What a season for kings!
  |  First Published: April 2005

This month marks the last of the kingfish season but what a time it has been. We were lucky enough to see and catch kingfish up to a metre with larger ones busting us off. I can’t wait to see the size of the fish next season.

Some kingfish are still roaming around the river and are camped at West Head to take advantage of the bait schools in the area. These fish have now seen every type of lure, fly or bait and are a little hard to tempt, but with persistence and a lot of fuel they can be caught.

The larger fish to 88cm have been caught while anglers have been gathering live bait at West Head. The first live bait you catch should be hooked up on your 10kg tackle and set out as a live bait in the berley trail.

Other places to catch the last of these wonderful fish for the season are Careel Bay moorings, Taylors Point, Longnose Point and around the entrance to Towlers Bay. The fish are easy to spot early in the morning by marking the working birds.

Bonito, tailor and the odd salmon are being caught around Soldiers Point on the troll on Rapala CD5s in blue or mackerel green. These fish are breaking the surface and casting 25g Sea Rock metal lures will catch bonito or tailor, while the small 7g Sea Rocks in white will pick up the odd salmon.

The large schools of salmon have not yet arrived at Broken Bay but they should not be far away. When these schools arrive, why not try something different.

Last year we were catching salmon to 2kg and trolling them on the downrigger as large live baits under the feeding school on the surface. We were spooled three times in two weeks on 30lb Fireline with the drag set at ‘you’re kidding’ tension.

The culprits were never landed but the brutal fights had kingfish written all over it. We didn’t get hit every day but when we did, the hours of frustration just seem to disappear at the sound of a screaming reel.

Bream to 50cm have been caught at Barrenjoey Headland and all along the Sand Point moorings up to the public wharf at Careel Bay. Berley is a must, as are fresh Hawkesbury River prawns if you can source them.

The berley trail should consist of chicken pellets, a can of pet food tuna and tuna oil. Fish with light traces of 5lb and with little or preferably no weight. Long-shank hooks will help present your prawns more naturally.


Large squid still populate a lot of the weed beds at Mackerel Beach but are in pairs at best. These tasty critters can be caught using white or pink squid jigs or pilchard spikes. A stop- start technique has accounted for most of the squid with a lot of them caught while the jig is on the drop.

Leatherjackets are around the crusty boats in Lovett Bay and around Scotland Island. Peeled prawns or small squid pieces on long-shank No 10 hooks are catching a good feed. Leatherjackets are also around most public wharfs and are often found chasing squid lures back to the boat.

The mullet run has not arrived as yet but if the netters are slow off the mark this year we may have another good run of big bully mullet. Bread or peeled prawns are the best baits when they finally populate Pittwater.

Luderick are starting to show up in numbers around Church Point Wharf, Bayview Wharf and Rocky Point. There are some large fish among them that like devouring local green weed – if you can find it.

Saw-tail surgeonfish are still around Taylors Point on the high tide and are eating green weed or cabbage baits anglers put out for luderick.

Blue swimmer crabs have been a little disappointing this year because of the lack of rain and all the octopus that populate the river. You are best to check your traps every two hours if possible to avoid them being eaten by a big ocky. Visit our website at www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au or phone 02 9999 2574 to make a booking for April.

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