The Central Coast is warming up nicely
  |  First Published: November 2005

Slowly but surely, fishing on the Central Coast is warming up nicely.

While October can still be a bit patchy, November is usually much more reliable so if you simply want to go out and score a feed of fresh fish, now is the time to do it.

Good fishing, however, can depend largely on the weather. Through late Winter we had no rain at all and the first half of Spring wasn’t a whole lot better.

A few showers saw the water quality in Tuggerah Lakes improve and long sunny periods helped increase the lake’s temperature to a point where bream and flathead became more active.

According to my diary, though, Tuggerah Lakes bream were a lot more active during the same period last year. Around the time of writing I’ve been scoring fewer than six legal-sized bream per canoe session which, although it may seem OK, is a far cry from last year’s 10 to 15 fish.

There are plenty of spots around Tuggerah Lakes worth trying for bream. Wyong, Ourimbah and Wallarah creeks are all popular for those tossing plastics, while The Entrance, Toukley Bridge and Budgewoi are worth soaking baits like mullet gut, pink nippers or fresh prawns.

I’ve ventured up into the southern end of Lake Macquarie a few times lately and found the bream and lizards there to be a touch larger on average so that’s another area to keep in mind this month.

Brisbane Water should pick up a lot more through November. The top targets this month are flathead and jewies.

There are always plenty of average-size flathead available through Brissy Water and they will easily fall to small soft plastics cast adjacent to weed beds, rocks and drop-offs.

If you’re not into plastics, try live prawns, strips of mullet, pike or tailor and pin them to a mini-set of 1/0 ganged hooks or a single size 2/0 to 4/0 Gamakatsu Octopus. The Gamakatsu Octopus has long been my favourite for estuary flathead and jew, regardless of whether I’m using a live or dead bait.

If bigger flathead are your desire, try the lower end of the system around Woy Woy, Ettalong, Half Tide Rocks or Umina with big soft plastics or larger live mullet or pike.

Please consider a careful release of any flathead over 3kg as these are the big breeders that perpetually restock our waters with baby flatties. Take too many of these and we’ll probably see a drop in numbers of flathead overall.

I’m certainly not a hardcore greenie and I love nothing more than munching on pan-fried flathead but I think it’s up to all of us to think and act on the future of our fishing.


Beach fishing has also been quite up and down over recent months. The main players have been salmon which have been caught along all local beaches and they should still be active in the surf this month.

The odd jewie has been caught here and there but this month should mark an increase in beach jewfish activity. Try spots like Wamberal, Forresters, North Entrance and Budgewoi with fresh bait and if you persist, a nice big jewie could be yours.

The rocks have been much the same with a few salmon, drummer, bream and blackfish one day and gone the next. I wouldn’t expect the situation to change much in November, with salmon and drummer again the main species.

However, a few kings could show up here and there with a chance of a tailor and maybe the odd jewie.

Boats heading out from Terrigal and Norah Head have mainly been getting into kingfish and silver trevally.

Most inshore reef systems have produced these fish with the southern spots better for kings. Large patches of surface-feeding salmon have been popping up right along the coast, mainly about 500 metres from shore.

Not many offshore anglers bother with them but if you’re not catching much else, surely it’s worth casting small lures back into them and enjoying some top-notch sport.

It’s been nearly six years since I filed my last Central Coast area report, so I hope reading this will help you catch a few fish this month. If you don’t catch any, blame it on the lack of rain, not on me !

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