Kings are on the cards
  |  First Published: September 2005

I always look forward to September; the end of Winter and the start of Springtime fishing always excites me.

At the end of the past three Septembers kingfish have come into the Hawkesbury River in numbers and I am hoping this year will be the same.

At this time the fish are usually busting up on the surface chasing small baitfish. To match the hatch you really have to use a fly and a water-filled bubble float. The small splashes the bubble creates as it’s cranked back to the boat attract the fish and the trailing fly tempts the hungry predators.

This method is quite successful on kingfish, as is using small floating poppers or soft plastics. For the larger kingfish try working a soft plastic under the feeding school on the surface. A 6” white stickbait is a great place to start.

You may have to cast a quite a few times to get a hit but at least you won’t go to sleep wondering if there were any bigger ones around.

Salmon are starting to make a late showing and the amount of bait in Broken Bay is staggering. The salmon are showing up around Lion Island and at the mouth of Pittwater.

We have sighted a couple of kingfish with the schools of salmon but have not connected to one. The best lure at the moment is 7g River 2 Sea Sea Rock in silver and white. Felty’s Eyes fly in white has also scored quite a few fish. These fish are very boat shy and patience is required for them to rise once they have dived.

Tailor are inside Pittwater in small schools and are normally popping up in a different bay each day. Watch for the working seagulls on the way up the river.

The tailor have been eating 20g metal lures with colour not an issue. These 50cm fish are chasing and eating the lures at will. Try to avoid using bright swivels because the fish will quite often chomp it and most of the time it’s when you are fighting a decent fish.

These tailor are a lot of fun on light tackle but don’t get carried away with what you take home. Just take enough for a feed and release the rest to catch the next trip.

Towlers Bay and Longnose Point have had the odd bust-up of salmon and tailor, usually first thing in the morning. After the carnage is over, try fishing for bottom species that take advantage of the leftovers. The bait to use is whitebait or small fish strips. Bream, flathead and even school jewfish can come from these areas. especially Towlers Bay.


Bream are not around in numbers but some large fish have been cruising the moorings at Sand Point. Burley is required to tempt these wary fish and live nippers have been the bait.

Fish the shallower area near the boat ramp for your best chance. This area has also produced flounder and trevally to 30cm on squid pieces floated down the burley trail on light tackle.

There has been a lot of brown algae on some of the flathead drifts in Pittwater, the best of which has been close towards West Head. Areas that have a fair amount of current or up on the sand flats at high tide work; spot the patches of algae in the shallow, clear water and avoid them.

Whitebait and pilchards have caught most of the fish. Use large live yellowtail or mullet or big soft plastics for big flathead over the next month in areas like Palm Beach and Mackeral Beach.

The moorings in Newport and across the river at Bayview are starting to produce some nice bream on watermelon 2” grubs and 3” fish profiles in depths from four to six metres. Bream are also in Mc Carrs Creek on the northern shore among the moorings and under the wharves.

Squid are starting to become hard to catch again but with a fair amount of patience they can be found at The Basin and Mackeral Beach. The smaller squid jigs in white or green have been working well. Other areas to try are West Head and Barrenjoey Head. Squid at this time of the year are like gold, so use them wisely.

Luderick are starting to show around most of the public wharves. Bayview wharf has a fussy school of luderick eating cabbage or local green weed, if you can find any.

Salmon working early in the morning at Barrenjoey.

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