Close reefs fire up
  |  First Published: May 2012

With the seasons changing, a new range of species is starting to move onto the reefs and into the estuaries although many of the old guard remain, to provide some of the best fishing of the year.

There are still plenty of good-sized reds and kingfish about in Pittwater, the Hawkesbury and outside, with several of the closer reefs really firing.

Boultons Reef has been the go for a variety of species such as large tarwhine, squire, plenty of tailor and kingfish.

The closer reefs are usually very good at this time of year, Try Mona Vale, Newport and Reggies reefs, which are all fishing well and will provide nice mixed bags.

Several quality kings have been weighed in at Narrabeen Bait and Tackle with one brute going 19.5kg cleaned.

Most kings have been readily taking fresh or live squid and the top spots seem to be Long Reef, The Wall, White Rock and Newport Reef.

For the flathead fishos, there are plenty around Mona Vale Wide, Whale Beach on the close drift in 40’-60’ water and Palm Beach just outside the break.

Several larger morwong and a few trevally have been mixed in with the lizards.

There have been a few reports of big john dory on the outer reefs, a positive sign for good fishing to come going into Winter.

Several big snapper are showing up at Esmeralda and Broken Bay Wide with local Eddie Reid catching a few around 6kg on floating baits. He said he lost several really big fish as well.

The FADs and the outer trolling grounds off the Northern Beaches are providing mahi mahi, big mack tuna, the odd small marlin and plenty of large bonito.

Trolling Rapala Magnums or Halco Laser Crazy Deep lures is proving really successful. Some of the mahi mahi have been well over 5kg and are providing plenty of fun on light gear.


Some great action has taken place on the beaches with several jewfish up to 20kg landed and others of 5kg-10kg in reasonable numbers. I managed to land a 17kg fish at the southern end of Newport Beach near the rock pool on fresh whole Hawkesbury squid.

My fishing partner and colleague, Curly, landed jewies of 7kg and 11kg in one outing recently near the North Narrabeen Surf Club on fresh mullet fillets.

Dee Why fisho Tony Zaccone landed a 13.5kg jewfish from the Dee Why Lagoon area at Long Reef and dropped two others. The trick is to use only fresh or live squid or very fresh local mullet fillets. Narrabeen Bait and Tackle always keeps a good fresh stock of both these baits at this time of year.

For the bream and whiting fisho the top locations seem to be Mona Vale, Warriewood, North or South Narrabeen and Freshwater beaches. Again, fresh or live bait is critical to success.

Local Chris Leslie bagged out on bream and whiting several times in recent weeks using live beachworms and peeled Hawkesbury prawns.

Along with bream and whiting, the southern end of the Mona Vale pool area has also produced plenty of big salmon.

Large tailor have been landed late afternoon and early evening at Narrabeen Beach in front of the pines and at Palm Beach at the northern end near the lighthouse on pilchards and mullet strips.

The next few months will be the best time to fish all the Northern Beaches for big jewfish, so try to get out as much as possible to land that big one. Always fish the big tides and use only the very freshest of bait.


In Narrabeen Lake the flathead have been at their best for over a month with several locations, such as Jamieson Park, Pipeclay point, the Oval area, around the caravan park and along Wakehurst Parkway proving great hunting grounds for good lizards.

Plenty of the locals are catching and releasing flatties over 3kg and many around a kilo are being taken. Most fishos are using fresh whitebait or large Hawkesbury prawns for best results.

There are also plenty of good-sized garfish and long tom all around the lake and they’re great fun for the kids to catch.

For the soft plastics fans, bream and whiting are responding to camo Gulp Worms and 3” Minnows. For flathead, use 4” Jerkshads.



Jamieson Park, Narrabeen Lake – flathead

Esmeralda Reef – big kingfish

North Narrabeen Beach – big surf bream, whiting


Live beachworms – whiting

Hawkesbury squid – jewfish, kingfish

Fresh local mullet strips – jewfish

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