So far this year most of the quality fish have come from the reefs and drop-offs along Pittwater using live baits or very fresh dead baits.
Places such as Longnose Point, Soldiers Point, Mackerel Beach and Scotland Island have been great for trolling live bait for kingfish to 85cm and salmon and tailor to 50cm.
The small patches of reef on the river have been better to berley at anchor for kingfish, the odd mulloway, bream and leatherjackets, which have taken a particular fancy to squid pieces.
The best kingfish seem to be gold River 2 Sea Live Pop poppers cranked as fast as the lure permits to cause maximum splash to excite the kings. At the boat we place a live bait mid-water so if the kings don’t hit the lure you still have a chance with the livie. Fresh squid strips or heads also work well.
White Slug-Gos, allowed to sink deep before a stop-start retrieve, have worked a treat along the drop-offs. Soldiers Point on The Basin side is producing better quality fish. The last of the run out tide has been the most productive, especially a dead low before 10am.
A lot of smaller fish are getting to the Slug-Gos first but fish to 80cm have commonly been encountered after the rat kings have backed off.
The Basin has a lot of whitebait pursued by schools of large tailor and the odd salmon. These fish have been starting out mid-river and as the morning progresses, the predators are pushing the bait into the shallower bays. Sea Rock 14g lures in any colour are working on tailor while the salmon have been caught on blue Rapala CD 7s.
Some larger predators have been under the tailor so setting a deep live bait around the working schools may produce a big mulloway or large flathead. Remember, if you are using a tailor for live bait it must be of 30cm legal length.
Towlers Bay has been fishing well for flathead, flounder and the odd big whiting. Whiting are being caught on bloodworms or live pink nippers while the flathead are pouncing on live mullet and yellowtail. Flounder are gulping down prawns or whitebait at the edges of the weed beds.
Careel Bay is holding mullet, bream and large flathead in the northern corner. Fish the run-in tide for best results. Bream and mullet can be caught using bread as bait and berley. Bread flies in the berley trail are deadly.
McCarrs Creek is holding some nice kingfish and thumper bream around the marina. These well-fed fish are very timid and need a well-presented bait to even get a notice.
Squid are populating most of the weed beds, with Palm Beach the easiest place to catch them. In the same area blue swimmer crabs are turning up in three to four metres with best baits a fresh fish frame or a can of cat food tuna with holes in each end of the can.
We still have bookings for March so if you would like to learn more about Pittwater fishing visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au or phone 02 9999 2574.Reads: 1972