The festive break so far has produced some great fishing in Pittwater and everyone hopes this will continue.
Pittwater kingies are fussy some days but on others you could be excused for thinking they hadn’t been fed for a month.
On most charters we are coming across at least one big fish from 85cm to a metre and when they hit the live squid, you really know you’re in for a great fight.
On most charters fish from 65cm to 80cm seem to be most common. These smaller fish can also be caught using poppers or soft plastics.
Most of the action has taken place early in the morning at Barrenjoey Head and then after the bite has tapered off, we have caught the bigger fish inside Pittwater.
The larger fish are eating slimy mackerel, the odd yellowtail and, of course, squid.
There are heaps of leatherjackets along the river so if you have a live squid on a downrigger, check it often. Follow the 40’ contour along the western shoreline with baits set at 20’ for best results.
The squid inside Pittwater have been a fair bit easier to catch lately and, as usual, smaller jigs that sink horizontally work best. A small swipe of scent near the sharp end of the jig will also mean a fussy squid comes back for another taste.
The best colour at the moment is pink but orange can also snare its fair share.
Remember to use the biggest squid live on heavy tackle; a big kingfish will find this offering extremely hard to ignore.
At first light try Soldiers Point through to Longnose Point. Don’t be afraid to start in the dark, either. In years past I have caught some nice fish just before it starts to get light.
But the hottest fishing has been along our wonderful rugged coast from Barrenjoey all the way to Long Reef. Some of the fish coming from this stretch have been impressive indeed.
We have been targeting kingfish and samson with our downrigger camera towing live squid or slimy mackerel. The sight of a school of big kingfish still excites me when I see them on the TV and seeing them eat in front of your eyes is a wonderful thing.
On most trips to Long Reef we have seen big schools of slimy mackerel and the odd patch of big flying fish, which can only mean big things are going to happen along our coast before long.
This time last year we were playing with small black marlin in 30m of water so here’s hoping that we are blessed with the same fishing.
The reef fishing is still a hit-or-miss affair but the best areas to catch a feed seem to be off Long Reef and at Boltons Reef, both of which have a variety of fish. If you berley too much the jackets or sweep will find you, so beware.
The Hawkesbury River is starting to come to life, with some decent jewfish being encountered. The best baits have depended on how far up the river we travel but if I had to bet on one bait, I’d choose a big fresh squid head.
My second choice for a jewfish bait is a big tailor or bully mullet, and then a butterflied yellowtail.
The areas to try for a jewfish are Juno Point, Elenoras Bluff, Flint and Steel, Croppy Beach wreck, Gunya Point and the rail bridge.
All of these are renowned jewfish spots and if you have the freshest bait and target the structure or deeper water at the change of the tide, you are in with a great chance.
If these areas are choked with anglers when you arrive, don’t despair; there are many jewfish spots all along the river just waiting for you to try.
The flathead drifts in Broken Bay and along the Hawkesbury have been surprisingly good.
Live yellowtail seem to be catching some big flathead, as are 6” to 8” soft plastics. The old ‘triple rip’ technique has seen many a flathead pounce on the lure on the drop.
Better areas to target with big soft plastics are Wobby Beach Point, Gunyah Beach, the shallows around Long Island, Dangar Island and even at the bridges on the slack of the tide.
Another good area to try is the channel that runs in front of The Mooney Mooney Workers Club.
This area is best fished on the last of the run-in tide and the first of the run out, after which the water runs pretty hard and makes it difficult to fish. And if you stay too long, you will have a decent push to get out.
• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.Reads: 1479