Pittwater is picking up
  |  First Published: October 2008

Over the next couple of months the fishing in Pittwater and offshore will start to pick up and here’s hoping that the weather finally starts to behave itself.

Pittwater at the moment isn’t too bad. We have a few Winter species still hanging around as well as some new predators moving in with the warmer water and baitfish.

The usual kingfish action is happening with areas like West Head and Barrenjoey Head seeing the most action.

Best baits have been yellowtail, bridle-rigged and downrigged in mid-water, trolled at only one to two knots to keep the live bait in the strike zone longer.

When a kingfish is being bought towards the boat, quite often the rest of the school will follow the hooked fish so have a soft plastic ready to cast towards one of the followers. A great bite can often be had after the school has been fired up.

I use our Walker camera downrigger on our charters and can pick out the cranky or hungry kingfish.

The lit-up fish are the ones that display a black band that runs right along its body and over its eyes. When out of the water, the black line is actually the gold streak that can be sometimes seen on a landed fish.

This unit allows me to see the fish rise and if it’s not coloured up, nine times out of 10 it needs another bait to tempt it.

Lures are also working at the moment and can be a great way to track down fish. Smaller lures around the wash will also attract a decent salmon or tailor. Just remember that no fish is worth your life and extreme care should be exercised and if you are not sure whether it is a good idea or not to fish a particular area, it normally isn’t!

Flathead are becoming easier to catch between Lion Island and Box Head and a drifting pilchards, big prawns or yellowtail between the two areas usually results in a decent catch.

Mackeral Beach drop off is also holding some nice flathead, as are the Towlers Bay shallows and the hole and channel that run along Portuguese Beach. These areas are great for big soft plastics first thing in the morning before the boat traffic starts. Weekdays, they’re perfect to fish all day.

The surface action in the river last month was a little quieter than usual but I am sure that the fish have been around.

Last month Richard Mc Cullum grabbed a couple of mates and enjoyed a day chasing kingies in Pittwater. The day started by catching squid and yellowtail before heading to Taylors Point.

It wasn’t a hot bite but Richard managed a decent king. Strangely, the fish wouldn’t respond to a slow downrigged squid or yakka. There were fish on the camera screen but they just wouldn’t eat.

The kingy’s downfall was a yellowtail but only after we coated it with Globait and drifted for 15 minutes. The kingfish was a little lethargic in battle but at 74cm it still put a smile on Richard’s face.


Still inside Pittwater, luderick are being caught at public wharves at Careel Bay, Church Point and Bayview among others. Most have decent parking areas with the exception of Church Point.

At all of these wharves the keys to success has been an early start to beat the boat traffic and berley. Local weed has been a little hard to come by but on most occasions can be picked around the rocky areas and walls along Pittwater Road walkway.

For the boat luderick angler, Rocky Point and Woody Point have been the better spots on a run-out tide with berley again a must.

Squid are hard to find but this will last for only a couple of weeks. They are small at the moment, about the size of 1.8g squid jigs. These squid are great as a kingfish bait and it’s hard to believe that such a small bait is what the kingfish attack with gusto.

There are some large squid left at Palm Beach wharf, West Head Beach and in the deep water off Barrenjoey. Colour at the moment doesn’t seem to matter but the small Yo-Zuri 1.8g jigs in pink or orange at least allow you to sight some followers.

Bream are a little timid but I figure that this is due to the clear water. Lovett Bay and McCarrs Creek have decent numbers but they are refusing most baits. Even while berleying, fresh Hawkesbury River Prawns are being ignored by these fussy fish.

The bait that has worked is a live nipper fished on unweighted light tackle or a lump of bread. With all the baby snapper about pouncing on the nippers, it is cheaper to use bread for bait and berley.


Kingfish are still being jigged off Terrigal and as at Narrabeen and Long Reef. There are quite a few kingfish closer in at Long Reef, Hole In The Wall and Newport Reef.

At the closer reefs the fish are responding well to trolled lures, live slimies and yellowtail.

Morwong are still around on the reefs at Long Reef and Mona Vale. There are a few snapper in the same areas along with flathead on the sandy edges. Leatherjackets are still being caught but thankfully are few and far between.

The 50m depth contour has been starting to fire up again and flathead to 50cm fish or better are quite common. Drifting with pilchards or whitebait has been the downfall of many but soft plastics are scoring decent numbers.

The wrecks off Narrabeen have been fishing well at anchor for jewfish, kingfish, small snapper and morwong, among others.

I hope this report gets you excited enough to dust the cobwebs off the fishing gear and grab a mate to go fishing. Better still, grab a mate, come on board and use our knowledge and tackle!

Peter Le Blang operates Harbour & Estuary Fishing Charters out of Pittwater, phone 0410 633 351 or visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au.

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