With a bit of luck the local fishing will spring back to life as those frosty mornings become a thing of the past – not that all fishing has been terribly bad over the past month, but it hasn’t exactly been overly good, either.
Late Winter/early Spring is a notoriously tough time for fishing on the Central Coast so it pays to put in extra thought and target only the main species that are available. Around these parts, those are salmon, luderick, groper and drummer.
Depending on the day, you could add bream, snapper, tailor, silver trevally and estuary perch to that list, but don’t expect any miracles with these fish.
Tuggerah Lakes have been very clear and cold over the past two months. Generally, that means pretty poor fishing, but to my way of thinking there is also a bright side.
The lack of rain means that Wyong, Ourimbah and Wallarah creeks have a chance to clear up, as they’ve been flowing quite brown for over a year now.
The main influences to help the lakes come good now are some warm sunny days to increase the water temperature, which will boost prawn and fish activity.
Brisbane Water has also been cold and clear, but because it’s a more tidal system it doesn’t seem to go as dead as the lakes.
Blackfish have been the main species caught in both waterways over the past month or so. At times, The Entrance has really come alive with a lot of blackfish being caught anywhere from the channel mouth, past the bridge and out around the islands.
On the majority of days the fishing hasn’t been so easy but enough fish have taken baits to make it worth gathering up some weed and putting in a few hours drifting a float.
Although fishing for bream has largely been a non-event, there have been a few good spurts of bream activity. One morning I caught 18 bream to a kilo at The Entrance, topped off by an estuary perch and a good blackfish.
Two days later I went back and fished the same area with the same lures and it took two hours just to find my first fish. That’s quite a contrast, but that’s how fishing is at this time of year.
Metal blades have become very popular around these parts and although I’ve been a big fan of soft plastics for years, I must admit to having much more success with blades like the 30 mm Jazz Bokuns lately. Bream really can’t say no to these little lures, so if you’re yet to try them, I strongly suggest giving them a go.
Towards the end of the month, a few more flathead should become active in the lakes and Brisbane Water. The Entrance, San Remo, Ettalong and Woy Woy are some spots worth a try for early season flathead.
Beach fishing has remained reasonably productive through the cold months, with tailor and salmon the main catches. Jewies have been scarce, although the odd one has been caught here and there.
Salmon numbers have been building and should peak this month. Last September they were incredibly thick along some beaches, with North Entrance the real salmon hot spot.
This year I’ve decided to take a more specialised approach to the salmon by using high quality light tackle to maximise enjoyment of these hard-fighting fish. A new rod has been made up on a light g. Loomis blank and matched to a Daiwa Heartland 4000 reel spooled with 5kg braid.
Unlike some anglers, I would much rather enjoy what’s on offer, rather than complain that salmon are pests and should be eradicated like carp or rabbits. Haven’t enough of our fish stocks already been eradicated?
Rock fishing has been difficult, which is often the case at this time of year. The seas are either very flat and lifeless or pounding with huge swells.
On those rare in-between days when the swell is around a metre, the main fish biting have been drummer, blackfish and salmon.
September will be pretty much the same and if you really want to catch a fish when the seas are dead flat, the best option is to gather up a few crabs for bait and try for groper.
Offshore has also been tough, with cold currents and westerly winds.
A few good kings have been caught out wide, mainly by deep jigging, but closer in things are tougher.
Snapper, morwong and trevally have been caught in the shallows, but like the rock, beach and estuary fishing, your timing and luck have to be good at this time of year to avoid those fishless days.
Some folks regard salmon as nothing more than pests but the author thinks otherwise.Reads: 1222