Thank goodness the past two months are gone, they were poor for fishing and although as I write the water in Pittwater is a chilly 14°, some warmer water should be due any day now and with it, the kingfish.
Each year the bite seems to first happen at West Reef and East Reef and within a week there are normally kingfish at Barrenjoey Head, the Valiant and West Head.
At this time of the year the fishing is normally pretty easy because live yellowtail always seems to outfish live squid. This applies for the first week or so but usually within a month, squid are again the hot bait.
If you are going to use live yellowtail, find a baitfish school balled up around structure and stick with it. If after four or five passes you are still without a hit, bring up the live yellowtail and squirt on a few drops of Glowbait. This makes the yellowtail literally glow and when trolled close to the balled-up baitfish, it becomes a target for predators.
The first few hours after sunrise and the last couple leading up to sunset usually see the hottest bite. This can mean an early start to collect live baits and then travel to your destination.
Better areas to start are normally Barrenjoey Head or the reef east of Lion Island, both of which normally hold baitfish and predators.
If you own a smaller vessel and are unable to venture out to Broken Bay, there are still a few options along Pittwater.
It is always a great time of the year to start hunting down kingfish along the western shore Pittwater. Downrigging live yellowtail at the start of the season should produce a few decent fish.
The various wrecks along Pittwater normally see little action except for schools of chinaman leatherjackets waiting to turn your lively yellowtail into a skeleton in the blink of an eye.
It is better to target kingfish along the 40’ contour, normally far enough from the weed edges and the jackets. Work any baitfish that are balled up and always have a white 6” soft plastic ready.
This is the time of year when some bigger fish seem to travel Pittwater hunting for an easy feed and on most charters we encounter at least one big fish.
And if you want a feed of jackets, anchor in any area with weed close by and send out a berley trail. Within five minutes you will have them snipping off lines carelessly touched with bait-scented hands.
If you are careful and use small pieces of bait on long-shank No 8 or No10 hooks your bag limit will not be far away.
Bothams Reef is covered with jackets but there are a few trevally that can make it all worthwhile.
There has also been just the odd big bream there but most seem pretty shy in the clear water. The ‘fishos in the know’ have been targeting big bream at Mackerel Beach and among the moorings at Bayview at night on Hawkesbury prawns or oily strips of fish such as slimy mackerel.
Squid are becoming easier to catch but there is still a fair amount of travelling needed to get enough. Small pockets of squid can be found at Mackerel Beach, Palm Beach, West Head Beach and in front of Portuguese Beach towards Soldiers Point.
Any jig that has orange on it works; we have been using Yo-Zuri 1.8 size jigs with great success.
The salmon have been out in Broken Bay feeding on most things cast at them. But Dolphins and a large seal have made the fish extremely hard to get near.
We have been finding salmon between Box Head and Lion Island most outings and if the wildlife hasn’t shown up, triple hook-ups on 5g and 10g metal lures have been common. Once the dolphins move in it is time find the next patch.
For the diehard jigger, Terrigal is still seeing the odd decent day but the fish are moving from one reef to another from one day to the next.
Terrigal should still produce over the coming few months; 60m is always a great depth to start at.
The drifting grounds in around 80m are producing morwong, nannygai, the odd pigfish and flathead. There are still Aussie piranha jackets about but they at least are a decent size.Reads: 2302