With many people on holidays the waterways around Sydney will be quite busy but let’s have a look at a few options to create a seafood delight during the festive season.
When I think about seafood, crustaceans are the first delicacies to come to mind. There will be blue swimmer and mud crabs on offer for those putting in the effort to bait and set traps at the start of their day’s fishing.
Fresh mullet or old fish frames from last trip make great baits; just make sure to secure them in the trap well.
There are limits to the number of traps a person can have in their possession. Current rules are one mud crab trap and five witch’s hats/dillies. For current NSW regulations on traps in check out www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/regulations/sw/methods.
Prawns will be in full swing now and heading out around the new moon, which falls on Christmas Day, should see you snare a good haul.
Scoop nets are quite effective but if you’re really serious, a registered drag net is a great way to cover ground.
The new age LED torches and head lamps are quite good for spotlighting these tasty treats on the shallow flats so it’s not necessary to have loads of equipment to be able to catch a few prawns for bait or feasting.
Lobsters are another option, but they can be a little hit-and-miss with the number of professional traps that litter the inshore area of Broken Bay. Anglers are allowed only one lobster pot and can possess a maximum of two lobsters.
Or you can cover more ground by free diving and extracting your quarry from their rocky caves by hand – spears are illegal.
Fishing has finally picked up after a slow start to the season, with another cold snap in October dropping water temps and putting the action back around a month.
There have been a number of jewies caught with most anglers noting that the average size is 60cm to 70cm. There seem to be quite few at this size and they are spread throughout the whole brackish region from Dads Corner all the way to Brooklyn.
On a recent charter we scored eight jewies, with only one metre-plus fish and the rest between 60cm and 70cm. These fish were all caught on soft plastics between Wisemans Ferry and Brooklyn.
Covering ground was the key to finding active fish, with each spot producing one or two fish.
There will be some good-sized mulloway in the lower reaches this month with the urge to spawn stimulating their appetite.
Set up with big baits of squid, tailor, pike or yellowtail if you want to be in with a chance.
Flathead have come on strong and have pushed well upstream, feeding on the school prawns and herring. Soft plastics, blades and bibless minnows are the most effective for locating concentrations of these tasty estuary dwellers.
Drifting the mangrove edges is a productive method, as too is locating major drop-offs with a depth sounder and working them over around the tide changes.
Make sure to contact the bottom frequently, whether you’re casting or trolling, to trigger a response from these ambush feeders.
Some good catches of bream have come from around Wisemans Ferry.
I laid eyes on six stud bream that fell to chook gut in the dirty water on a recent full moon. These fish were in great condition with the biggest well over a kilo.
This month we should see the bream fire up on the flats, with surface lures sure to tempt some quality fish over the next few months. If they’re a little cautious on top, try a shallow suspending crankbait or a slow-rolled blade to get them on the job.
Bass have come out to play and with an ever-growing band of catch-and-release bassers, these fish are sure to be around for seasons to come.
The small creeks are where all the action is this month. With afternoon thunderstorms and humid conditions, the insects will hatch in force and the bass will be waiting in ambush for any unsuspecting victims that haven’t fully dried their wings for their first flight.
I highly recommend surface lures and jig spinners for tight water fishing.
In the tidal water the bass are feeding along the rock walls and the new Feral Catt range of bibless minnows has been smacking their fair share Bass and estuary perch. There are some great natural ‘see-through’ colours which will tempt the fussiest fish and anglers.Reads: 1438