I have found March to be one of the most productive months of the year. Kingfish are still about, I get good-sized snapper from the Broken Bay reefs and jewfish are keen to play off the beaches.
Drummer are usually in numbers off the rocks and there are sporadic bursts of tailor and salmon at haunts such as East and West Reef.
Out wide, mahi mahi are still happy to swim round flotsam and FADs and, as a bonus, the Christmas adolescent fish are now reaching a respectable size.
But don’t go out there with a shotgun approach because you’ll probably come back with nothing.
Get your head down into magazines, troll the Internet, ask questions and talk to other anglers. After thorough research, specifically target your quarry and then do everything in your power to go get ’em.
This focused approach usually produces more positive results than a ‘let’s get out there and see what’s about’ type of attitude.
And have a contingency plan so if the main attack fails you have direction where and what to do next.
Record all sorties in the diary for future reference. I know I sound like a cracked record, having sung this mantra for over 10 years, but writing a log over the years will put you miles in front of the bloke who just aimlessly wanders out there with no game plan in mind.
After a session, whether it be boat, beach or rock, have a debrief with your buddies. What happened, what didn’t happen? What worked and what didn’t? What should you have tried?
All this makes you a better angler and cuts down on the time between hits.
The fascinating thing about our wonderful sport is that you never stop learning. Each and every trip confirms some methods, kills others and opens eyes in new ways to catch our quarry. That is the drug which courses through our veins and makes us addictive anglers.
We are so lucky today because we have so many publications, the internet, and TV to quench our thirst for knowledge. Make use of them to know your quarry.
It’s knowledge that separates the 90% of danglers from the 10% of good anglers.
Also, you need to get out there as often as possible because sitting in an armchair in front of the TV is not going to make you one of the 10%.
Here’s a brief rundown of what’s been occurring.
The weather has been up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. Heat, humidity and wind have all played a part and it’s been hard to plan a day.
Those who have had a go have found good patches of sand and marbled flathead off Narrabeen and Manly. Working strip baits off Avalon, Ben Hinson boated six red-spot whiting among a heap of lizards.
Transporting his West Head live bait to Boultons Reef, Evan Williams and crew sat all day as the yellowtail wriggled around underwater without attracting any inquiries. A move to Flint and Steel did nothing to improve.
Frankie Davidson (who has released a wonderful fishing songs CD) and Roz Tyson were just two of the anglers aboard Balgowlah RSL Fishing Club’s boat in search of snapper and flathead. Heading south, they eventually succumbed to the wind but a few fish were taken to add to pointscore.
It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I see a whole family fishing a local beach very early in the morning. The Wycombe mob from Beacon Hill hit Collaroy Beach before sunrise in search of a few whiting for a late brekkie. Unfortunately it was only Mum Kathie and ten year old Luke who caught a fish. Small spiky flathead were also hooked but released.
Blue swimmer crabs have come back with a vengeance. The Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay and Brisbane Water all have big males jumping into any pot that had a fishy smell to it. Haven’t heard too much about mud crabs being caught but who cares if the blueys are on song.
Pulling up the tinnie onto Portuguese Beach in Pittwater, Jeremy Haidon and Luke Walmsley walked while flicking soft plastics into the shallows, catching and releasing five flathead, two tailor and a trevally. They attributed their success to the new ‘S’ Factor scent from the Squidgy range.
Working a small Deceiver fly off the Wakehurst Parkway carpark, Andre Genievre hooked two bream, dropped two others and released four flathead in a very entertaining session in Narrabeen Lagoon.
At Rowland Reserve at Bayview we have a marvellous boat launching facility which services the whole of Pittwater.
However, if an emergency service is required for the northern end of Pittwater or Broken Bay, Bayview ramp is too far away for immediate response.
We desperately need a launching facility at the northern end of Pittwater, not just for emergencies but for recreational boaters.
Pittwater Council acknowledges this fact but has put the decision in the too-hard basket.
Monthly tip: Taking fresh ice is a must if you like eating fish. Fish must be killed immediately, bled and then put in a seawater/ice slurry which will keep the flesh in pristine condition until you arrive back home.Reads: 1226