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No better time than now
  |  First Published: March 2009




This should be one of the best months of the year for most types of fishing along this part of the coast.

The water is warm and everything from tailor to marlin is active, so we only need the weather to do us a favour and the picture is complete.

One of my favourite species, jewfish, this month provide an excellent chance from the beaches, rocks, offshore and in Brisbane Water.

The surest bet, however, would be to target jewies off the beach.

As I always say, make sure you’ve put in some time to secure fresh bait prior to heading down to the sand and be sure to thoroughly check the beach gutters before deciding exactly where to dunk a bait.

Another reliable beach catch this month is the tailor and March has always been a good month for larger than average fish.

Last year I didn’t catch any monsters but a healthy sprinkling of 2kg to 3kg fish was a welcome bonus in between jewfish bites.

Bream are also at their peak along the beaches over the next two months.

Last Summer I encountered a lot more bream while beach fishing than I have so far this season, although the last few times I fished from the sand the bream seem to have picked up a bit.

So I see no reason why you wouldn’t do well to chase bream.

My favourite baits for beach bream are strips of salted tailor or fresh mullet, because they are tough baits that last longer than pillies, pipis and the like.

Whiting and flathead are other species well worth chasing this month.

The good thing about these fish is that they are more willing to bite through daylight hours than tailor, jewies or bream.

RISING TIDE

One thing that all species prefer, though, is a rising tide. So if you plan to do a bit of beach fishing, always consult the tide chart beforehand.

The lakes certainly haven’t been fishing as well this season compared with 2008 but the situation may improve this month.

Bream, blackfish, flathead and whiting have been more active at The Entrance than most other parts of the lakes, but a few fish have also been caught at the mouth of Ourimbah and Wyong rivers.

One spot which tends to be neglected by local anglers is along Canton Beach, near Toukley.

It’s one of the most popular prawning locations through the warmer months but I’ve also found it produces bream, whiting and flathead in the mornings around the dark or new moon phase.

It’s shallow water there but that’s what the fish prefer and if you don’t like the idea of fishing at Canton, there are plenty of other shallow, weedy areas around the lakes. The top of Lake Munmorah, Wyongah and Buff Point are good examples.

Without a doubt, small poppers and other surface lures are the best way to go when fishing these shallow areas.

I’ve been catching a lot more estuary perch around Tuggerah and Lake Macquarie this season.

The reason behind that is my ‘secret’ EP weapon, the Lucky Craft Pointer 48 DD. The colour that brings EPs undone is called aurora pro blue, which is clear with a purple tinge to it.

Use this lure and you will catch perch, but remember to return all of them to the water unharmed and the gods will be on your side next time you go fishing!

Whiting, bream and flathead have all been active around Brisbane Water with the odd report of jewfish here and there.

Once again, the shallows are where a lot of these fish like to swim at this time of year, but it’s important to fish a rising tide to make the most of things. By shallow water, I mean depths is little as 10cm.

ROCK TARGETS

Rock fishing should be quite good this month.

Bream and bonito are the main targets right now but tailor, kingfish, frigate mackerel and blackfish are all normally quite active in March.

South Avoca, Terrigal, Wybung and Snapper Point are very reliable places to fish, so if you’re into rock fishing, now is the time to be out there casting a lure or soaking a bait.

Offshore fishing has been a mixture of good and bad, as we‘ve still had to endure some colder water at times.

By the time you’re reading this issue, I certainly hope that everything is in full swing.

A few bonito, tailor, heaps of small kingfish and some rather large sharks have been active in close and as we progress through the season, the bonito numbers may thicken right up as the kings fade away a bit.

Bottom fishing has produced a trickle of snapper, kings, trag, flathead, samson fish and some leatherjackets.

Small mahi mahi have been taken out wide around the ships and a few marlin have also been hooked out wide.

Smaller boats will have a realistic chance of hooking a marlin or two this month and there’s no reason why a few cobia won’t show up here and there. Let’s hope the weather and currents are favourable.

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