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The Magic Month Of March

By Dan Trotter on March 25, 2014 in Other

Picture: Dan Trotter

Picture: Dan Trotter

The coming month is one of my favourites. Not only does it house my birthday, it’s also the month when the fishing along the east coast is as good as it gets, with the big kingfish that usually rule the reefs having their supremacy challenged by large northern visitors and snapper beginning to show up in good numbers too.

March really is the month to travel, watch the weather, read the SST charts and hatch your plans. Heading north to fish the infamous LBG spots or mid north coast ports is well worth the effort, with hefty cobia, XOS long tail tuna and super-sized Spanish mackerel the potential reward. If you can find the time to skip off work early and take a long weekend, this is the time of year to do it – work can wait!

Offshore, the great season we have experienced thus far should continue to fire. It is possible that a late run of big dolphin fish will show up, joined by billfish and hopefully some early tuna.

On my favourite reefs it is time for late season jewfish, kings aplenty over the magic metre mark and, as dusk starts to fall, the chance of teraglin, big tailor and more silver-flanked, purple-dotted mulloway.

Also of interest, this year seems to have been a good year for largish Samson fish. Interestingly, Sydney never gets huge specimens of this species, just the juveniles, which have been up to 80cm this year. They are very tasty, fight hard for their size and make extremely good sashimi.

In the harbour, bays and estuaries, March is the time to fish often and target afternoons and early mornings. Lucky fishos could encounter anything that is usually caught offshore around the confluence of the ocean and the estuaries. Even billfish get hooked between the heads at this time of year, and spotted mackerel and cobia are known to wander well upstream in search of a feed.

Just recently I enjoyed one of the highlights of my wharf fishing career when I managed to land myself a solid kingfish off one of the harbour wharfs. Live squid suspended under a pencil float on a 6/0 live-bait hook did the trick. When the golden flanks hit the deck my smile reached from ear to ear and I have to admit to throwing out a few sneaky fist pumps too.

Another highlight of my obsession with fishing was meeting a Bondi local angling legend who has been fishing from Ben Buckler for over 70 years. During this time he has recorded ever fish he has caught and boy has he caught some in his years. I am very excited to say that in the next few weeks I will be popping around to interview him about the sea and his many memories that have revolved around it, and I look forward to sharing his story with all of you in an upcoming issue of the Beast.

Until then, fish often, fish smart, keep your angling diary up to date and enjoy some fresh meals straight from the sea!