With the footy season well and truly under way and cold mornings becoming more regular, Winter isn't too far away. The good news is that fishing is anything but cold and over the next few weeks it should only get better.
April has long been my favourite month for fishing along the Central Coast. Just about every species is on the go and the weather is normally quite stable.
I know, the words ‘stable’ and ‘weather’ haven't gone together well over the past six months but here's hoping, anyway.
Beach fishing is at its peak right now with tailor, bream, jewfish, salmon and whiting all quite likely to take your bait.
Bream have been very active along the beaches over the past two months although they haven't all been big. In April and May a better class of beach bream should show up.
Some reasonable patches of tailor have been cruising through the surf zone.
They haven't been anywhere near as consistent as the bream but there have certainly been enough to get enthusiastic about.
Salmon should return to the beaches in numbers this month.
This is definitely the month to put in some effort for jewfish off the beach.
Take some time to catch squid, mullet, tailor or beach worms before you get the big gear out and head for the beach, there's not much point thinking about jewies if you're not willing or able to catch some quality bait.
Failing that, get some good bait off a mate who has the time rather than just buy second-rate frozen stuff and simply hope for the best. Sure, there's a chance of a jewie on a pilchard, but that chance is extremely minimal compared with proper jewie bait.
There are two weeks this month when your chances of connecting with a beach jewfish are higher, the week around the new moon and the week around the full moon.
Tides that peak some time between sunset and midnight are the ones to fish. The only few nights during those periods when you may be better off saving your precious bait are the nights of the full moon and either side of it.
If, however, the skies are overcast and blocking out the bright moonlight, you are still in with a good chance.
Fishing from the rocks should also be first-class this month with bream again the best bet.
Cut baits of bonito, tailor, mullet or pike will stay on the hook longer than most others and bream at this time of year really go for these baits. Prawns, cunje, sections of crab, pilchards and white bread squeezed over the hook will also catch plenty of bream.
The other main species worth looking at this month are tailor, salmon, jewfish, drummer and blackfish. A few bonito, kingfish and frigate mackerel should also be around.
Offshore there have been some good-sized bonito and tailor close in and while most kingfish haven't been huge, a healthy sprinkling of 4kg to 6kg fish have been mixing it with the barely legal rats.
A few amberjack, samsons and small yellowfin have shown up here and there and if the water quality remains favourable, there we can expect more of the same this month. I still haven't heard of any cobia being caught although I'm very sure the odd fish will be along the coast at some stage – probably by the time this goes to print.
Marlin will be thinning out and snapper should be picking up as we slowly move into the later part of Autumn. Silver trevally numbers will also increase as the water cools.
Brisbane Water and Tuggerah Lakes should fish well for bream, flathead and whiting but the flattie and whiting action will fade away after the first few days of cold weather.
On the other hand, blackfish normally kick into gear anytime now.
Jewfish are normally quite active in Brisbane Water this month. Try places like the Rip, Woy Woy, Paddys Channel and up towards the Gosford end of the system.
If the rain holds off, jewies tend to move further up into northern end of Brissy Water at this time of year.Reads: 636