The past couple of months have been carbon copies fishing-wise, but this month is set to change with more bream moving into the estuary from the coastal headlands.
The little rain we have had has helped to encourage the bream into the lower lake area and the water in The Paddocks has some colour to it at low tide instead of being crystal-clear. The big bream are still very spooky but the building of their numbers and the increased competition for food will have the fish at least catchable.
Some anglers have been using the cover of darkness, heavy tackle and a lightly weighted mullet and chicken gut baits to extract some huge fish, some as big as 1.7kg. Pulling these brutes from the leases is no mean feat considering the number of sharps around the structure.
The leases behind Regatta Island have fished well and although there haven’t been a lot of fish, the ones there are of very good quality. Brian Everingham and I fished there for an hour or so recently with a 1.1kg and a 1.2kg fish falling to pumpkinseed 3” Gulp Minnows and 3” Minnow Grubs. Brian also dropped a fish well over a kilo when the heavy drag and crackling graphite popped the hook. By the end of this month there should be fish pushing up into the tributaries and rivers again.
Flathead around the slack water in the channel leading up to The Cut have been easy pickings for anyone wanting to investigate the drop-off and sand patches out of the main flow of water.
This time of year the flathead can be a little spread out but the idea is to hit a few spots quickly until you find a congregated group. Flathead will form loose shoals and whether it’s a culmination of gathered bait, bottom formation or they like each other’s company doesn’t matter – finding them is the trick.
The tailor are still sniffing around the lake with fish over a kilo very common. The channel up along Godwin Island has some stunning fish during the early morning run-in tide. Bait or lures will catch fish although most of the time it is an incidental catch that finds the tailor in the boat or biting your line off.
There are plenty of blackfish in the lake but I’ve not seen too many anglers fishing for them. The blackfish far outnumber the bream and their aggregations around the leases often result in false hopes for the bream spinners. Getting weed can be a problem locally but often Central Coast weed is available from tackle shops.
There should still be plenty of bream moving along the beaches and rocks in September and cricket scores being taken over the last couple of months. Burgess, One Mile and Elizabeth beaches have all fired around the rocky corners, especially after dark.
I prefer cooked king prawns for bait and it generally goes something like, ‘one for the fish, two for me…’.
The cooked prawns also give you an edge on other species like rock blackfish (drummer) , which love them. Yabbies are another great bait that luderick, rock blackfish and bream all have an after-dark fetish for.
While salmon have been reported in plague proportions I have not experienced them. I’m actually renaming Janies Corner One Salmon Beach. On the past few trips to the area we have had one salmon on the third or fourth cast and then hours of nothing. There is, however, hope.
Occasionally you hear stories of monster fish that got away or were landed, with no evidence of photos, and they seem to get bigger with every telling of the tale. Well, seeing is believing and hopefully hereabouts is a picture of a fair-dinkum weighed (at a butcher’s) tailor that after gilling and gutting spun the needle of the scales to 8kg.
Uncleaned, the fish would have been bordering almost 20lb and while there is some confusion about who caught it (or the guy holding it is a dentist and we can’t show you his face!) the fact remains it is a once-in-a Mid North Coast-lifetime fish. While it is a shame it’s dead, I can understand the taking of a trophy fish. Details of the capture are sketchy but suffice to say it is a stunning fish.
Smaller tailor are still hanging around the ocean rock washes and spots like Latitude Rock and shallow offshore reef areas. Bottom-bouncers have been rewarded with some pan-sized reds and, on the moon, a trag or two.
Squid strips and strong hooks will help slow down the big leatherjackets and boy, there have been some big ones.
Remember, the Marine Park zoning submissions deadline of September 21 is not too far away. While there may be a grace period, I suggest taking GPS marks around the borders of the proposed sanctuary zones and staying well clear once the zonings are enacted.
While September is an OK month to fish, I see it more as a mere a kick-start to the coming season …roll on Summer!Reads: 517