Central Coast action should be really peaking this month, with just about every species along the rocks, beaches, offshore and in our calmer waters being very active. So let’s run through some of our best options.
Bream may be around in every month of the year but it’s hard to go past March for peak action.
When the weather starts to warm up around October and November there’s a lot of talk about catching bream on surface lures. While no doubt you’ll catch them in late Spring and early Summer, I rate the tail end of the warm season much better.
Right now the water is very warm and there’s a lot of life in our estuaries. Bream are in a very aggressive mood and always keen to pin down a meal of live prawns, shrimp or any other tucker they can get hold of.
These hungry fish will whack small surface or sub-surface lures right into April.
As usual, it’s often best to cast into the shallowest water and that means only 20cm to 30cm, adjacent to weed beds and rocky shorelines.
I do a lot of shallow lure casting for bream and have done so for many years.
A lot of good surface lures have fooled plenty of bream for me over the years but this season and last, one little lure has really stood out from the pack. It’s the Jackson T-Pivot. It’s only 35mm long, which is a lot smaller than a number of other popular models, but I can assure you that in the shallows this is really the pick of the bunch.
Bream will also be starting to move along our rocks and beaches and as we head towards April their numbers should increase. At least I hope this will be the case, as last Autumn I found the rock and beach fishing to be quite disappointing but in the 2008 season the bream were in plague proportions. So let’s hope we see something closer to the ‘08 run of fish.
Flathead are another reliable target this month. I’ve always found flatties to be better just before and just after Summer, rather than right in the peak of the hot weather.
Like bream, quite a few flathead will be found in extremely shallow water but they also like those deeper channels and drop-offs right on the edge where shallow meets deep.
In the lakes, try around the mouths of Ourimbah and Wyong rivers or at The Entrance from the western side of the islands right back towards the bridge.
If success doesn’t come your way in these areas, try your luck at Toukley Bridge, Budgewoi or up at Elizabeth Bay.
In Brisbane Water you’ll find a few flathead just about anywhere, but those shallow areas with a mix of weed, mud and sand around Woy Woy, Saratoga, Davistown and the mouths of Erina and Narara creeks are hard to beat.
Jewfish have been out and about over the past couple of months so they should be active during March.
A couple of monsters over 30kg were caught in the lower part of Brisbane Water and the Hawkesbury back in the middle of Summer, so it wouldn’t surprise me if some lucky angler catches a monster this month.
Tailor are often quite active along the beaches through March. Again, I found last Autumn a little poor but I enjoyed some excellent beach tailor fishing in 2008 with some very solid greenbacks taking large baits intended for jewfish.
There’s no doubt that a pilchard pinned to a set of ganged hooks is the most reliable way to catch tailor at the beach and I recommend North Entrance and Budgewoi beaches first off, with Wamberal, Forresters, Umina and Pearl Beach other good places to try.
Bonito are traditionally at their peak in March, when they move much closer to our rocks and headlands. In the past few days I’ve spent some time chasing bonito around Norah Head and while I haven’t encountered any big fish, they are certainly around in numbers so hopefully we’ll see both size and numbers this month.
A number of reasonable kingfish have been caught in local lately. I know of a 20kg king caught in Lake Macquarie, but some others caught off the rocks and from boats around Norah Head, The Entrance and Terrigal have been around 10kg.
Of course, those smaller fish that hover around the 65cm legal size are always on the cards at this time of year, but they are still a challenge on lighter tackle and aren’t too difficult to tempt with squid or soft plastics.
Other species well worth chasing this month include marlin, mahi mahi , frigate mackerel and whiting. Sometimes the luderick off the rocks can also be good in March.
The only thing that could damage our fishing this month is heavy rains, so let’s hope we don’t have a really wet one.Reads: 1453