Be bold in the cold
  |  First Published: June 2006

Colder water and even colder air temperatures haven’t stopped some nice fish being caught.

Those willing to brave the nippy early starts have been warming up from the all the casting at the salmon and trevally. The salmon are not always making it into Pittwater but patches of salmon, including some big ones, can be seen harassing baitfish near Lion Island and Box Head.

I had a recent report of a Pittwater local catching a 74cm giant on 4kg mono with a 7g white metal slug. This fish was caught and released on the northern side of Lion Island. The angler wishes to remain anonymous but he is the one with the big grin on his face at Church Point.

We have yet to catch large kingfish under the salmon but it hasn’t been from lack of effort. We will get a chance, though, because every fish in the ocean is food for another at some stage of their existence. Here’s hoping that the next time we put a 4lb live salmon on the downrigger it becomes kingfish fodder.

Tailor are still in Pittwater but are starting to stay down deep and only the small chopper tailor seem to be on the surface. The larger fish are coming from Soldiers Point across to Stokes Point and are eating deep trolled CD9s in the mullet pattern.

Other areas that have turned up tailor include West Head right through to Flint and Steel, while the washes at Barrenjoey Head have held tailor for those casting lures.

Bream are making their way into Broken Bay and both West Head and Barrenjoey have produced some specimens to 43cm. These fish will generally hang around for a while and have been pouncing on whitebait.

The Pittwater wrecks are holding bream and the odd trevally and if you can get a bait past the leatherjackets then the other species are not too hard to catch.

Larger bream are responding to a berley trail of boiled wheat, chicken pellets and cans of tuna. Long traces with little or no weight will give you the best chance of catching a larger fish.

Salt Pan Bay and Towlers Bay are still holding bream but they are very wary. These areas are great to use soft plastics because the water is relatively shallow and the weed beds hold an array of bait for hungry bream.


The Basin and Towlers are starting to fish well for john dory lurking near the schools of baby snapper and other fish. Simply pin a live bait a metre off the bottom so the slow-moving dory can use its lightning-fast jaws to get an easy feed. Live yellowtail, mados or sweep worked last year and this year should be no different. Catching john dory is not the most exiting fishing but the rewards in the eating.

Luderick are starting to show in small numbers along Pittwater, eating local cabbage and green weed when you can source it. The usual areas like Church Point and Bayview Wharf are working for the land-based anglers with Woody Point, Rocky Point and Scotland Island for the boat fishos.

A berley of finely chopped green weed mixed with sand will do the job of attracting these wonderful fish right to your feet. Luderick are one of the only fish known to NSW Fisheries that eat that dreaded Caulerpa weed. There is no better reason to let the masses of these fish swim free. If they can eat this weed and survive. I say let them go and point them in the direction of the Caulerpa infestations.

Late last month we were lucky enough to come across a school of very lost amberjack. The bite lasted only a week but Stefan Hansson was lucky enough to be on board with Kris from Windsor Bait and Tackle during the bite. The amberjack were eating live squid trolled on the downrigger a metre off the bottom. Squid are still extremely hard to catch.

Kris caught the squid but Stefan was the man of the day, landing a nice fish of 65cm which was released to fight another day.

The next month will see some great fishing for those prepared to start early and fish hard.

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