Hot time for snapper
  |  First Published: May 2012

Snapper from ‘platey’ to ‘squire’ size ranges have been relatively prolific around all headlands and that is going to be the norm for the next two months or more.

Rock anglers who have not fished for a red, felt the rampaging strike as it takes off with your bait and then the powerful lunges as they battle away, are missing out on a special experience.

Andrew Morgan experienced just that, catching his largest Snapper of 3.25kg fishing a wash off the north-eastern face about 150m past the Dee Why pool.

He was buzzing with excitement about the powerful lunges and runs that the fish made on light 5.5kg mono. The other fish that were attracted to his berley of pilchards and bread were salmon well over 3kg and a couple more snapper to 1.5kg.

Kingfish will continue to provide action for the next two or three months. Live sea gars are the gun bait when they can be caught either in Sydney Harbour’s clear water areas or off the ocean rocks.

Salted sea gar on ganged hooks work well as spinner baits and live yellowtail, bonito and frigate mackerel have great appeal for stud kings.

Some of my regulars are catching kings to 75cm at locations like The Hat near the Quarantine Wall, and North Whale Point but most headlands are producing some king action at times.

Bream have come on with a vengeance with catches from half a dozen fish to the bag limit of 20 are there for the taking. More than half of the fish seem to range from the legal 25cm to 30cm while the larger bream to 40cm are in selected locations.

The eastern fronts of the deep-water headlands are producing most of the kilo-plus fish. Ross and Peter Wolfenden and John Maus caught a nice bag of bream from the Long Reef shallows on pilchard halves and peeled endeavour prawns.

One of my regular clients, Rob Marich, came out for a distance casting session recently with the result three snapper to 1.5kg, two trevally to a kilo a nice little king of 70cm all caught on Anderson salted striped tuna and pillies.

Robs casting distance improved from 50m to about 85m, which was absolutely necessary off the north-eastern face of South Curl Curl.


Although not commonly fished for from our ocean beaches at low tide, whiting can still be in reasonable numbers. Goran and Daniel Drapac found that with the right methods quality fish can be caught in good numbers on live beach worms, with several fish over 35cm landed at dead low tide on North Narrabeen.

A recent jewie session with live yellowtail produced no strikes but there were loads of tailor from 1kg to 2kg at Dee Why Beach near the Pole. These larger tailor will be available this month and next as they migrate up the coast.

Jewie action has been slow. I have heard of a couple of fish but they should be around to at least the end of June.

I recently had 17 cerebral palsy clients fishing at Narrabeen Lagoon near the caravan park with live pink nippers and fresh mullet fillets. They caught a few quality flathead from 55 to 71cm, a couple of flounder, a nice bream and a surprise 35cm snapper, a rarity in the lake.

They all had a ball with lots of tarwhine and whiting as well, most of which were released.


Four anglers were washed in at a rock location aptly named The Trap, in front of St Michael’s Golf Course. All managed to get out but it could have been a very different situation.

Seek advice from the professionals and come to the realisation that rock fishing is a calculated excursion, it is not a game of luck!

Anyway The Trap should never be fished in anything above a slight southerly swell, generally below 60cm max, or in a slightly larger north-east swell.

Otherwise, the safer alternative in a slight southerly swell is the north-east section of the headland.

Kennie Bowie First King off the rocks on Salted sea Gars

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