This month big tailor are likely to be on the chew, migrating up the coast and hammering those anglers who are not ready for 2kg-4kg greenbacks.
Off the beaches, jewie anglers also encounter these fine specimens. Some tailor are landed and some even saw through 60lb-80lb leaders.
If you really want some thrills with big tailor from the beaches, use big baits and 5kg-7kg line.
Off the ocean rocks, 10kg-15kg line is more practical for lifting purposes. Use pilchards 170mm-190mm long on 5/0 Mustad 7766D or the 4/0 HGS3 hooks which come pre-packed with a swivel in between the hooks. They come three to a pack or you can make your own using the H4202D from 4/0 to 5/0.
A short length of 50lb plastic-coated wire, say about 10-15cm, crimped onto the leading hook will give the tailor something to chew on. Try Manly, Freshwater, Dee Why, North Narrabeen and Palm beaches.
Trevally have gone nuts lately with catches of 10 to 20 fish common. A berley trail laid out in a wash off most headlands will produce some ‘blurters’. Challenge yourself and go down to 2kg-3kg line for some exiting sport.
Salmon, bream and even reddies will be part of the catch at times.
Typically rock anglers turn over winter to the resident rock blackfish population for their pugnacious tenacity and their delectable pearly flesh.
Their usual haunts like Little Bluey at Manly, South and North Curl Curl, Long Reef, Warriewood, North Avalon and Barrenjoey headlands are some of the prime spots to hit.
From time to time you put your clients on to a dream bag of fish. Fishing North Curl Curl one afternoon at high tide produced 12 pigs, three bream and a luderick for Jonathan Walsh. Several pigs were around 2kg mark.
Peeled endeavour prawns in a consistent rather than copious bread berley is paramount for results like this.
Regular client Brendan Spinney caught 2.5kg, 3.5kg and 6kg brown groper and a 9kg-plus blue off Long Reef. The largest two fish were weighed, photographed and released.
The bait was whole red crabs, with some barnacle berley to help concentrate the fish.
Groper are reliable Winter fish and divers tell me they are without doubt one of the most prolific fish off our ocean rocks. To relieve the Winter doldrums, have a crack at a groper – you will be impressed.
The cuttlefish run is just about to start so some quality snapper will be available for the fisho casting towards floating cuttlefish carcasses seen off our ocean rocks this month.
My clients and I already have caught some reds to 58cm. The ‘candles’ are the favoured cuttlefish section to use, otherwise use body strips.
Other favourite snapper baits are squid strips and heads and of course fish baits like pilchards, striped tuna and slimy mackerel.
Distance casting and wash fishing will both produce.
Off the beaches the run of whiting and bream continues although the air temps are getting frigid, especially when the wind is from the west or south-west. No doubt it’s much nicer in the water, which has been around 19°. That temp will normally hold on to around the end of this month.
Jeff Meijnderts and Andre Chacca had a reasonable outing at Curl Curl Beach on the morning high tide, finishing with 10 whiting and one bream on beach worms. The main problem was the steep beach near the shore.
Allen Irving had his first good bag of whiting off Manly Beach recently. It was an immaculate morning, virtually no wind, cloudless and surprisingly mild. He scored 11 good whiting to 37cm and a couple of nice bream.
From the same beach Jacob Rollstook seven whiting to 41cm, having started fishing after a successful worming session. The fish went off by about 11.30am.
Even though these two beaches were reliable for all of these clients they did not produce for a few outings. Be prepared to move to another beach when necessary.
Avoid dawdling or you could miss out when you do relocate when you are likely to end up with the tail end of the bite.
After several mulloway outings John Halford finally caught his first jewfish. At 6kg it was not a big fish by any standards but a beach jewie is a beach jewie. By-catch included two salmon to 3.5kg and a nice tailor.
Live yellowtail, squid heads and whole squid were the baits used on the night at Narrabeen Beach. Unusually, there were no anglers there on the perfect full moon night.
Rug up and be prepared for a jewfish caught as late as August, although I have caught beach jewies in every month of the year.Reads: 2033