Reds, tailor excite
  |  First Published: October 2010

Although we had a cold and wet Winter, the ocean temperatures have been above average so catches have been surprisingly better than last year.

However, not all of us have been brave enough to endure the cold and wet to take full advantage of the fish on offer. I guess we are all getting softer as we get older.

The outside reefs such as Boultons West, Esmerelda and Broken Bay have turned up excellent catches of snapper, morwong, leatherjackets and some extra large greenback tailor. A couple of tailor weighed at our shop were over 4kg.

One of our local top fishos, Lindsay Reiney, has taken many of those big tailor while fishing for reds at Avalon Wide or at Long Reef around the O’Shaughnessy Reef area. Lindsay caught most of the greenbacks on large strips of bonito or mullet.

He has also reported a number of big reds around the deeper grounds off Avalon, Mona Vale and Long Reef.

For some great fun, fish the closer grounds off Mona Vale Hospital and Reggies Reef for trevally in good numbers and decent sizes – up to 2kg. Berley with plenty of chopped pilchards or chicken pellets and for extra fun, use light tackle.

Most of the recognised drifting grounds, such as Narrabeen, Collaroy, the Hospital Drift and Palm Beach, are providing solid sand flathead, with several catches of up to 20 fish recorded by a number of fishers.

Most are using pilchards, bonito or large prawns. Several flatties have also been taken on soft plastics such as 7” Gulp Jerk Shads or Squidgy Flick Baits. These flathead are delicious on the table and are well worth the effort.

Narrabeen Lake is still providing fish, which is a surprise for this time of year. Several local anglers have taken some excellent flathead from its upper reaches.

Young Aaron Myers has taken some good-sized flathead around 2kg from the boatshed area using fresh whitebait and Hawkesbury prawns.

There are also a lot of chopper tailor in the lake at the moment and they are of a quite reasonable size – from 500g to a kilo. Early morning at the mouth of the lake and near the Ocean Street bridge seem best; use whitebait, pilchard strips or mullet.

The bream fishos have taken fish up to a kilo around the Narrabeen bridge and from the Wakehurst Parkway near the barbecue area. The bream seem to be responding to soft plastics and hardbodies.

The lake is a great, safe place to fish and the kids can enjoy a good day out with their parents in an exceptionally family-friendly environment.


There are plenty of big drummer, good-sized reds and salmon being taken consistently from the rocks and beaches.

For some great pig fishing, try Avalon on the northern corner, Narrabeen at the beach near the rock pools or Collaroy at the ocean pool. Well-known local Tom the Dutchman has taken several pigs over 3 kg on large peeled prawns.

The rocks are also proving good for big bream and trevally, particularly around Mona Vale rock shelf.

The luderick fishers are taking good bags from Warriewood at the Blowhole, the Narrabeen ocean pool and at Palm Beach South. I accounted for several great size luderick this month at Turrametta and at Avalon on the southern edge. These fish are top fighters and really tasty when eaten fresh.

Two nice jewfish around 6 kg were taken from North Narrabeen Beach, near the mouth of the lake, on fresh squid.

For some decent bream, try the southern end of Newport Beach early in the morning. Marc Ternen Jnr has taken bream over a kilo there on Hawkesbury prawns. If you fish the run-up tide in this area late afternoon, you should have great results.

Call in and visit us at Narrabeen Bait and Tackle, we are happy to assist with local knowledge and advice. We always welcome your stories and photos.



• Newport Beach southern corner for big bream.

• Drift for flathead just outside the breakers in around 40’ off Palm Beach.

• Collaroy Rock Pools and Avalon southern corner for big drummer.



The fresher, the better – make sure you don’t skimp on bait quality.

• Large strips of bonito for big reds

• Fresh peeled large prawns for drummer and bream

• Whitebait, salted if possible, for flathead in the lake and outside.

• Soft plastic 7” Jerk Shads for sand flathead

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