The icing on the cake
  |  First Published: December 2008

Recent weeks has produced some very average weather but the good days have been wonderful and the brilliant fishing is just the cherry on the cake.

There have been some great captures of Australian salmon, which has been strange for this time of year.

Normally these fish are encountered more in Broken Bay than in the upper reaches of Pittwater. These fish are not very fussy and are pouncing on trolled live baits meant for kingfish.

Squid are the live bait of choice but at this time of year yellowtail also can be eagerly scoffed by a bigger king. There are also plenty of slimy mackerel at most of the live bait grounds and these are better than yellowtail.

The most consistent area to catch squid lately has been over the ribbon weed at Palm Beach, where the squid have been a perfect size to use as downrigging baits. Orange and pink squid jigs in sizes have seen most of the action. There are still some very large squid about and can be caught in the same areas. 

Some of the other spots to try are Paradise Beach, Taylors Point and Portuguese Beach. Remember that if you find it difficult to catch squid, hook up a live yellowtail and drift around with it while casting over the weed beds. The flash of the hooked fish can bring in squid for a closer look.

Once enough bait has been caught the hunt for kingfish should start as early as you can at West Head or Barrenjoey Head, although most headlands have had kingfish.

Most of the bigger kings seem to be inside Pittwater. There is normally warmer water there than in Broken Bay and I am sure that the bigger bruisers enjoy the variety of food on offer as well.

The points are the better places to try on the last half of the falling tide and the reefs or wrecks on the high tide. Big tides actually produce some current in Pittwater.

Places to anchor and berley include Woody Point, Longnose Point, Soldiers Point, Taylors Point and Bothams Reef. An oily berley mix to attract kingfish will also bring bream and the odd flathead at the edge of the reefs.


Offshore fishing has been brilliant when the weather allows. The 50m line has big blue-spot flathead and the leatherjackets have finally thinned out a little. The flatties are pouncing on pilchards but soft plastics on a paternoster rig have also seen numerous captures of two fish at a time.

The reef fishing is picking up with snapper, nannygai, pigfish, kingfish and many others showing up at the Pearly Grounds. The reefs between Long Reef and Mona Vale are also still producing snapper up to 4kg on fresh squid and Berkley Gulps in nuke chicken.

The good news is that we are starting to catch some mahi mahi. I love it when clients catch these colourful fish, which always bring smiles to their faces.

The coming months should bring in more of these great fish and many other long-distance travellers as well.

Peter Le Blang operates Harbour & Estuary Fishing Charters out of Pittwater, phone 0410 633 351 or visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.

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