No one would think we are leading into Winter, with the local fishing scene still as strong as ever. Maybe those long periods of rain early in the season finally paid off.
Offshore, there are plenty of quality snapper around the wider reefs, which are producing great results for those who prepare well, use plenty of berley and top-quality fresh bait.
Lindsay Reaney, a local snapper guru, has had some excellent catches over the past few weeks, with some fish over 6kg.
The locals tell me that the wider areas off Long Reef are also producing some solid catches of reds.
There are plenty of mixed fish in close on the drifting grounds off Mona Vale, Dee Why, Avalon and Palm Beach. These include good-sized flathead, morwong, leatherjackets and some thumper trevally.
Try the drift off Mona Vale Hospital for some great flathead and the drift close off North Narrabeen for morwong, trevally and squire.
The big kingfish are still around, especially on the close reefs such as Newport, Dee Why and around Lion Island. Best results have been achieved by using fresh local squid or live bait fed down a berley trail of pilchards and fish guts.
Several kings up to 10kg have been taken on the troll using larger Rapalas or Halco deep-divers. Try to troll as close as safely possible to the headlands for best results.
Night anglers have been taking some nice teraglin and the odd jewfish from the closer reefs such as Reggies, Trawleys and West Reef. Live bait or fresh squid will almost guarantee a catch.
There also have been some good schools of Aussie salmon off Lion Island, Newport and Narrabeen headland – try trolling small metal lures or small skirted lures. Alternatively, use fresh whitebait, unweighted. Some of the salmon are around 2kg-3kg and great fun to catch.
The beaches are ticking over very nicely with good catches of bream, flathead, flounder and the odd jewfish. We have weighed several jewies over 10kg and one whopper at 16.5kg cleaned, taken at North Narrabeen on a fresh squid strip.
Most of the jewies were landed at night on squid or mullet bait. Our regular customers have told us that Dee Why and Narrabeen beaches have been the most productive.
The bream fishos have been hard at it with consistent catches along most beaches, especially Bilgola, Mona Vale and Collaroy.
Live worms are the bait of the moment for bream and have also accounted for some great catches of whiting from Fishermans Beach and Avalon.
Peeled Hawkesbury prawns are great for the sand flathead and the flounder at most of the beaches.
Narrabeen Lake is proving to be at its best at the moment, with fishos having a great time on flathead, bream and tailor.
Chris Leslie, one of our team at Narrabeen Bait and Tackle, has accounted for some of the best catches of flathead and bream we have seen in years. They have been top quality – up to 80cms – and Chris releases all the big breeders.
Chris has also reported several school jewfish around the Wakehurst Parkway area.
There are still plenty of bream in the lake, particularly around the boatshed, Wimbledon Avenue and the Ocean Street bridge. Prawns, whitebait and worms are the top baits.
Luderick are abundant around the caravan park and the Ocean Street bridge and we have plenty of green weed in stock.
We have resumed our popular fishing classes at the store. They are held over two consecutive Monday nights with a maximum of eight per class and cover all aspects of fishing on the northern beaches for everyone from beginners to experienced. Call 9970 6204 or email for more info.
Close drifting grounds – mixed bags
Long Reef – snapper
Narrabeen Lake – flathead
Live beachworms – whiting, bream
Fresh local squid – jewfish, kingfish, snapper