Champagne fishing
  |  First Published: February 2003

As I sit here writing this report I think how fortunate we are to have the calibre of fishing that we enjoy here on the Central Coast.

Over the week in which I write, on Calmwater Fishing Charters we have caught numerous jewfish up to 20kg, not to mention flathead to 5.5kg as well as kingfish, tailor, bream and several other species – all from the Broken Bay area, right on Sydney's doorstep.

It never ceases to amaze me that next to Australia's largest city we have such incredible fishing, and it's not just restricted to the Broken Bay area. Right along our coastline there is some fantastic fishing, from the lakes and estuaries, rock and beaches to the deep sea waters.

I know the fish might not be as prolific as they have in years gone by but with a bit more attention to detail and effort to come up with better baits, quality fish are still there to be caught.

The jewfish have made an appearance right along our coastline with almost all of the Central Coast beaches worthy of a try for these golden beauties. Likewise, our estuaries and rivers are also holding quite a few of these fish at the moment, with live baits, squid or big fillet baits the best to catch these prized fish.

However, the jewfish are not alone at the moment. This is the time to be chasing those big dusky flathead. They, too, respond well to live baits and larger strip baits. The river creek mouths generally hold the largest fish, while the smaller ones are scattered throughout the systems.

There are still quite a few flathead to be caught offshore, from the 50-metre to 70-metre marks. Normally by this time their numbers seem to have dwindled but anglers still seem to be making excellent catches of these succulent table fish.

The snapper seem to be quieter than expected for this time of year, with small catches coming in from Terrigal and Norah Head. Anglers appear to be working quite hard to obtain these catches.

Smaller kingfish are around in huge numbers along all the offshore reefs and the coastline. They will readily take a live bait or squid and respond well to various lures. Remember, the legal size for these blokes is 60cm and there are a lot of fish out there around 58cm and 59cm.

Among the smaller kings there are some larger models. On Calmwater Fishing Charters recently we came across kingfish up to 9kg in our berley trail around Lion Island.

They can prove very difficult to tempt, seemingly refusing all our goodies. However, this could change at any point.

There are a lot of tailor around, too. The best method for catching these guys is either with a blue pilchard on a gang of hooks or by using lures. Bled upon capture and put straight on ice, tailor are top tucker, I reckon.

Bream are also about in numbers right throughout the whole estuary system and along the coastline. In Broken Bay we haven't been catching a lot of bream but they are making up for that in size, with a number of fish coming around a kilo. The preferred bait is long strips of fresh mullet.

February is also striped and black marlin time along the Central Coast, so sharpen up those hooks.

Caption 1:

More than 20kg of jewfish just about to be released on Calmwater Fishing Charters


A lovely pair of fish from Calmwater Fishing Charters.

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