These little piggies staying put
  |  First Published: August 2012

The pigfish are going nuts off the ocean rocks and the upper harbour reaches towards the entrance. Much like bonito, jewfish and many of the other species we catch on our coast, the pigfish can be very hit and miss. This season is a bulls-eye.

Anglers are catching great bags of pigs from five to beyond bag limits, which is 10 fish per person. A running ball sinker straight to the hook is a popular method. Don’t forget to vary your sinker size according to the drift. Matching sinker size to drift can be the difference between a bag of pigs and a disappointing day on the water. Another method is to use a 2” foam float setup (see fig. 1).

The best locations to find pigs are Barrenjoey Head at the north face, North Newport Rocks, Long Reef, South Curl Curl, and The Hat at the Sydney Harbour entrance. Josh Jenkins berleyed heavily at High Ledge and used the above methods to land 10 pigs from 33cm to a solid black of 4kg, which were all landed on 15lb line. He has been out on a few pigfish outings and the 4kg fish was his PB. That fish was released with half of the bag. Bait was peeled prawn matched to a berley of breadcrumbs soaked to a mushy consistency.

Fairlight Pool in the Harbour is fishing well on a high tide with pigfish up to 1.7kg and bream to 1.4kg. This is a safe harbour rock location except in a big southerly swell. It is also quite a reliable spot for a feed of rock fish.

On the trevally and snapper front Dee Why Headland is fishing well with snapper just legal and above and trevally to 36c. The fish were sporadic with the schools moving in and out every few minutes. Be patient, berley consistently with a pilchard/bread mix and use half pilchard baits.


Beach fishing is generally quiet for August with salmon the main target on offer. I find that there’s always a few residential whiting available on selected beaches. Warriewood, Dee Why and Manly are great beaches to catch a few winter whiting and bream.

Father and son team, Goran and Daniel Drapac, caught a great bag of bream and whiting. 13 whiting and four bream were caught ranging from 35-42cm. This is generally out of the ordinary for this time of the year.

On the crack of dawn there’s a run of tailor available for about half an hour, and during the evening there is some hefty tailor to 2.7kg, but they aren’t a reliable catch.

The salmon are traditionally caught on ganged pillies but fishing with metals ranging from 25-65g on a 2-3kg outfit is great fun. Big salmon stripping off 50m of line on one of its many runs is something I’ll always enjoy. Try an early morning or arvo high tide for more reliable results.

Rock fishing expert from Matraville Bait and Tackle and Fish Finder Charters, John Poole mentions Diamond Bay as a very productive fishery at the moment. Pigs, trevally, bream and luderick are currently being caught in numbers using traditional methods. Salmon and tailor are also available for the fisho that wants to put in the yards during the evenings using pillies under a float.

The old Bondi ëMurkí has the same results but be aware that it involves a climb so it would be advisable to check out the climb before attempting it!


The Honeycomb at Coogee has some big southern calamari plus some nice hauls of rock blackfish and luderick.

Lurline bay is also a good producer for squid and a reliable spot for other species with the ledges about 100m west of the concrete ledge producing. It is best fished during a moderate southerly swell.

There is plenty happening along our rocks so drop in to the shop and we will put you onto the fish. Visit www.bellissimocharters.com.au or email --e-mail address hidden-- for a guided fishing tour of Northern Sydney’s rocks.

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