Reds working the reefs
  |  First Published: June 2012

All is firing well on the Northern Beaches as the cooler months arrive, with plenty of action on the close reefs and those out wide.

There is also plenty of activity in Pittwater, the Hawkesbury and off most of the beaches.

Outside, it is best to start targeting some of the quality snapper and kingfish, with good-sized reds being taken in close off Long Reef and Newport, as well as Avalon and Mona Vale wide.

Some reds weighed in recently at Narrabeen Bait have gone over 4kg and one excellent fish was just over 6kg, caught by local Chris Leslie.

Esmeralda and Boultons reefs are worth a try early in the morning for good reddies and the odd big kingfish. Most locals are using fresh squid or large cut baits such as mullet and bonito.

Anchor up and use plenty of pilchards for berley because it is really important to keep a consistent trail going to achieve the best results.

The closer reefs such as Black Road and Trawleys are starting to turn up mixed catches of trevally, big bream, tailor and squire.

The drifting grounds off Narrabeen Beach have some large sand flathead – stay in close in about 60’ and use fresh mullet strips or WA pilchards.

A number of good-sized kingies have been taken off Long Reef, with The Wall being the pick location. Several local kayak fishers have been hooking up big-time by using live or fresh squid.

Local boy Paul Welsh landed several kingies over 5kg on his kayak and reported losing several real brutes that he couldn’t stop.


The beaches have been very consistent with a nice run of big bream the major attraction in past weeks. A number of bream over a kilo have been taken with some reaching 1.6kg – excellent fish to eat and great fun on light gear.

Using light gear is the trick to catching these fussy feeders, with a 4kg line and very lightly weighted baits such as Hawkesbury prawns, live worms or whitebait the key.

Local and fresh baits are the top baits for these bream. North Narrabeen, Collaroy and Avalon have all provided excellent results.

For the night fisher, tailor and the odd jewfish are biting well with very fresh local squid for the jewies and quality WA pilchards for the tailor and bream.

There are also plenty of salmon to be had close in at Newport, Avalon and Narrabeen during the day, with pillies and whitebait proving most successful.


Narrabeen Lagoon is continually producing, even in the cooler months, with plenty of size flathead, bream and other odd species such as garfish, long tom, big tailor and more.

Spots to try at the moment include the Ocean Street bridge area outside the caravan park and in front of the Ocean Street Café.

Most fish are being taken on fresh whitebait and frogmouth pilchards.

Pipe Clay Point is worth trying for some fat bream – try soft plastics such as Gulp 3” Minnows or 2” Shrimp or fresh Hawkesbury prawns.

The Narrabeen bridge area is accounting for some large long tom, which are great to catch especially with ultra-light gear.

There are several tailor around a kilo hanging around the mouth of the lake. Try spinning with chrome Twisties for best results.

The drifting grounds behind the shops on Pittwater Road are also worth a try for flounder and flathead. Fish in close among the weed beds and use whitebait or frogmouth pilchards.


• The Wall at Long Reef – snapper and kingfish

• Narrabeen Drift – flathead

• Pipe Clay Point, Narrabeen Lake – bream


• Fresh whitebait, frogmouth pilchards Hawkesbury prawns – bream and flathead

• Peeled prawns – surf bream.

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