Finally we are seeing some summer pelagic fish starting to make their presence felt in the northern bay. School mackerel of around the meter mark have been taken off most of the northern shipping channel beacons. These beacons are the perfect environment for mackerel as they attract plenty of bait fish which in turn attracts their aggressive sharp toothed cousins. A more common size for these fish is 50-80 cm but again we are seeing the early season fish are bigger. The school mackerel’s legal size limit 50 cm and they have a bag limit of 10. These fish have also been spotted just out the back of the surf and will readily take a whiting that has been hooked so if you bring in a whiting with a tail missing you know who the culprit will be.
The surf is still your best chance of landing a fish with good catches of whiting and dart. Another fish that is starting to be a regular catch off the surf is bream. This is very unusual as they normally like more structure to hide in. We have noticed an increase in small bait species so this may be the reason and all bodes well for the upcoming bream season in the passage.
If you are a plastics fisho the humble flathead is your best chance of getting a fish. The mainland side of the bridge on low tide seems to be the best spot. Either north or south of the bridge doesn’t really make a difference but keep in mind the ground is very muddy and rocky. There are stone fish around so try not to step on anything that looks like a rock as you may find out the hard way.
The passage is still looking good with plenty of bream whiting and flatties to keep us all interested. Lately people have asked me, where the better spots to get live bait from. If its yabbies’ you are looking for try the banks at Turner’s Camp Road and at White Patch. If its herring or hardie heads then try the lock and the jetty or the mouth of both canal estates.
Fishing report courtesy of Nigel Newman from Gateway Bait & Tackle.