There has been some great fishing along the local coast as well as inside Pittwater and it won’t be toning down for a while yet.
We have been targeting kingfish at our usual haunts along the coast and the size of some of the kings has been simply amazing. There are still quite a few smaller ‘rats’ about but if you are willing to travel, better fish can be found.
Best baits have been slimy mackerel, yellowtail and squid. We have been downrigging our baits and once hooked up, it’s normally all hands on deck with most baits in the water being readily devoured.
Last week I was lucky enough to have Saxon Welsh and his dad aboard for their yearly kingfish bash. After catching live yellowtail we headed to Long Reef with the intent of beating Saxon’s personal best of 76cm.
The baits we set and after 15 minutes of trolling, the first rod started to bounce about, signifying a smaller kingfish was hooked up.
With one of the customers bringing in the smaller king, Saxon was ready for the second rod to load up. He didn’t have to wait long. The live yellowtail was hit on the burst and reel screamed as the big fish tried to bury us in the reef.
To his credit Saxon, at the tender age of 10, managed to stop the fish and reverse its two dives towards the reef and after a 10-minute battle the 98cm fish was finally aboard.
Every other fish caught for the day was measured and announced as ‘only 81cm’ and ‘only 85cm’. It’s amazing how quick children mature these days isn’t it?
Fish of this calibre have been encountered all along our coast and some days it can be hard to miss them.
Places we have caught decent kingfish in recent times have included Avalon, Newport Reef, Bungan, Long Reef, Narrabeen Wrecks, East Reef and Lion Island.
Also in these areas we have caught bonito, samson, silver trevally to 62cm and big tailor. All of these fish have taken squid strips on the troll and I am sure that they would pounce on most small minnow lures.
We have also been lucky enough to encounter a couple of marlin while catching kingfish. These billfish are only around 60kg and I am sure that if you targeted them along the 40m contour, a few would be encountered.
At the 50m mark there are still patches of decent flathead but you really must check your baits often because there are patches of leatherjackets willing to ruin your day.
Back inside Pittwater, the fishing is also hot. We have seen quite a few patches of smaller kingfish but there are some bigger models starting to come on the bite.
The best bait, as usual, has been live squid and as big as possible to tempt one of the bigger fish.
Areas to target have varied from day to day but the deeper hole near Sand Point is seeing some big fish cruise past. This area is a no-anchor zone due to the Caulerpa weed so please don’t anchor. Drift the area with baits set half-way to the bottom or troll on a downrigger. Watch for patches of baitfish being driven to the surface by the feeding kingies.
Try the deeper channel that runs from Currawong Beach to Palm Beach, while Taylors Point and Stokes Point are also worth a look. I am expecting some big fish to come from these areas in the next month.
Squid are pretty easy to catch at the moment and most weed beds have small populations eager to attack size 2 pink squid jigs. Other colours are working but pink seems to be the most effective.
Bream are being encountered on the high tide near the mouth of the river and live nippers seem to be the best bait.
The same areas are also producing some whiting but most are small. It is important to use burly and to fish in the trail for the best results.
Frigate mackerel are being encountered in The Basin area. These speedsters are great fun on light tackle and can be tempted with small soft plastics and 5g metal lures.
Bigger flathead have been a little hard to come by in recent weeks. Try in the Soldiers Point area, Mackerel Beach and Towlers Bay.
The bigger fish are easily targeted in these areas with live baits and soft plastics. The triple rip technique will see many fish being caught once the fish have been found.
Just a warning to everyone who uses an I&I Fisheries NSW Estuarine Fishing Sticker to measure their catch. These stickers are printed to help with the identification of fish, not as legal measures.
The warnings on these stickers to this effect are only small but they are there and have resulted in people keeping undersized fish because the measure and the sticker itself can shrink.
You will see that the stickers are a couple of centimetres out over the length of the sticker. I suggest that you mark the legal length of your targeted species with a marker pen on a prominent section of your boat.
• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour and Estuary Fishing Charters, phone 02 9999 2574 or 0410 633 351, visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.Reads: 1019