That first run of the season’s trevally came with a vengeance. They’re always quality fish, around800g to a kilo but, as usual, the run backed off before a resurgence which should peak this month.
But that pain-in-the-butt fish, the black spinefoot or black trevally, has also showed up. ‘Happy moments’, as they are often ironically called, can really give you a jolt if you are unfortunate enough to cop the painful spines.
Snapper, bream, salmon and good-sized tailor to 65cm are available for the rock fishos willing to fish the cool southerly weather.
Just make sure that you are prepared with a quality spray jacket, warm but light clothes and that you have a good idea that where you intend to go is fishable.
All the obvious steps need to be taken – check the weather, have steel-spiked boots or cleats, let someone reliable know where you are going and what time you will be back.
Winter fishing does not have to be necessarily an early morning option, thanks to the shorter days which produces longer periods of low light. For example, try late morning to early arvo high tides for drummer and be surprised how accommodating they can be.
Obviously, avoid the flat days with these late tides. They do not normally produce as well.
Recently off the rocks, Stewart Woodcraft had a good mixed haul at Long Reef on the north-eastern boulders with six trevally to nearly a kilo, two Snapper to 500g and four bream to 1.2kg.
Rob Marich bagged 16 trevally to a kilo, four bream to 400g, three tarwhine to 30cm, two salmon to 3.5kg, a tailor of about 750g, a 32cm snapper and a 35cm black drummer. And 75% of the catch was released.
How awesome is that! Seven species in three-and-a-half hours’ fishing and, curiously, there was 45 minutes without a bite.
Another great haul was 25 trevally to a kilo, a salmon of at least 3kg and a black trevally, which I filleted for my clients. Yep, they are a good quality table fish.
The last two bags of fish mentioned were from the washes around the evergreen Bluefish headland. Bait was half pillies and Hawkesbury prawns with a consistent berley trail essential to success.
The breaming has been spectacular with fantastic hauls of fish on pillie fillets and peeled endeavour prawns in a pillie/bread berley.
Jacob Rolls scored 46 bream from 26 to 35cm and two trevally to 500g in a session over the shallows at Long Reef, with me catching just a few for demonstration purposes.
We released the fish 20m or more from the immediate area fished. If released in the same area they would almost certainly have put the others off the bite.
Darren Trueman had a ball catching two trevally to 38cm and eight bream to 35cm from the pool to within metres of the stormwater pipe at Newport Beach on Hawkesbury prawns and pillie fillets.
That day we met James, a spearfisher, returning from session with one-and-a half blackfish, courtesy of a 1.2m whaler shark that attacked his tether and float. He said there were heaps of them out there.
Allan Abraham, Rida Issa, Craig Smith, Cush Naidi and Andrew Evans caught 49 whiting to 35cm and one token bream in several gutters along Dee Why Beach, from the pool to the surf club. Live beach worms were the gun bait.
Chris Sternbeck caught his first ever jewie, of around 4kg, from the same beach on a whole squid.
The sharks have been chronically thick this season with half a dozen a night fairly regular.
Ande Fiebke fished Curl Curl Beach for eight tailor to 900g and two salmon of 2kg on ganged pillies. We tried metals for no result – often they just want the real deal.
Tony Davis of Matraville Bait and Tackle and charter skipper on Fishfinder says that Julians has been the pick of the headland spots with great catches of squid. There have been more from Malabar but they are smaller, with catches of a dozen at long bay.
Kings to 6.5kg have been taking salted sea gar on ganged 5/0 hooks.
The bonito action has slowed with just the occasional patch showing up. But they’re being replaced by tailor and salmon.
There have been some stud tailor at Lurline. Evenings are a must, try the usual ganged pillie set about 1m under a foam float or, if you can manage the casting distance, an unweighted pillie cast and retrieved.
At Honeycomb, north of Lurline, and at Mistral Point, luderick anglers have been smashed up by big pigs so it might pay to have a pig outfit handy.
Bream from 850g to a kilo-plus are on the chew at Yellow Rock. Fish with a small foam float about 2m above peeled Hawkesbury prawns and don’t forget the bread berley.
The Blessings at South Malabar is producing some great hauls of luderick and pigs. Tony recommends that you take the upper ledge route, not the lower ledge passage, unless you are well acquainted with this area.
One spot for only the very experienced rock angler is the Mattons – a huge climb is involved to get there but seasoned locals are getting blown away by huge kings.
Salmon are terrorising whiting anglers using worm baits. The result is fantastic if your reel has a smooth drag.
Try surf poppers for great results on the sambos to 3kg.
Maroubra Beach is the pick with Cronulla also producing.
The rest of the beach action has been a bit slow with some bream and whiting taking pink nippers or live beach worms. I heard of a reasonable catch of a tarwhine, four bream and five whiting from the northern end of Bondi Beach but the action was only in bursts. That normally means the fish are on the move.
This month I recommend chasing pigs, bream trevally, luderick, groper, snapper and salmon and/or tailor thrown in. Or you could go heavy to try for a king before they are gone.
Off the beaches, whiting and jewfish will still be available until the water drops bellow 19°. Then it’ll be mainly salmon with bream and some trevally for the next few months.
Remember, the best anglers practise all Winter. Challenge yourself!
NB: ADD BELLISSIMO FOOTERReads: 3832