Towards the end of February a fairly important movement in the travels of tailor up the coast occurs, with a run of large tailor appearing off our coast in 30m to 40m of water.
These fish mainly stay out in the deeper water and come into the coast only at a couple of places.
Shore-based anglers catch them mainly at Mermaid Reef and Diamond Head. These big greenbacks can be up to 9kg and are usually taken on lures or large garfish.
The offshore professionals catch these fish when live-baiting for mulloway. The largest tailor I have seen brought in went 12kg but they are usually around 8kg or 9kg.
These fish have been caught off Old Bar, Crowdy Head and Laurieton at night. Catches have not been as numerous in recent years, with only the occasional fish being taken.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s it was nothing for a boat to get eight or nine big fish a trip. Nevertheless, it is still possible to snag one or two of these big fish a season if you hit the rocks before dawn and work a large garfish around the whitewater.
Flathead have been the flavour of the month with heaps of 40cm fish and the occasional 3.5kg to 6.0kg big female caught on live bait or soft plastics.
Whiting are taking yabbies on the sand at the corner of the wall and luderick are biting well on live yabbies at night.
Good catches of bream have been made at night on mullet strips and yabbies when the tide has slowed down either side of slack water.
School jewfish are taking soft plastics fished from the sea wall, with the best fish lately going 10kg.
Fishing has improved on the beaches but it is not as good as it could be at this time of year.
Some catches of tailor around 40cm have been made but there is no consistency to the appearance of the tailor on the beaches.
Baitfish have been hard to find in close and the gulls are not seen very often. Usually, when the gulls are away so, too, are the fish.
Some good bream have been caught from the southern end of Crowdy Beach, with the best fish going 1.6kg.
Most boats have been able to pick up a bag limit of flathead without too much trouble by fishing the close-in drifts.
Smaller snapper have been caught from around the bommies on soft plastics and floating baits.
Not many surface fish have been caught with only the occasional bonito being taken.
February, while a very hot month, can provide some of the most exciting estuary fishing of the year.
Bobby-corking for big flathead is one aspect of estuary fishing that keeps plenty of anglers busy during the month. It is best to fish when the tide slows down, because it is easier to control the bobby cork and keep it on the right line of drift.
Luderick are plentiful at this time of year with green weed working during the day and live yabbies taking fish at night.
School jewfish are working along the sea wall and will take yabbies, live bait or soft plastics. Most of the fish are form 2kg to 10kg but occasionally a bigger specimen turns up.
The beaches at dusk and into the night can also be productive for big jew.Reads: 1839