Off The Map Charters March 2020
Wet Hooks Catch Fish - 1st March 2020
Autumn is here and the summer fishing around Pittwater, northern Sydney has been fantastic as usual, and for those who like chasing (catching) Marlin, Mahi Mahi (aka Dorado, Dolphin Fish), Wahoo, Tuna etc things are just firing up. Of course the estuary and inshore reefs are also producing for those that know when and where to fish. There’s no real (two) secret(s) to catching fish, - wet hooks catch fish and fish when the fish are there, - this is what we at Off The Map Charters devote our lives to !
Estuary / River Fishing
The estuaries around Pittwater offer sheltered calm water fishing for all of the regular species, flathead, flounder, bream, whiting, kingfish, mulloway, blue swimmer and mud crabs and for those that like getting inked (making a mess) the fun to catch squid.
The recent catastrophic fires, then storms and floods have made estuary fishing challenging lately however all of the species have been on offer. Mixed bags of delicious flathead, flounder and bream are not uncommon. Kingfish are harassing the baitfish (in the morning and evenings) (all around the boat in the marina / berth) and the phosphorescence in the water at night suggests the trophy mulloway (ghost of the estuary) will be there for those willing to put in the hours. For the keen angler the elusive and even more mysterious hairtail should be making an appearance soon (perhaps). Whilst hairtail can be caught during the day they are more reliably caught in the dark depths of winter. Having spent many a night in our younger days chasing these prehistoric “bumper bar fish” in a humble tinny in Cowan creek we can attest that the comfort and warmth of the saloon on R U 4 Reel is a welcome change to those freezing nights, even colder runs back and attempts to stay warm ranging from layers of clothing, cowering out of the wind to “self heating” tins of soup from Windybanks – I’ve no idea how these worked but the radioactive flouro green that emitted from the base of the tins when activated can’t have been good for us or the contents !
Offshore / Deep Sea / Reef Fishing
The reefs off Broken Bay are a great place not too far offshore to catch a feed of fresh fish, home to trophy size snapper as well as bream, trevally, morwong, samson fish, john dory etc. For those that like to have their arms stretched you can wrestle with the Kingfish, fairly reliable all year round. Once hooked kingfish have only one thing in mind and head straight for the reef, if there’s any weakness in you or the fishing tackle they will find it and these dirty fighters will win their freedom, - known to break rods, reels and anglers, but for that time you’re hooked up you know you are alive and we thrive on settling the score with these scoundrels !
Nearby we also have our reliable flathead drifts, a great place to get a tasty feed, relatively easy / simple fishing and conditions permitting we can also have a line out for a mako shark. Mako sharks are fantastic eating (no bones so great for the kids), acrobatic when hooked, leaping from the water and known to leap into and destroy boats. As if that’s not enough they never give up and “go mental” beside the boat.
Game Fishing / Blue Water Fishing
For those who love their Blue Water fishing, enjoy a feed of the prized Mahi Mahi (Dolphin fish, Dorado), or wish to tick Marlin off their angling bucket list, now is the time. In recent weeks the East Australian (finding Nemo) current has brought the warm water down the coast. Small mahi mahi are being caught on the FAD’s (fish aggregating devices) and around the fish traps with the odd larger one coming on blind strikes. Small black Marlin have been caught in close signaling that the striped and blue marlin won’t be far away. Reports are just in of wahoo being caught out wide and slimy mackeral are on the bait grounds. At the recent Shoot Out Tournament just to the north over 200 marlin were tagged, the following week 500 Game Fish were tagged in the Port Stephens Tournament, many around Norah Canyons within easy reach of Broken Bay. All of this bodes well for fishing in the coming weeks, and with Autumn bringing fair weather and calmer seas there is no better time to chase pelagics off Sydney.
One thing is for sure – you’re not going to catch that fish of a lifetime sitting in your office, lounge room or at the pub. The fish are there, we have the hooks – just add water !