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Weather holds the key
  |  First Published: July 2009



Hopefully the weather gods will be kinder to us because there are decent fish to be caught offshore once the seas and winds die down.

Albacore and yellowfin tuna have been encountered along the continental shelf and beyond. Most fish have been caught while cubing and the yellowfin have responded well to live yellowtail down the berley trail.

Albacore mostly have been caught on the troll. The place to start has been wherever bird action is seen or at structure such as Browns Mountain.

Closer to shore, kingfish are starting to really fire up on the reefs off Terrigal and occasionally off Sydney.

The jigging brigades have been catching fish to 95cm on 200g knife jigs. This exciting, but very tiring, form of fishing can also be very expensive, especially when leatherjackets are found on the first drop. I suggest that you drop only one jig at a time and if leatherjackets are near, move on unless big arches are showing on your sounder.

The headlands are providing many anglers with fun. There are tailor, trevally, salmon and bonito schooling at different headlands on different days.

The most successful way to catch a tailor has been to cast 25g metal lures into the wash and retrieve as soon as it hits the water. By working the washy areas you should find some fish to play with.

The bonito have been responding well to trolled 5” hard minnows. These great fighting fish are good to eat if they are bled immediately they are caught and quickly placed in an ice slurry.

The silver trevally have shown up with the cold water and can be caught near the reef at Lion Island. Fish at the edge of the reef over the sand in about 8m.

The best bait varies from day to day but if you take prawns and fresh squid you will usually go home with a feed. Pilchards are also top-notch bait and can also snare a small jewfish or decent tailor.

PITTWATER KINGS

The kingfish action inside Pittwater has been difficult. The water temperature has dropped with all the rain and the fish have slowed their feeding habits.

There are big kingfish showing themselves along Pittwater in the shallows and on the sounder but patience is needed to tangle with one.

The better fish have been seen at Longnose Point and Soldiers Point, cruising the shallows where the water is warmer and hunting small cuttlefish and squid.

In winter these larger Pittwater kings seem to pop up out of nowhere and quite often disappear just as quickly.

I have found downrigging smaller live baits to be a great help in tracking down kingfish though sometimes even the best-presented bait can still be refused and a different approach is needed.

If you know there are fish hanging around structure, try drifting over it five or six times. By drifting while cubing of pilchards you can lure the kings away from the structure, which will give you a chance at drifting cube back to them.

Another way to tempt or excite one of these larger fish is to work 6” soft plastics at depth in the strike zone.

The hardest part about hunting kingfish around structure when anchoring and berleying is the hordes of leatherjackets and batfish that destroy your hard-earned and often vitally necessary live bait.

Also in Pittwater are tailor, trevally and bream.

The tailor can be seen feeding on the surface most mornings from The Basin to Sandy Point. Most fish have been around 30cm but tailor of up to 45cm can be caught.  Casting and retrieving 20g metal lures has been most successful. 

If the fish are not working the surface they can usually be found by trolling 4” hard minnows from Soldiers Point towards West Head.

TREVALLY, BREAM

Trevally can be caught at Bothams Reef by anchoring, berleying and feeding unweighted peeled prawns small fish pieces, squid bits and even whitebait down the trail.

Most of the bream are near the mouth of Pittwater. West Head and the rocky shoreline towards Mackerel Beach are prime areas.

A mix of chicken fillets, bread and a can of cat food tuna lowered in a berley bucket to disperse with the current should see the bream jumping into your boat.

Luderick are at most of the public wharves along Pittwater. 

Local green weed has become very hard to find but, thankfully, the blackfish don't seem to mind eating weed from elsewhere.

For those with a boat, the kelp beds area near Portuguese Beach and Woody Point are worth trying.

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