Offshore reefs rewarding
  |  First Published: July 2012

Steady currents and mostly stable weather have allowed the outside fishers some good luck in recent weeks, with excellent catches of quality kingfish, snapper, samson flathead and some big trevally which have been in close.

Long Reef Wide and White Rock have produced reddies up to 4kg and several others that could not be stopped.

The Wall off Long Reef is also proving a happy hunting ground for kingfish up to 5kg.

The trick is to berley up and sit on one spot. The regulars tell me that it can take up to an hour before a bite, but then it is on for young and old.

Large trevally have also shown up in numbers off the Peninsula in several locations including Mona Vale Wide, Esmeralda Reef on the northern side, the Dee Why Wreck and Jurassic Park.

Best baits, after berleying with chopped pilchards, are large Hawkesbury prawns and fresh salted pilchards.

There have also been several reports of quality sand flathead around North Narrabeen, Palm Beach, Mona Vale and Collaroy beaches in around 40’-60’ as well as out a little wider in about 140’.

These are excellent eating fish and with most being of a really good size it is well worth a drift using mullet or pilchards.

The closer reefs, such as Trawleys, East Reef and Newport Reef are all holding mixed bags including tailor, jackets, trevally and the odd good snapper.

There have been tailor up to 3kg landed on the Whale as well as White Rock in the evening. The odd small to medium teraglin has been among the tailor.

There have been reports of small to medium yellowfin tuna from around Browns Mountain, with some blue-eye cod on the northern side. Local Nick Stead managed a yellowfin that went just over 55kg.

There have also been several good catches of gemfish with several around 5kg, a top size and great on the dinner plate.


On the beaches there has been plenty of action, especially late afternoon and early evening, with big tailor, salmon and fat bream off most beaches.

The top areas seem to the Mona Vale basin, Avalon in the southern corner, North Narrabeen at the mouth of the lake and Dee Why. I recently weighed two jewfish from Newport Beach with the best just over 8kg cleaned.

It’s always worth a shot at jewies throughout Winter because several big fish roam the beaches looking for tailor in close, so use tailor fillets or fresh whole local squid. I have taken some of my biggest jewfish in Winter.

The bream at Mona Vale and along Narrabeen beaches have been excellent in size and numbers. Narrabeen’s Peter Lonard, from Daiwa Australia, caught a bag of quality surf bream off Loftus Street at Narrabeen Beach on live worms and also reported a few monster salmon.

Narrabeen Lake is as steady, as always. This ever-productive waterway is really a magical place to fish, even in Winter. It always provides a great day out for the experienced angler or the novice.

At the moment, the entrance has plenty of chopper tailor in the mornings and the odd big bream and occasional flathead.

The caravan park bank and around the bridge are producing 500g-800g luderick and some are even topping the kilo mark. Manly Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey has accounted for some bags of up to 10 quality luderick recently.

The upper areas of the lake around Cromer and Deep Creek are turning up good-sized flathead on Hawkesbury prawns and poddy mullet.

Also try the Wakehurst Parkway area for bream, tailor and long tom, which are great fun to catch. Best baits seem to be live mullet or peeled local prawns.

Several locals have had luck on small Gulp minnows in nuclear chicken, or 3” Shrimps in pepper prawn.



Long Reef Wide kingfish, snapper
Mona Vale Wide snapper
Narrabeen Beach (close) flathead
Newport Beach (southern end) jewfish


Fresh local squid (whole or strips) snapper
Mullet fillets sand flathead
Live poddy mullet flathead, long tom

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