August on the Central Coast can be like the preceding and following months – a bit hit-and-miss.
Going through past dairies, it seems each year I get a good run of jewies of all sizes for three to five days during this month. They seem to come in from open ocean, mingle around the mouth for a bit and then make their way to the upper reaches of the Hawkesbury and other estuary systems.
If you're on the water when they come through, some great catches can be had with one outing in 2004 producing six fish between 14kg and 26kg within an hour. For reasons I'm not aware of, August seems to fish better than September. Going through old diaries when I used to do a bit of rock fishing for jewies, August always used to produce some really big fish.
In our estuaries, lakes and river systems blackfish, though somewhat temperamental, are usually around in good numbers and if the green weed doesn't seem to be working, squirt worms are a great standby. The squirties will sort out any big whiting and even bream in the area.
The odd flathead can be found in the shallows in the middle of the day when they seem to be most active.
Off our beaches and rocks, Port Jackson sharks or ‘boneheads’ can be a real pain as they seem to fancy any bait that lies in their path. They can make bait fishing difficult as they seem to be increasing in numbers each year.
I'm sure August will see some giant (5kg-plus) tailor landed, in particular from North Entrance Beach for those who are willing to soak bigger baits on those cold nights.
Most people don't realise how many XOS tailor can be caught at this time of the year off our beaches. The trick with these fish is to use big baits. Forget pilchards because a far more suitable bait is either a whole largish yellowtail or a similar sized mullet. These bigger fish will think nothing of eating a whole smaller tailor as well.
Salmon can also be caught in fair numbers off the beaches.
Off our rock ledges groper, drummer and some blackfish are available. Once again the fishing can be bit hit-and-miss with some days being great and others quiet.
Offshore can produce good bags of trevally and some reds on the closer inner reefs, while the wide marks produce morwong, snapper and some good-sized kingies.
If you fancy a rush of blood, hang a sizable bait over the back of the boat with a wire trace. Even though it's still a bit early, there's nothing like a big mako shark to brighten up a dull day.
These creatures seem to have no concept of fear and that's why I like them so much. If you are unlucky they might even try to eat your boat.
On the surface August usually sees vast schools of salmon hugging our coastlines and river mouths. Although they can be frustrating to catch some days they are well worth perusing as they are a hell of a lot of fun to catch. It's a shame they don't grow to 50kg.
Yeah, it's cold outside and the days are short but if you are like me and need to go fishing regularly basis regardless of the time of year, I suggest you get the most enjoyment out of an outing through heaps of warm clothing, hot chocolate and planing around the warmer part of the day. An early start doesn't seem to pay off this time of year so keep the outing down to just a few hours rather than marathons. Who knows you might hook – something that turns August into Christmas.
They say good things come to those who wait. I'm just so excited because I've now finally taken delivery of my new charter vessel and what a weapon it is. With twin four-strokes pushing the best plate alloy hull available in Australia, she really is state of the art.
She's got heaps of features not usually seen on a vessel this size and I even get a captain’s chair! It's taken almost 13months to build and cost me far more than I originally planned but at the moment I don't really care. A new boat must certainly be a highlight of an angler’s life. To celebrate, we've got some great Winter rates from $110 per person.Reads: 569