A hot time for anything
  |  First Published: November 2011

This is a cracker of a month when almost everything is on the bite.

There are snapper, kings and end-of-season trevally, often reasonably big fish at that.

And the pelagics are showing up in better numbers on the rock platforms as well. Take note of the increase in surface activity.

When those pelagics suddenly show up, you better have an outfit ready rigged with lures that can cast a long distance – metals from 45g to 65g will cover most situations. Try metals with a green or blue reflective strip, these are the most popular colours.

Getting back to the trevally, I had a trip recently with regular Brendan Spinney before and after dark at the evergreen north-east face of Long Reef, about 350m from the cleaning tables. We produced some great trevally topping 2kg and an average run of 1.3kg to 1.6kg, along with a token bream of 800g.

The low tide period is generally the best option. Big trevally are such a thrill to catch on 5kg string, they have so much grunt!

We used half pillies and also took the odd fish on peeled endeavour prawns.

Don’t forget to lay out a very consistent bread berley with whatever the bait you are using.

Rock blackfish (black drummer or ‘pigs’) can be difficult to find this month, generally because the food they eat can vary from location to location.

Cabbage weed baits can replace the run-of-the-mill peeled prawn, bread or cunjevoi.

Often big pigs will fall for a weed bait suspended with as little weight as possible only a metre or less from the bottom under a well-weighted float.

Increase your hook size to a No 2 to 1/0 in the strongest gauge possible. A 2X strength suicide hook is a minimum you should use.

John Halford caught seven good pigs from Dee Why recently. Even though they were caught on cunjevoi, the fish were full of cabbage weed. Normally they’re chock-full of the brown weed.


Kings are on the rise.

Fluctuating water temperatures can dictate king success on the ocean rocks. They’re there one day and gone the next.

A range of techniques is advisable on the day. It’s OK to have a live bait or a pristine squid bait out there but if the fish are not in close, in other words there is not enough wash to get the float/balloon out wide enough, I advise some long-distance casting with a weighty popper, metal up to 200g or a large salted sea gar.

Sometimes the kings might be on a deep edge 40m or more out and they will not venture closer in.

Try North Whale headland and take the fish ruler.

If there are anglers catching undersized kings, please go out of your way to advise them. Sometimes they are ignorant of the 65cm size limit or do not have a measuring stick.

Another reliable area is North Curl Curl but be cautious if the seas are up. Choose plan B and go into the Harbour or Pittwater and avoid the risk, unless you are very experienced.

Take into account that some estuary spots still require rock cleats or spike boots.


Those putting in three to four nights a moon phase off the beaches have welcomed a run of jewfish.

You may get one or you may not, and the bronze whaler sharks will keep you amused or annoyed. They pull hard and are in large numbers and one kept for tucker is a real treat, provided you put in the effort fillet and skin them as soon as possible.

Catching and releasing the sharks is fine because the survival rate is very high with these hardy critters. I reckon a mouthful of bream spikes would hurt them more than a hook.

I’ve seen bream, whiting and dart washed up on the sand clean bitten in half when the sharks are thick.

Some clients have been catching jewfish up to about 85cm and some locals report fish over 10kg, with fresh squid strips, squid heads and live yakkas and mullet the choice baits. Try Palm Beach, North Narrabeen and Dee Why.

The whiting are on, with good fish in great numbers likely to continue for the next six months or more.

It pays to have an outfit ready so you can get the full benefit of these beautiful fish.

It takes a season or two to understand whiting properly. Any punter can catch them when they’re thick but when they’re timid, which is often the case, you mistakenly believe there are few or no fish on the day.

Fish as light a sinker weight as possible and be prepared to move around. Regardless of if you catch or purchase your beach worms, they are a precious commodity.

If the undersized fish are in plague proportions, move around until you find quality.


The Eastern Suburbs and southern rock scene has been great.

There is an abundance of luderick the northern side of the North Maroubra headland adjacent to the beach.

There is a gutter there during and after a rough sea. Fish it only when the gutter is carved out; during flat conditions it has no fish activity.

At South Maroubra’s front point, where the reef runs out, there will be some quality kings. Fish with whole squid, squid strips or live yellowtail under a float. If you can catch a few sizable mullet, or especially gars, they work great.

This spot is also worth a throw with hard-bodied lures for pelagics.

At McMahon Pool luderick have been thick as Summer flies, but be aware that this is a dangerous spot.

Lurline Bay has luderick and big bream. John Poole from Matraville Bait and Tackle has regularly been catching some fine bags of luderick topping a kilo, especially during the high tide.

Also fish here for bream when the water temp is up, which should become more consistent this month. Berley with breadcrumbs and mashed pillies and bait up with half pillies.

At the northern shoreline, have a spin for pelagics like bonito, salmon and tailor. There has also been a late run of big trevally there.

The trap at St Michaels Golf Course offers excellent spinning for pelagics, try 25g to 35g hardbodies and 4” to 5” minnows.

Hunt for a feed of squid at Julianns during low light periods and send one back out for a stud king, but make sure your gear is in perfect working order.

South of Randwick golf course is a spot called Donkeys, where you can get a feed of rock blackfish and luderick.

Long Bay Point has a showing of big kings; cast big poppers or put out a live bait there. Luderick, salmon and trevally can be caught at the same location.

At The Blessings at North Maroubra’s northern face there have been pigs from 30cm to 45cm. Take a ruler and make sure they are the legal 30cm.

Maroubra Beach is producing whiting, bream and big tarwhine. One of my clients mentioned that he used some fantastic bloodworms recently from Matraville Bait and Tackle with great success there.

Take a spin outfit with some shads, stickbaits and ganged whitebait to catch some nice flathead caught off this beach.

A sneaky spot to fish for a feed is at the end of Long Bay. There is a beach there that has some nice bream and whiting. Tony recommends fishing only the high tide at this location.

South Bondi area has reliably produced whiting but take live worms, preferably bloodworms.

Remember to see your local tackle shop operators who will supply you fully balanced fishing outfit with all the terminal tackle/bait that you need for a successful outing and don’t hesitate to ask them about what is biting and where. They are the experts and they know what’s happening.

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