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  |  First Published: May 2008

It’s all good news as far as Central Coast fishing goes at this time of year and Autumn hasn’t failed to produce so far.

The most difficult aspect of fishing now is deciding which species to chase because almost any type of fish that visits our waters is on the chew.

Beach fishing has been very reliable over the past few months and that trend should continue through May.

Consistently catching tailor has been quite refreshing because we haven’t really seen these fish showing up in good numbers for quite a few years.

Although they haven’t been lining up one after another to get hooked, every time I’ve cast a lure, pillie or strip bait from the local beaches with tailor in mind it hasn’t taken long to catch a few.

Some, mainly along North Entrance Beach, have been quite solid fish between 1kg and 3kg, nice choppers that really play up on the end of the line.

May is also one of the best months to chase beach jewies and that’s where those tailor can come in handy. One of the best baits for big beach jewfish is a fresh tailor head. The heads are better than a fillet of tailor because they last much longer on a hook, are a bit more compact to cast than a big fillet and I reckon the head holds much more flavour in it.

An average 700g tailor has about the best size head for casting and even smaller jewfish around 6kg to 10kg will quickly scoff down such an offering.

Bream continue to bite well along the beaches and a few bigger specimens are more inclined to show up as we move towards Winter.

I’ve also been hooking into some decent sized flathead at Budgewoi beach, which go really well on the dinner plate. Some good whiting have also been cruising the surf zone, along with a few dart.

Salmon have been quiet, but I can assure readers that will soon change as the weather and water temperatures start to cool off.

Offshore fishing has been reasonably good through Autumn, with bonito, rat kingfish, morwong, leatherjackets and a few nice reds making up the bulk of the catches.

A few samson fish, sharks, mahi mahi and late-season marlin were also lurking about but they should be packing their bags and leaving us about now. Some early-season trevally have been showing up on the inshore reefs so it could end up being a good season for them this Winter.


Rock fishing is normally very productive right now.

So far this year I’ve hardly even set foot on the stones. That’s a bit unusual for me but, as I say, there are just so many different species on the bite that it’s impossible to fish for them all.

What you will find from the rocks this month are a few tailor, salmon, bonito and rat kingfish on pilchards or metal lures, bream and drummer close in under any whitewash and reasonable numbers of blackfish.

I spied a massive blue groper the other day while rounding up a few squid for jewie bait, so that’s another option if you have some heavy tackle and take some time to gather a few red crabs for bait.

Brisbane Water and Tuggerah Lakes normally fish very well in May. Bream are perhaps the best bet, although flathead, whiting and blackfish are other fish worth thinking about.

Although flathead are generally regarded as a Summer species, I’ve caught plenty through May in years gone by and actually think it’s one of the better months for flathead.

Jewfish should be active in Brisbane Water this month. Think about trying for them at The Rip, Paddys Channel, Woy Woy and up towards the Gosford end of the system.

Jigging larger plastics like Atomic Jerk Minnows and Berkley Gulps on heavy jig heads will certainly interest Brisbane Water jewfish but to be sure of hooking them I would be more inclined to try top-quality bait like freshly caught squid or a live mullet fished an hour either side of the turn of the tide, top or bottom.

May really is a great time to have a bait or lure in the water on the Central Coast, so I strongly suggest getting out there now before the big freeze hits.

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