It’s great to see an angler evolve from their raw beginnings. To regularly catch a whiting or a bream seems beyond their reach, yet eventually they can become competent at catching six or more species all in a matter of just four years.
Jacob Rolls has achieved this and more, catching the largest king on my 2009/2010 guiding trips and the best of 2011 so far as well – at 120cm and 13.5kg, it was a fine fish from Bangally Head’s main ledge.
His outfit, a left-handed plain 7” Alvey with 41lb Tortue line and a MT9144 rod was a good choice.
A live yellowtail suspended four metres under a float about 6m to 8m off the ledge in foamy water brought the hoodlum undone.
I was proud that advice throughout the fight was necessary.
A king’s nature is to destroy your terminal gear on a sharp submerged ledge and that very nearly happened, with Jacob having to palm the Alvey spool while the fish was making those grinding runs.
The king took about 10 minutes of gruelling pressure before it was finally landed.
Other locations, like North Whale Headland, are producing plenty of kings but most are undersized with just the occasional legal (65cm) fish.
Some bonito and salmon are also caught while spinning with metals, soft stickbaits and eastern sea gars.
There have been loads of tailor on most headlands but you must fish before and up to sunrise. Use an Anderson pilchard onthree 4/0 7766D hooks with swivels in between, suspended about a metre bellow a foam float with a glow stick.
Client Ali Hoachar hooked his first large king, one well over 1m, at Bluefish Headland. The fish was forced to the surface by a side-sweeping wave and it didn’t like it. We saw it briefly before it powered over the drop-off and severed the line.
Ali said that he had never experienced anything like the power – some intro to catching kings! He then landed his first, just a little fish, and a nice salmon.
Dr Warwick Harper caught his best jew ever, 13.5kg, coincidentally on the same day as Jacob’s king of the same weight. It was caught on a salted striped tuna fillet fishing for a bream off Freshwater Beach.
He quickly realised it was not a Bream and was patient to eventually tire the fish without screwing up the drag. The 2/0 hook did not pull out and after a heart-throbbing 45-minute battle he was gobsmacked when he slid it up the beach.
Jack Maitland has got into the ever-growing numbers of bream. Their size and numbers have vastly improved from just the occasional fish over 35cm to quantities of that size and larger.
Pink Nippers have been the best bait with half pillies a close second.
The northern and southern shallows of Long Reef have been producing during the high tide.
Dave Butfield of the Hooked TV program caught his first beach worm, an impressive metre-long slimy, on Dee Why Beach in front of the cameras on a 30°-plus day.
Even though we had a 1.30pm high tide, we still caught fish in the middle of the day – six whiting to 41cm and one bream on the last cast, right in among the surfers and swimmers.
Whiting numbers are steady right along the Peninsula. Best spots are the middle of Palm Beach, Bilgola, South Narrabeen around the surf club and Dee Why near the surf club. Always use live beach or bloodworms and medium pink nippers.
John from Matraville Bait and Tackle mentions luderick are really thick from Botany Heads to Sydney Heads. There is a mixture of fish from barely legal 27cm to fish well over a kilo.
‘Where are the Fisheries inspectors?’ John says. Some anglers apparently are catching well beyond the generous bag limit of 20, with plenty of undersized fish in the mix!
On the Northern Beaches I have seen this to a similar extent.
Down south there are mack tuna, bonito and loads of kings from undersized to 15kg. John says he hooked a good king of at least 12kg which smashed his 12cm Rapala X-Rap on 9kg line and then unfortunately won the battle and severed the line.
The highlight lately has been a Spanish mackerel of close to a metre landed at an undisclosed location. Another unusual capture was a 700g diamond trevally out around Long Bay.
There has been the odd cobia off Julians and one off Browns Rock which went 7kg.
All these bizarre captures! I read some archives from back in the 1950s that told of anglers hooking into the Spaniards, and by memory they were relatively large fish.
John says there has been a very slow start on the bream front, with the odd reasonable catch of last month appearing to taper off.
According to John, there are some whiting on most beaches.
It seems like that the tip for the next couple of months is to take some wire with you in case these toothy critters hang around.
March is a good month for some large kings so prepare the 24kg outfits. Mack tuna and frigates will be increasing in numbers and there’ll definitely be more bream out there.
• For rock and beach guided fishing or tuition, visit www.bellissimocharters.com, email me at --e-mail address hidden-- or call me on 0408 283 616.Reads: 1146