If the warm water hangs aroundthe fishing over the next month should still be great.
Pittwater water temperatures remain around 20° and with schools of baitfish hanging about we should see good captures of kingfish this month.
Recently we have been targeting larger kingfish and the score sheet is not that good. On more occasions than I want to remember we have been smashed on the wrecks or wrapped around the many mooring lines.
The smaller fish we have succeeded in landing have been around 6kg. The bigger fish are over a metre but finding them and in a hungry or aggressive mood does involve a fair amount of luck.
Most of our strikes have occurred at Stokes Point and Sandy Point in areas that are in a no-anchor zone.
The recipe to catching kingfish at the moment is to find balled-up baitfish and then downrig big live squid or slimy mackerel or drift over the area with these live baits.
If you are going to drift you need to suspend your live bait at about half-way to the bottom. Make sure that the reel is set at fighting drag pressure and the rod is mounted in a very strong holder.
Keep your motor running because you are better off fighting these fish under you; if you let them take out a lot of line the fight will be short and end sadly. Bigger kingies know their areas well and quite often when you fight them with a lot of line out they find structure easily.
Other areas to target kingfish have been in Towlers Bay and Broken Bay. The Towlers fish have been relatively small at around 68cm with the odd fish of 75cm.
A couple of weeks ago Jim Langford organised a crew and bought aboard Michael and Jed as well as Paul Meehan and son Sam, 12. After Jim had caught enough squid to start we tracked down some kingies. The fourth was a ripper.
Michael was on strike when the 6500 Baitrunner howled. We were right among the moorings and it looked as though we were about to donate another rig but Michael was able to guide it out to deeper but not safer water. The fish measured 83cm and the smile on Michael’s face said it all.
The squid in Pittwater are fairly easy at the moment but over the next few weeks they will become difficult once more. Areas to try are The Basin, Portuguese Beach, Palm Beach and the easiest, on the ocean side of Barrenjoey Head.
A drift with two squid jigs on each line will quite often catch two at a time once you find the bait schools.
Pittwater has a few bream and flathead but most of the activity seems to be towards the mouth of the river, especially if you anchor and berley and use prawns, whitebait or live nippers.
Offshore there have been some pretty rough days but after the seas have settled there have been some nice fish about.
The mahi mahi can be pretty picky about what they choose to eat. Pushers in pink are still working first thing in the morning but then go live-baiting and downrigging as the fish start to go shy and stay deeper.
We pull out the Walker Downrigger Camera unit and lower our baits to 14m. The profile of the Black Shark cannonball slices through the current and attracts. We have watched dollies come up to the cannonball for a look before seeing and hitting the live baits.
Schools of striped tuna to 4kg are still about with bigger predators like marlin hanging around the schools, which are around in 100m mark is about 12 miles off Broken Bay.
Closer to the coast at the 50m line, flathead are abundant providing you can steer clear of those Aussie piranhas, the leatherjackets. These annoying but tasty fish are in their thousands at the moment, competing for anything that moves on the bottom.
The size of the flathead is quite impressive with 60cm about the average. They are responding well to pilchards and Berkley Gulps on the usual paternoster rig.
Schools of kingfish are starting to hold near the reefs in about 35m and areas like Long Reef and the Narrabeen Wrecks have been the pick. Anchoring and berleying has been the best way to attract them but sweep, leatherjackets and mutton birds can make life hell.
Stopping the mutton birds is easily done by tying a bottle of tuna oil to a cleat and letting it disperse via a pinhole in the bottom. I’d say the birds’ feathers are affected by the oil and they rarely enter the slick.
If you are thinking about coming out and getting amongst some good fish just give us a call on 0410 633 351 or contact us through www.estuaryfishing.com.au <
• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour & Estuary Fishing Charters out of Pittwater, phone 02 9999 2574 or visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.Reads: 601