Great time to be an angler
  |  First Published: August 2012

Winter on the Northern Beaches is a great time to be an angler. As the crowds disappear, us fishos get better access to many of the top fishing spots, both estuary and outside. Winter also produces some excellent fish, especially on the outside reefs.

Some excellent size snapper are now showing on the deeper reefs such as Esmeralda, Broke Bay Wide and Long Reef Wide. Local mechanic, Anthony Ball, has been taking reds around the 5kg mark over the past two weeks. Most of Anthony’s fish were taken at Long Reef Wide and Jurassic Park Reef.

Another well know local fisho, Lindsay Renei, has been taking really good bags of snapper and large trevally on Newport Reef in 200ft of water. Most fish went from 2kg to 5kg. Both boys told me the trick is to use large baits and plenty of pilchard berley.

There are plenty of reports from the local fishing clubs of great catches, including large trevally, some thumper kingfish and mixed species such as leatherjacket, morwong, snapper and the odd big tailor. Try the closer grounds such as Trawleys, Dee Why Wreck, Glasshouse or Boultons Reef for good mixed bags.

Further out there are big kingies at the 12 Mile Reef and some huge yellowfin being taken at Browns Mountain. Some small to medium sized yellowfin are being trolled up around the Broken Bay Wide and Long Reef areas. Use small Zuber lures, or 6-7 1/2” skirted lures.

It is also worth trolling close in with small Rapala or Halco Laser Pro lures for kingfish, especially around Newport Reef or close to the rocks at Narrabeen Headland. We’ve received reports of some really decent size fish from these areas.

Anglers are proving that even in winter, if fished properly, the beaches will provide a good feed of quality fish, such as large surf bream, salmon, tailor, dart and flathead. Several regulars are taking some excellent winter flathead from Bilgola, Whale, Narrabeen and Collaroy beaches.

Fish the run up tides and use local fresh whitebait, frogmouth pilchards or Hawkesbury prawns. The trick is not to cast too far out and fish as lightly as possible.

My young bloke, Brent, has landed several sand flathead over the past week well over the 2kg mark around Narrabeen North Surf Club. He also reported that a lot of good size bream are coming in as well, with a number of keen night time anglers taking up to 6 big bream at a time.

A regular customer at my shop, Chris Leslie, has taken some thumper whiting from the Narrabeen Lake entrance area and Mona Vale Basin using live worms. I saw a number of his catches and these gold nuggets went well over the 800g mark.

I’ve also weighed in two big jewfish over the past two weeks, both in excess of 10kg. One was landed at Newport Beach and the other at Palm Beach near the lighthouse. These fish were taken on whole local squid at night. Well worth a try over the next month on the run up tides.

The Lake is a bit slow at present but still plenty of fun for a day out, with schools of chopper tailor, the odd large flathead, some large flounder and plenty of long-tom to be had.

Try the upper reaches of the lake around Cromer or Jamieson Park for flathead and possibly some winter bream. The Deep Creek area up around the Narrabeen Sports Complex is a great place to have a fish for the odd flattie and bream as well, with soft plastics and fresh whitebait guaranteed to get you results.

The local kids are also catching a surprising number of large garfish on very light tackle and prawn baits from the Narrabeen bridge and caravan park areas. Use breadcrumbs for berley and fish really lightly for these great little fighters. There are also plenty of tailor around the lake entrance and the Ocean Street Bridge – they aren’t big but of a legal size. Again use light tackle for some great sport.


Hot Spots

Broken Bay Reef Wide – kingfish and snapper

Glasshouse Reef – mixed bag

Jurassic Park Reef – big snapper and trevally


Best Baits

Large whole squid – snapper and jewfish

Whitebait – flathead and flounder

Gulp 7” minnow pearl white – Snapper outside

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