishing was a little patchy. Over the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in surface activity and better quality water. The rains really stirred up Pittwater and the Hawkesbury River, but in the long run it has really flushed and livened up both of these waterways.
Catching kings along Pittwater is still possible. The kingies seem to prefer the smaller baits including yellowtail and small squid, rather than the large squid that are around at the moment. You should grab both yellowtail and squid to see what is favoured by the kingies on the day.
This next part seems a little silly; using squid on the downriggers, the kings prefer to eat fresh squid heads over live squid. This is a bonus for those who like a feed of calamari for dinner. You can catch kings with the heads and guts, and take home the hoods for a feed. If the squid that you have caught is really big, use the head as mentioned above, but before rigging on your hooks, cut the squid head in half so you have an eye on each of the sides.
The areas to try are Scotland Island, the Supermarket and along the Kingfish Highway. They are cruising the system at the moment, which normally means they are hungry and are often seen while chasing squid. It is always good to have a rod ready to go with a soft plastic or even a two-hook rig with one of the squid that have already been caught. You can place this squid over the side while drifting and trying to catch more squid. If one of these rogue kingies appears, you’ll be ready to at least present it something to chase or eat.
Keep an eye out for working seabirds as these areas have been the places to track down kingfish. Quite often in these areas there is a mixture of fish, with tailor being the predominant species, and of course they love to rip your hard-earned live baits to bits, which can be frustrating. This is where large hardbodied lures come into their own. They can work a treat on a variety of species.
There are other species to target under these working fish, and one of them is mulloway. Mulloway seem to show up under the schools of tailor when they have been in our Pittwater system for a couple of weeks or more. Quite often when we are around the school of tailor that is actively feeding on the surface, we will use large micro-jigs along and near the bottom to target these mulloway. Of course, if you catch a larger tailor, cut a fillet off it and send it to the bottom with as little weight as possible. Mulloway love chewing on tailor fillets.
To maximise your chances when targeting mulloway, coincide your fishing trip with the change of the tide close to sunrise or sunset. Remember that the busier weekends will see less fish activity around sunset, due to all of the noise and disturbances that they have put up with during the day.
In a recent study done by Fishery scientists it was found that noise will affect how successful you are when targeting mulloway. This makes sense as quite often there are more mulloway becoming active at night time and at first light than during the rest of the day on a busy waterway such as Pittwater.
Areas to go to for a chance at a squid are Barrenjoey Headland, Palm Beach weed beds, Careel Bay and Morning Bay. The better size jigs seem to be the 2.5g jigs when fishing along Pittwater, and 3g jigs if you get out on the ocean side of Barrenjoey Headland. Use fluoro colours if the water is discoloured, and natural colours in the cleaner water of Pittwater.
The next month should see the flathead start to become a little harder to get. Usually if you target the shallower areas there are normally a few that can be caught near the edges of the weed beds.
Along our coast we have had some great days on the reefs around 60-80m deep. The reefs at this depth seem to have baitfish around most parts of the reef, so it has been a matter of finding the balled up baitfish and then dropping lines for your chance at some of the predators below the bait schools.
Species that have been on offer have included snapper, morwong, flathead and trevally. The odd kingfish has shown up as well. The better baits seem to be pilchards or freshly caught squid cut into strips. If you can, get some of those baitfish that you will find on the reef, and use them as well. The sand in the same depths have been producing some bluespot flathead and also the odd lost snapper.
I hope this report gets you fired up. Enjoy a wonderful day on the water.
|• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters||.com.au.|