Warm water on the way
  |  First Published: October 2006

This month we should see warmer water starting to travel down the coast and hopefully some will trickle into Pittwater. Travelling with the warmer water will be baitfish and our beloved kingies.

The kingfish at the time haven’t arrived in the river en masse but there are a few fish about to keep you keen. Most of them are extremely hard to tempt but with luck and a fair amount of patience, rewards should come.

The Walker Strike Vision downrigger has been a blessing. We automatically know whether we are in the vicinity of any kingfish because we can see them holding around structure. It has been amazing to see these fish react to a panicking squid. The squirts of ink in the water do nothing to deter a hungry kingfish; in fact they can excite the kingies into feeding mode.

Remember when downrigging to paint the downrigger weight so it becomes an attracter to tempt the kingfish to come over and have a look.

On the subject of downrigging weights, there is a new style on the market. The Shark cannonball weight is shaped like no other, in bright dimpled chrome. This new weight actually attracts fish from up to 50m away and we are having great results with it.

The bait to use at the moment is squid. On charter we have been using live squid and yellowtail but squid have given the best chance of tempting one of these line-burners.

At the start of the season there is always better fishing along the western side of Pittwater with most of the points seeing action. If you like to berley for kingfish then Soldiers Point and Longnose Point would be the places to try first, followed by West Head.

Squid at the moment are easy to see but a little tricky to catch. We have had the most success with small squid jigs in the 1.8 to 2.5 sizes with green or brown the best colours. Places to try for a squid include Towlers Bay, Mackeral Beach, West Head, Barrenjoey Head and Palm Beach.

Some salmon are still hanging around Barrenjoey Head and Lion Island. Most mornings the fish are working the surface but you need a stealthy approach to have a chance. Small metal lures are working with persistence but clear soft plastics around 35mm are braining them. Light tackle only adds to the thrill.


Bigger flathead are starting to show up around the shallows and sandy drop-offs of Pittwater. Towlers Bay and Mackeral Beach. Big, heavy soft plastics in mullet colours cast around while drifting have accounted for couple of larger fish.

The water clarity is a bit of an issue at the moment. We can actually spot flathead in 8m of water and sight-cast to them. Target the shallows early before the sun rises too high and as the day progresses, move to deeper water.

Remember that the Caulerpa weed is still an issue in Pittwater and with Fisheries only containing new outbreaks, drift fishing can be a problem. New outbreaks have been spotted off Patonga and in 8m off West Head so please check all anchors and running gear before moving from one river to another. If you find Caulerpa, please report it to Fisheries at Port Stephens and place the caught weed into a sealed plastic bag before disposing in a bin.

Leatherjackets are still around most of the wrecks along the river with quite a few larger ones being caught. Dave Fox and his niece Natasha climbed aboard for a day fishing Broken Bay and although kingies were the main target, we had a ball watching big leatherjackets attacking Rapala lures on the downrigger camera. We also watched trevally cruising the depths, avoiding the areas where there were ravenous leatherjackets.

Natasha caught the biggest leatherjacket and was pleased to take it home for dinner. Please book now if you want to have a chance at Pittwater kingfish in October. This is a time when you can catch the remnant Winter species in the deeper water and some Summer pelagic fish in the warmer shallows. It truly is a great time to dust off the cobwebs.

Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, 02 99992574, www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.

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