Tough Time of Year on the Central Coast
  |  First Published: June 2009

We are about to enter the toughest time of year for fishing on the Central Coast, but at this stage there are still plenty of options open if you don’t mind rugging up and facing the cold.

Offshore you could warm yourself up with some deepwater jigging action out wide and hopefully stretch some string on kingfish. While a lot of these kings are nice and manageable, at around 3 to 5 kilos, there is a healthy sprinkling of 10 kilo kings amongst them. Last year I remember a 27 kilo king being caught, so it certainly pays to be prepared for battle.

With a bit of luck some snapper, trevally and kings may also be active closer in. What we don’t want to see are the ravenous hordes of leatherjacket that have plagued us over the past few years, but in all honesty, these swimming tin snips will probably be making a real nuisance of themselves again this winter. If you really hate the ‘jackets, the best tactic is simply to fish right in close. By that, I mean in 20 metres or less, or even right up near the headlands and inshore reef systems. If you don’t believe good fishing can be had this close in, grab some berley, use lighter gear and give it a go.

If you’re out more for some fun, rather than food, there will be salmon around this month. They aren’t always easy to catch, but smaller metals, soft plastic stickbaits and good old pillies on ganged hooks should get you hooked up to a few. Of course, lighter gear that would be more at home casting lures to bream is ideal for throwing small lures at the sambos, so this only adds up to more fun with these hard fighting fish.

Beach fishing is normally very quiet this month, not that it’s been that great all year. Anyway, there should be some salmon poking around, as well as the odd bream and tailor. Once again, the best thing you could cast from the sand at this time of year is the humble pilchard pinned to a set of ganged hooks. Although, if you’re like me, you may get more of a thrill by casting lures on lighter tackle if the salmon show up. Metal blades like the Jazz Deka Bokun work really well on the salmon and tailor and lures like these put a bit more fun into the game rather than the boring old metal slugs and slices. But it still pays to carry a couple of those metal lures anyway. If you’re super keen there is still a chance of a decent jewfish after dark, but don’t expect any miracles.

Rock fishing is a much better option at this time of year. Drummer and blackfish are the most commonly encountered fish off the stones in July. Of the two, I would recommend trying for blackfish if you want to score numbers of fish, but if you’re after something that pulls a bit harder and tastes better on the dinner plate than go drummer fishing.

A few bream and salmon should also be lurking around the rocks and if the swell drops off to nothing, it’s a good time to scrounge around for some red crabs and try for a tackle busting groper.

Back in the calm water, it’s pretty much all blackfish, with some bream in both Brisbane Waters and Tuggerah Lakes. In the past I spent all winter chasing our local blackfish, but these days I prefer the cold water bream and find the best results at this time of year come by using top quality baits or slowly working lures like metal blades or Berkley Gulps.

Quite often the afternoons are better for bream and blackfish. It’s warmer then so you don’t end up with frozen fingers and the fish also seem to be more active then. I suspect that’s due to the water in some places being a tiny bit warmer which increase the activity levels of these fish.

Yes, fishing can be tough at this time of year, but by fishing for the species mentioned here and using only the best of baits or lures you can still end up doing well.

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