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Fishing the Central Coast
Posted: 19/04/07 10:00:00 (Australia/Sydney)
This arcticle has been viewed 6580 times.
from Rocky Point, NSW
▲TopFishing the Central Coast â North Entrance Beach, Tuggerah Lake & Wyong River
So when I arrived Wednesday evening leaving fishing to the following day wasnât an option. With no time to lose (as is often the case when fishing is involved) we hit the North Entrance Beach. A southerly was threatened, but had only hit very mildly in the afternoon before petering out. Having perused the beach while it was still light for gutters, we arrived around 8.30pm with high tide at approximately 10pm. With a reasonable sized hole located we were hoping for a Jewfish. We had had no chance to get fresh bait, so pilchards would have to do. We are an optimistic lot though so we liked our chances.
▲TopNorth Entrance Beach â Day 1
A big heave put the bait out deep. The familiar tug on the line just before it cuts out of the top of the wave, as every patient bodies waited for the thump.
No Thump, Slack. As we wound in to confirm a missing pilchard, all bar the head, on a set of triple gang hooks. Taylor. More specifically little Taylor.
It is not uncommon for Taylor to pick up the bait and run into the shore with it. My theory on this behavior is that they are trying to avoid the rest of the school that are now chasing them. Much like Seagullâs with a hot chip. The beach being pretty featureless offers no shelter for the Taylor with his Pilchard prize, so they head for the shore and the only protection available, shallow water. Hooking fish that behave in this way is considerably more difficult then if they run either left, right or out to sea.
While we missed the jews or anything else of any size we still had a ball. By the time we ended up hitting the hay it was around 2.30pm so a 5am rise was completely out of the question.
▲TopWyong River, Tuggerahâ Day 2
Shooting in the hills around Wyangala Dam was a normal part of my childhood. Receiving my first gun, a Lithgow Arms .22 calibre (www.powerhousemuseum.com) at 8 years of age. Our dogs were overcome with excitement every time we would begin to load the car for a shooting trip. They were always in the car like a shot, literally before we had even begun to pack it.
Our aim was Estuary Perch (Macquaria colonorum). We had chosen a section about 4 â 5 km up river. There had been quite a bit of fresh enter the system over the past month, so we werenât quite sure what to expect. The Wyong River drains into Tuggerah Lake so it is not affected by tidal flow as much as waterways that drain directly into the ocean. Tuggerah Lake also has a relatively small mouth so when it receives a big inflow (from rain) draining into the river, consequently the lake rises until the freshwater can eventually flow away.
jiggler) and I generally leap frog each other in the yaks when we are fishing the same artificial. When we are working the same water with different lures though we generally follow one another. The latter was the case here. Jaye was using a Berkley Powerbait 3â minnow in watermelon with a 1/16 oz Gamakatzu jighead, I was fishing with fly and more specifically a pink clouser. We continued to fish for hours, with no success. There where a few little garfish around (which refused to take fly or soft plastics). Swapping to a 3â Squidgy Fish â Black Gold - T-tails, I still didnât raise any interest so we called it a day. We headed back to town to get some lunch before an afternoon session in Tuggerah Lake and the mouth.
▲TopTuggerah Lake â Day 2 continued
They were definitely on though as a small prawn run was also in progress. This had brought the Snook (short finned sea pike) out too. So after having caught a couple on the Berkley Minnow. I took out the 6 wt Strudwick Explorer coupled with a Shimano - BioCraft 56 this was a new outfit and a pleasure to use. I was fishing a Cortland 444 Clear Sink Tip, with a fluorocarbon leader and tippet.
The crosswind meant that after being blown across the channel we could paddle back to the other side then repeat the process, each time moving a little further toward the mouth at just a nice speed. I would expect had we been bait fishing we would still have done better then the bank fishermen and that is purely due to covering more ground/water.
We continued to fish the mouth for around 40 minutes without a bite so decided to paddle back to the channel in the hope that the ensuing dark would have brought a few larger fish. The tide still running out the paddle back to the channel was a great workout. Considering the population (people not fish) I was a little surprised there werenât more fishermen out. Commonly waterways close to major cities are overlooked as more remote or exotic locations are sort. Tuggerah Lake is an excellent producer as many lakes are, for they are generally the CrÃ¨che for juvenile species. This is due to the shelter and protection they provide. Shelter in the form of buffered tidal movement, shallower water levels then the ocean (which generally speaking means less/fewer predators) and slightly higher temperatures (promoting faster growth). However where there are small fish there are predators, not only in the water but above it. As Egrets/Herons, Cormorants/Shags and Pelicans frequent these bait rich breeding grounds.
A healthy population of predatory birds is often a good indication to the quality of the fishery.
Arriving back at the channel our theory was rewarded with flathead in the 30-40cm range more prevalent. We gave it until 9pm (end of the run-out) before heading off. Neither of us knew the score. Multitudes was the consensus with about six 35-40cm fish and four Snook thrown in for good measure.
▲TopWyong River, Tacoma â Day 3
It was quite evident the flathead where ambushing the bait as the snags and fallen timber produced more aggressive bites and bigger fish. Cast, wait, lift, lift, stop (wind up slack here on the pause), lift, lift pause, lift, BANG as another flattie fell to Jayeâs Berkeley watermelon softie. This is a standard retrieve but it is so successful for so many species.
As the end of one trip always begets the count down to the next.