Hot Spot in Pittwater

Peter Le Blang is giving away his secret spot in Pittwater to give you tips on how to fish your secret spot……… wherever it is!

We all have our little hot spots or secret fishing areas that we feel comfortable when fishing. Whether its knowing exactly what structure is on the bottom or knowing when fish move through a certain area we go to these areas that we feel confident with. As a charter operator I hear a certain quote quite often and that is “we always catch fish when we go to our secret spot”.

In reality we only seem to remember the good days and let the bad days fade into a distant memory making the spot always great. Thank heavens!

If you are just starting out fishing then catching as many fish as you can seems to be high on the priority list with good reason, practice makes perfect. By catching fish whether big or small, hones your skills and allows you to be more confident and a better fisherman.

This little Bronze Whaler ate a squid bait meant for a kingfish. I think I know why the kingfish stayed away!

This little Bronze Whaler ate a squid bait meant for a kingfish. I think I know why the kingfish stayed away!

My secret spot was exactly as how I described it above, a secret spot that I always caught fish at. Over the years of fishing Pittwater it has become brutally apparent that the only way to catch fish is to cover ground and be prepared to have a few spots ready to try. A hot spot or area always helps.

My hot spot on Pittwater is an area more than a spot. The grounds that I fish are basically from Stokes Point through to West Head. This ground has a variety of sand, weed, reef and deep plunging drop offs into deep water and that’s not to mention the sunken boats in the area. The area has deep channels that feed into this big bowl of Pittwater making it a great place to catch fish.

The species that can be caught are kingfish, jewfish, trevally, bream, big flathead, leatherjackets and plenty more not mentioned. Most of this area on the eastern side of Pittwater has been declared a NO ANCHOR AREA due to the Caulerpa Taxifolia weed that spreads very easily when disturbed. This does not affect the fishing in this area as you drift instead of anchoring.

Why is this spot better than others along Pittwater? Pittwater as a whole does not have a lot of current until you get to the imaginary line drawn between Stokes Point and Soldiers Point. To the north of this line the current is noticeable and for this reason I believe a lot of predators lurk waiting for an easy feed.

Which fish Where

Big flathead love the steep mud and sand drop offs near Palm Beach

Big flathead love the steep mud and sand drop offs near Palm Beach

I find that if you are after flathead you head to the drop offs that are at Palm Beach to Mackeral Beach, the rise at the entrance at Careel Bay or the rise in front of Currawong Beach. By drifting these areas with baits, soft plastics or micro jigs you will find a few fish to catch. The better time to target flathead is when you have the time but they do like first light and just around night fall or if near structure the middle of the tide.

This area not only holds flathead and other bread and butter species for the family man or novice but you will also find kingfish, sharks and jewfish as well.

Most of the time when the kingfish are active they can be noticed milling and feeding on the surface but when they can’t be easily spotted, anchoring around Soldiers Point or Sinclair Point and burlying can see a few attracted to your boat. These fish are best targeted in the morning and can be caught using yellowtail that may be attracted to your burly trail or better still catch a few squid first.

Each year this area has a few surprises in store. This amberjack decided that a fresh caught yellowtail was too hard to swim past.

Each year this area has a few surprises in store. This amberjack decided that a fresh caught yellowtail was too hard to swim past.

To target jewfish in this area it has been a lot more successful for me to target them at the last hour of the tide change. Drifting and using 120g micro jigs was the gun method last year and am sure that it will be again this year. Once again if you are going to anchor and burly Soldiers Point or Sinclair Point in the deeper water will give you your best chance.

If you are a stickler for bait the best bait to use for jewfish is fresh caught squid, yellowtail, slimy mackeral or tailor. When drifting around for jewfish it is important that you adjust your depth quite often as the grounds are not flat and you do need to keep your baits near or on the bottom.

Need More Bait?

Samsonfish will often be caught in the deeper water of Pittwater during summer.

Samsonfish will often be caught in the deeper water of Pittwater during summer.

Another great asset for this area is that if you do run out of fresh bait or can’t get any in your burly trail, squid can be caught nearby and there are other areas to pick up yellowtail.

To catch squid this area has weed along most of the shoreline. It’s really a matter of grabbing out a squid jig in the 2-2.5g size and start casting over the weed and retrieving it using a variety of speed and flicks until they are found.

To catch yellowtail, try the deeper water hole in front of Mackeral Beach. If you anchor and burly you are also in with a chance to attract garfish, slimy mackeral and mullet depending on the burly being used. I suggest a mixture or bread, tuna oil or a can of cat food tuna into a burly bucket. The burly needs to be almost a mist with only the odd larger chunk coming out of the bucket. If you have a fine mist of burly the fish will almost go into a feeding frenzy making it easier for you to gather some fresh bait.

Choose An Area

When you decide to start to fish this area the biggest tip I can give you is to find baitfish on your sounder. If you find baitfish in area there will be predators close by. Using your plotter on your GPS is also a great benefit. When you are drifting and find fish you are able to drift down the same area again after your drift has ended.

If you are an avid lure or plastics fisher the flats at Mackeral Beach to Palm Beach gives a great opportunity to target flathead, bream and whiting. Careel Bay has a very large area to throw a lure as well and once again there is a lot of weed for fish to take cover in and on the edges the predators wait for a feed.

A Currawong Beach squid. Now is it fresh bait or dinner?

A Currawong Beach squid. Now is it fresh bait or dinner?

Careel Bay has another benefit as well and that is the moorings. Every mooring has a block of concrete sitting on the bottom and all of these moorings in a small area create a broken reef.

In amongst the moorings there are some great fish that can be caught. The main target is kingfish but there are jewfish, big bream, leatherjacket and flathead able to be caught in this area as well.

So as you can see this little area of Pittwater is brilliant to try a variety of techniques to catch a vast array of fish. If you get out into this area it is a great place to explore and enjoy Pittwater’s beauty on calm water and the great fishing that can be done in this “Secret Hot Spot” is truly wonderful.

I hope this article helps you find your next Fishing Hot Spot.

Best wishes

Peter Le Blang

This kingfish was caught whilst downrigging the moorings with a fresh caught squid.

This kingfish was caught whilst downrigging the moorings with a fresh caught squid.

Tips Box:

  • Make sure that when drifting you are travelling with the current and not against it because of wind.
  • Use only enough weight needed to get your baits to the bottom
  • Use fresh caught bait
  • Find baitfish before you start fishing
  • When anchored, use burly to attract the fish to you
  • Always have a lure ready to cast in case of surface feeding activity

Peter LeBlang

About Peter LeBlang

I have had a passion for fishing since the tender age of 3 when I caught my first mackerel with my father and grandfather. I never liked to eat fish back then and still don’t now! Since then I have been lucky enough to catch massive dogtooth tuna in Vanuatu, big Gt’s at Fiji, Barra, Mackerel, Jacks and Queenies at the top end of Australia just to mention a few. Now days I love to target and show people how to catch big kingfish, jewfish, snapper and flathead with a variety of techniques. My favourite fish to catch are kingfish using live bait on downriggers. I am lucky enough to be based on Pittwater in Sydney. I own and operate Harbour & Estuary Fishing Charters and this has led me into article writing and reporting for wonderful outlets such as Kaydo Fishing World. I also do fishing reports on radio for ABC Big Fish programme, 2CCC (Central Coast) on Saturday mornings. My biggest love in life are my kids, wife and family. Remember that fishing is only fishing when alone but when you can share it with someone, then it becomes an adventure. Peter.

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