Everything hits top gear
  |  First Published: February 2008

We are now entering the best time of year for fishing along the Central Coast. Most rock, beach, estuary and offshore fish should be in top gear this month, although the one thing that could apply the brakes is the weather.

Let's just hope we don't experience the same winds, storms and general instability that plagued us through the earlier part of Summer.

Warm currents should stabilise and move closer in along the coast, bringing more in the way of small black marlin and perhaps a few cobia.

If the big fish don't show then we should still have those smaller predators like bonito and kings to keep us entertained.

There were a lot of small rat kings about at the start of Summer and a lot of complaints about having to sift through them to come up with one or two fish that make the new 65cm size limit.

I was told recently that a few local divers had been spotting numbers of much bigger kings of 20kg or more in some places.

So it could pay to spend a bit of time trying to catch some big squid and dropping them down on heavy tackle. You may end up getting hassled by a heap of little rats but at least a big bait could separate the men from the boys if a bigger one is lurking down there.

Local rockhoppers would have spooled up their high-speed overheads and given the bearings a few drops of oil in preparation for this time, which is normally the most reliable high-speed spin month.

Despite all the fishing trends that have emerged over the past decade, high-speed spinning from the rocks is a tradition that just keeps on going on the Central Coast.

South Avoca and Terrigal are the ledges of the traditional spin men, with their 3m rods, 6:1 overheads and a swag full of half-by-quarter metal lures.

Further north, Wybung Head, Snapper Point and various ledges around Catherine Hill Bay are the places to spin up bonito, kings and frigate mackerel.


Bream have been building up along the coast and this month is normally quite productive when it comes to soaking a bream bait off the stones. Fish light, with minimal sinker weight and baits of freshly cut or salted bonito, frigate mackerel, tailor or mullet.

A rising tide of a morning or afternoon and some berley will help make this sort of activity more successful.

Beach fishing in February is normally very good, with tailor, bream, whiting and jewfish all quite active.

Those dreaded south-easterly winds made beach fishing difficult late last year so let’s hope we have the normal north-easterly and southerly winds to contend with.

As for rock fishing, my pick for the surf this month is bream. Fish close to any rocks for best results and in most cases there's no need to cast out too far.


Estuary fishing has been excellent over the warmer months, probably as a result of the big floods in 2007.

My good mate Aaron from Freddy’s Fishing World at Erina has been doing well catching whiting on poppers, jew on soft plastics and bream on anything he casts out. We may not all be as skilled as Aaron but his catches are a good indication that Brisbane Water is in fine shape.

Tuggerah Lakes have been fishing quite well for bream, flathead and whiting. Some of both species are of a good size but sadly the local lizards are generally quite small, although most are legal.

All three species are about in numbers and with the warmer water and reasonable Summer rainfall they are more than willing to hit lures.

I've pretty much exclusively been casting surface lures for the bream and having good success with a few different models this season.

As for the flathead, my latest fascination has been casting the smaller sized Chatterbaits around. You can work them exactly the same as a normal soft plastic-jig head combination but the blade at the front creates a strong wobble that the local lizards simply cannot refuse.

The southern end of Lake Macquarie has also been fishing well for decent flathead and bream. It seems as though the fish aren't there in the same numbers as Tuggerah Lakes but they certainly are a lot bigger on average.

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The new smaller size Chatterbaits have been braining local flathead over Summer.


Bream have been quite active lately and this month should continue to produce quality fish like this.

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