Now we’re getting into what I normally consider about the best time of year for fishing on all fronts. I say ‘normally’ because what unfolds this month depends on the weather.
Floods, drought, strong winds or big seas can really change things around for the worst but with a bit of luck, we may be in for the best.
This is the time most offshore anglers and rockhoppers have been waiting for. Warm currents and plenty of baitfish should spark up a good run of marlin out wide, with a few smaller blacks often turning up in very close as well.
Around the inshore reefs and headlands it’s a good time to target kingfish with fresh or live squid, live yakkas or live slimies.
Off the rocks, those who enjoy casting metals or poppers should enjoy some action on bonito and kings but a live bait may also attract a better class of kingfish or even a cobia.
Keep an eye out for any garfish while you’re rock fishing and bring along some gear to catch them – kingfish rarely refuse them.
For something lighter, you could try spinning up frigate mackerel at the Terrigal Haven on small chrome or white metal slugs around 10g to 20g.
Remember to retrieve at high speed for the bonnies, kings or frigates. A few pauses and extra jerks during the retrieve may also help to trigger a strike.
Other spots to look for frigates, or ‘leadies’ as they are locally known, are in the corner at Pelican Point and near the boat ramp at Norah Head.
Bream, tailor and jewfish should also kick into gear as we move towards the end of Summer.
If conditions are suitable it can certainly be worth heading offshore late in the afternoon, catching live bait and fishing into the night for jewfish, trag, tailor and snapper.
The jewies, as well as bream and tailor, should also be active along our beaches. Through daylight hours, whiting and flathead are worth a go from most beaches.
I like to throw lures around the gutters at low tide for flathead but if you want to catch whiting on bait then a rising tide is best.
Although the fish are there right through the day, I reckon it’s hard to beat a nice calm morning because it’s cooler and not so windy.
Brisbane Water is normally very good during February, especially for bream, whiting, flathead and jewfish.
There are certainly plenty of flats around this waterway which fish best on a rising tide for bream, flathead and whiting. Quality baits like freshly pumped pink nippers are the best way to go if you really want to bag a feed, but casting poppers over the shallows can actually be just as productive on a good day.
Arrow squid, blue swimmer crabs and mud crabs are also on offer at this time of year.
The arrow squid can be found in the evenings around most wharves with some overhead lighting, such as at Woy Woy, Gosford and Hardys Bay. The smaller size 1.5 or 2 jigs tend to be better for these squid.
The lakes haven’t been fishing quite as well as over the previous Summer. The channel mouth has been quite sanded up for months, which means fish aren’t migrating in and out of the lakes as much.
The lack of rain in recent months hasn’t helped, either. The less rain, the clearer the lakes are and the tougher the fishing becomes.
While the prawn situation hasn’t been brilliant, most locals armed with scoop nets are picking up enough for a feed or some bait. The prawns should be around for another two months, so there’s still time to get out there and bag a few.
Regardless of what some people say about the condition of the lakes, our local prawns are some of the tastiest you’ll ever eat.Reads: 1999