Traditionally, April is about the most stable month as far as weather and fishing goes.
However, the way the weather patterns have been playing up lately, it’s hard to predict exactly what we’re in for this month.
Under normal circumstances I would rate April as the best month for jewfish along the beaches, the rocks and in Brisbane Water.
Bream and tailor are also normally at their peak along the beaches and headlands.
Then again, I would have predicted that February was the best month for bonito and as it turned out, they were few and far between.
It’s also been a bit lousy for bream in our local estuaries over the past few months.
Firstly, I was blaming the extremely dry conditions but then we copped a deluge which dropped the water temperature significantly over a few days and that made breaming even worse.
Anyway, let’s take a look at what we can hope for this month. With a bit of luck the weather gods will smile on us and deliver the goods.
Off the rocks, blackfish should be in full swing. There have been quite a few around lately and last April and May were excellent for these striped battlers.
In the past I’ve experienced some first-class drummer fishing around the washes in April.
Bream complete the rock fishing trifecta and it’s possible to fish for all three species by berleying up with bread and using white bread as bait.
Select a washy point, pothole or gutter adjacent to a sandy bottom with some scattered reef or rock nearby. Some of the better spots like this can be found at the northern end of the coast between Red Ochre and Catherine Hill Bay, although this type of fishing is also productive right along our rocks down to Pearl Beach.
High-speed spinning with metal lures may still pick up a few bonito, frigate mackerel or kingfish this month but if that doesn’t work, simply slow down the retrieve so that tailor can get in on the act.
Casting whole pillies on ganged hooks may also result in tailor, bonito or the odd kingfish. It’s also quite possible that a few more salmon may start to show up as the ocean currents cool.
Beach fishing is normally excellent this month, especially for tailor and bream. After dark, jewfish and bigger tailor may be encountered and in the mornings or through the day, there should still be a few whiting and flathead in the gutters.
Offshore fishing certainly hasn’t been the best over the past six months so let’s hope things pick up this month.
Rat kings have been thinning out and a few larger models have been caught here and there.
I would always recommend using live squid if you’re aiming to pick up a better class of kingfish. The only problem is that smaller kings may get to it first, but either way a live squid is the best bait.
There have been plenty of sharks about this season and they will probably stick around and move in closer if the mullet start running along the beaches.
Unfortunately it hasn’t been a good season for marlin. Earlier on in the season a few lucky anglers got into a few blacks and stripes but it seems yet again I’m not one of those lucky ones.
Other fish to have a think about this month include snapper, teraglin, trevally, flathead and tailor.
There’s still a chance of marlin or even cobia if the currents are favourable, but I wouldn’t get too enthusiastic about that.
It would, however, be a good idea to get in as much offshore fishing as possible right now because we may be left only with cold currents and a plague of leatherjackets in a few months time!
Brisbane Water has been producing a few bream, whiting and flathead, with the occasional jewie in the deeper spots around The Rip, Paddys Channel and Woy Woy. Blackfish should start to pick up this month, although I would mainly be concentrating on bream and jewfish before it starts to get too cold.
Tuggerah Lakes have been a bit disappointing lately, although bream, flathead and blackfish are there if you put in the effort.
The Entrance has been the best bet and that should still be the case as we move closer to the cooler weather.
If we don’t have any further rain, a few fish may move up towards Toukley, San Remo and Budgewoi. Last year the blackfish came on thick at Budgewoi but then a minor flood wiped that out, so Budgy blackfish could be worth thinking about again this April.Reads: 3202