A great season for kings
  |  First Published: March 2008

It’s been a great season for kingfish and Pittwater, Broken Bay and most of the rocky headlands have hosted protracted – or brutally short – battles with these magnificent fish.

Mixed in with the kingies have been sprinklings of salmon and tailor, fish that also give their all in a fight.

For those who put in the effort, bream are still around and kilo-plus bream have been a common catch.

If you target bream, I suggest you make time to pump nippers on the low tide, prepare chook pellet berley mixed with some boiled wheat and then seek out a rising tide after dark.

Use 2kg to 3kg line with a fluorocarbon trace of at least 1m and just enough lead to find bottom. Fish near structure, where weed meets sand or find pebble/shale areas.

Bream can be fussy biters but if revved up with berley, bites are usually firm and fish run hard. Baitrunner-type threadlines work well with the free-spool drag set to a minimum to allow the fish to run unhindered and the main drag set to around a kilo.

Easter to me is time for snapper. I devote days chasing these fish now because I know they are there in numbers and willing to come out and play. I will be hitting the offshore reefs in earnest trying to land that elusive 10kg fish. I’ve been close at 9.1kg but need to hit the magic 10kg before I push up the daisies.

To date I have been a bit disappointed with the beach scene. Whiting, bream and flathead have been very intermittent. I will continue catching beachworms and fishing for whiting because my wife thinks there is no better table fish in the sea.

Strong winds in the afternoon are driving small boats home early. Conditions become quite unpleasant when the 25-knot-plus breeze shreds the sea.

For those who love the sweet white meat of the sand whiting, they’re back in force. Fish have come from Mona Vale, Dee Why and especially Narrabeen, where it seems the larger fish have been congregating.

Only the experienced have been scoring blackfish off Curl Curl rocks. One angler tried to emulate the experts but watched as they reeled in fish after fish while he went home with zilch.

There’s been dirty water coming out of the Hawkesbury after recent rain. A few boats fishing Flint and Steel have mainly been doing it tough.


Close in to the port marker off Palm Beach, Glen Vade found a patch of yellowtail. Using one for bait he then proceeded to catch a 43cm bream. This is the biggest fish Glen has ever taken on rod and line.

Accompanied by his nine-year-old daughter, Tony Jacob filled his bait tank with slimy mackerel in Pittwater. One bait left on the bottom found a 60cm flathead. After pinning a live slimy on his new downrigger, a 74cm kingfish slammed it as Tony trolled around the moorings near Clareville.

Fishing off a private jetty in McCarrs Creek, Phil Hanks nailed a 45cm cobia. These chocolate, white-striped fish often pay us a visit when the water warms up. Their flat head and high dorsal fin often mean they are mistaken for sharks.

Drifting in his kayak up around Taylors Point, Chris Glass used freshly-pumped nippers to have a ball on bream and sand whiting, one of which was an absolute barnstormer.

There are plenty of small bream in Narrabeen Lake although one local flycaster took bream close to a kilo off the Wakehurst Parkway on small Crazy Charlies.

Wading near the Sports Academy, one angler nailed flathead of 44cm and 45cm on Berkley Gulps.

If your main aim in life is to pull a jewfish off the beach, now’s the time to do it. Target a midnight high tide and fish it two hours up and two hours the other side. Let me know how you go.

Monthly tip: Fashion strip baits to have movement. Tassel the ends so they look like tentacles. Thread on a smaller strip so it flaps, looking like a swimming fish.

Pin strips at the front, don’t sew the hook down its length. This way they dance in an enticing way which will raise the curiosity in any passing predator.

On March 6 I am to give a talk at Asquith Bowling Club on general fishing techniques and will answer questions on all things boating. Everyone is welcome. For more information ring Lance Jansen on 0411 600 888.

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