Good in patches
  |  First Published: April 2006

The fishing in Pittwater over the last month has been patchy. The good days have been great with up to 15 kingies a day while the slow days produce only two or three fish.

Most of the kingies have been between 65cm and 75cm and larger fish have been very difficult to tempt. The larger fish are there and can be seen on our Lowrance x102c sounder but are refusing most trolled baits.

Most of the larger kingfish have fallen to live yellowtail pinned just out of sight from the surface while at anchor. A decent berley trail has been necessary and using oily fish in the mix has really got them on the chew.

Areas to try for the larger fish seem to be on the western side of the river. Longnose Point and Soldiers Point are great places on the incoming tide with West Head and Woody Point working well on the ebb tide. Live yellowtail are catching better fish than live squid. This of course can change overnight so it’s best to collect both baits before starting to track down the kingies.

Squid are among the weed beds on both sides of the river but the hot spot has been West Head Beach. Pink 2.5 jigs are the ones to use and if you are finding it difficult to tempt them, go down to 1.7 size jigs.

Bream are starting to finally starting to show up in numbers among the moorings near Bayview, Mackeral Beach and The Basin. Live nippers are the best bait with prawns coming a close second.

Light tackle with little or no weight is attracting most of the bream bites. Again, a decent berley trail is needed and a mix of chopped oily fish and chicken pellets has worked a treat.

Whiting showed up recently and then did the Houdini trick and disappeared. I think that the beach haulers got them but the coming week will tell the true tale. Early high tides and bloodworms or nippers will tempt any that are left.

Flathead fishing in Pittwater is now a lot harder due to the Caulerpa weed that has made it so we no longer drift the river. DPI Fisheries has finally given in to pressure and is mapping out the ocean floor so that the full extent of the infestation can be gauged and appropriate action taken. Thanks to everyone who has written to Fisheries and complained about the weed, it’s your actions that have finally pressured them into doing something about it.

Instead of drifting Pittwater and spreading this noxious weed, try drifting between Lion Island and Box Head. The larger flathead seem to prefer this area and will always eat live yellowtail or pillies.

The odd jewfish has been caught over the past month but most of the time as by-catch when targeting other species. Wayne Robinson has been out with me a few times and is one of the keenest anglers I have seen. He was drifting the edge of a small patch of reef off Currawong Beach with squid strips hoping to pick up a decent flathead when the light rod buckled over and the reel started peeling line. After a torrid battle he hoisted aboard a lovely 68cm jewie.

Those who love flounder should try drifting close to West Head with prawn baits. Some of the flounder here have been up to 35cm, look great and are apparently a treat to eat.


Dave Butfield and I have completed a DVD called Kingfish Secrets, which shows downrigging techniques and soft plastics techniques. In one scene Dave gets dragged along the side of the boat by an 89cm fish with the screaming 40lb braid sounding like a buzz saw as the peeling line cut into the alloy boat. The DVD also has footage of the Valiant and moorings in Pittwater, jigging off Terrigal with Scotty Thorington from Haven Charters and maybe even a few bloopers.

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