Kings, bonito take over
  |  First Published: December 2008

Have you been putting out suggestions of what you’d like Santa to come down the chimney with? I bet by now you know the exact catalogue number of that rod or the precise specifications of that reel and have left them in conspicuous places with price, availability and the tackle shop’s address.

We’ve had some hot weather early in the season and I think this will warm waters quicker than normal.

Those wonderful fighting kingfish are now being found on the close reefs and by the time you read this I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in numbers in Pittwater and the Harbour.

Early morning they do the rounds of the moorings and jetties, terrorising bait schools, and are prime targets for a large sinking fly or a splashy chrome lure.

I just love using surface lures on these thugs. Fizzers, poppers and walkers all have taken fish and a surface strike on one of these is a sight that stays long in the memory.

Whitewater close to a rocky headland is a sure place to find bonito. These dogged fighters can be taken on the troll or by casting unweighted baits into the froth. I love it when the reel sings as one of these toothy fish decide it’s time to get out of there. They make great bait strips as well as delicious sashimi.

I get many emails from adults as well as kids who are desperate to catch a fish. They want the ‘silver bullet’, the secret to fishing, the exact location, bait and tackle.

I’m sorry to say, even if I directed them to an aquarium, they’d still need to learn the basic techniques before they’d hook up. There’s no easy way in this game.

We’re blessed with the internet as well as knowledgeable publications like NSWFM where you can draw on the experience of anglers who have been through their apprenticeship. Absorbing information from these sources accelerates the learning curve dramatically.

Then it’s a question of how often you are willing to go out there and try these ideas. The successful angler is one who does not conform to ‘in the square’ ideologies but will experiment with different practices outside their comfort zone.

The majority of anglers are happy to tie on a hook, slide a sinker above a swivel and chuck out a service station packet prawn. If they catch something, marvellous, but in the main most go home convinced the fish were not biting that day.

Tiger Woods did not become a world-class golfer in a couple of weeks. He slaved for years and practised every day improving his skills, finding out what worked and what didn’t.

Same with fishing. You have to remember that to be successful in this sport you have to put the work in but the end results can be very rewarding. So make a New Year resolution that 2009 will be the year to learn.


There’s been very little current running offshore and baits are going straight down. That old saying, ‘No run, No fun’ is so very true as we need a bit of water movement to get things going.

Matt Booker has been active, fishing Long Reef, Curl Curl and Fairy Bower with not much to report from except a few sweep, tailor and the occasional red rock cod. Matt is waiting for warmer water which, he thinks, might make things hot up.

Flat seas have done little to promote action. One recent night fishing Kiddies Korner at South Palm Beach, one angler nailed four keeper bream on live beachworm.

Using live yellowtail off Narrabeen Beach in search of jew, local angler Mushy only managed a shovel nosed shark and a couple of Port Jackson sharks.

Four 3kg drummer were taken home by an angler who fished the Warriewood rocks. Small peeled prawns and bread were the attractors and the rig was a small pea sinker running down to a 1/0 extra-strong hook. He saw bream in the berley trail as well as garfish.

In Mullet Creek, a branch of the Hawkesbury, five witch’s hats were set and each produced more than one crab over a three-hour session. All but one of the blue swimmers were males and the jenny was in good condition and not berried (no eggs).

Chucking Hawkesbury prawns off the beach near the ferry wharf, Damian Crosley took two flathead one evening. Then something big hit and slowly line peeled off the reel. He ran down the beach trying to recover line when he heard a flapping on the surface. A large ray was then unceremoniously towed to shore where it was de-hooked and released.

More flathead have come from near the Scout Hut in Narrabeen Lagoon. This area is really starting to fire. A fair bit of wading has to be done and if you fan-cast, you’ll find fish.

The secret is to fish slowly, leaving lures in place for around 10 seconds before you flick the rod tip. Remember, wind the handle only to retrieve line; work the lure with the rod tip.

It won’t be long before the lake gets hammered with the huge influx of Christmas tourists. Most tend to fish the eastern end of the lake and I suggest, as a local, to concentrate your efforts on the western basin off the Wakehurst Parkway.

One angler emailed me to say he had his trailer vandalised in Roland Reserve (Bayview) car park one night. I don’t think this is an isolated incident. Have you experienced problems with vandalism there, or anywhere for that matter? Let me know.

Monthly Tip: Mix plumber’s fluorescent dye with vegetable oil and then store it in a dishwashing liquid bottle. When you arrive at the spot you want to fish (as confirmed on the depth sounder), squirt some of the liquid on the water. This gives you an easy-see rough mark where to anchor up.

May I wish all my faithful supporters, readers and contributors a very happy Christmas and may 2009 bring you health and increased fishing success.

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