In need of a reef
  |  First Published: November 2011

Most Wednesdays I run a charter south from Port Hacking to fishing grounds out from Stanwell Tops and around The Hump, an area regarded by many as a top snapper location.

Drifting and fishing the bottom with baits like pilchards or squid has been the normal method for many fishos over the years and this is still a great way to pick up a feed.

The only problem you will have is small fish that can destroy your baits rather quickly.

Many fishos now have swapped bait for soft plastics and the results are quite good so if you’re keen on catching a solid red, give plastics a try. But you will at times spend hours casting your arms off in between fish but the fish hooked will be worth the effort.

My pick is a soft stickbait 110mm 140mm long – snapper love them.

However, I have found most of my anglers prefer bait over plastics because bait provides bites to keep everyone keen and they take the odd good fish as well.

Lately I have tried dropping anchor in 50m to 70m and setting a berley trail with great results on snapper and morwong.

Each week I post photos on my website of the fish we have caught in this area. This is a long run south that takes me around 40 minutes to an hour, depending on sea conditions, and I head south only as long as the wind is west to north west and the seas at 1m or below.

Even then it’s quite lumpy at times and I am worried that those in smaller boats, and anglers with only Sundays free after weekend sport and family stuff on, may try to head to this area in smaller boats risking. They’d risk their lives at times.

Why head this far south? Why not fish closer grounds, you say?

Well, this is the first reef between Port Hacking and Stanwell Park; the rest is sand – great for flathead but that’s about it.

Let’s put some pressure on Fisheries to construct a reef wide from Marley Point in 30m to 50m or thereabouts so small boat owners can fish a little closer to Port Hacking. making it safer for everyone.

The reef needs to be constructed from reef balls or lumps of sandstone dumped in lines 10m wide, 100m long and around 2m , with maybe another one say 1km from the first.

How good would this be! I am sure if Fisheries contracted one of the barge operators in Port Hacking to carry the loads that one of the local excavation companies would jump at the chance to unload for free, as long as it was sandstone.

Snapper grounds nice and close – if this sounds good to you, talk to Fisheries. It’s our money so let’s get something that works for all.

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