This month the air temp is obviously cooler and the water should be between 18° and 20° so put on the warm outfits and get out there for a special month that promises for virtually all species.
Trevally are in numbers throughout Sydney; in the Harbour and off the ocean rocks the ‘blurters’ are one of the dominant species.
Evergreen Bluefish Point is typically productive, with bags of up to 15 trevally there for the taking and, some days, even more.
But fish sustainably and catch just enough for a feed. Try to keep fish that are between the legal 30cm and up to about 40cm for one of the most delectable sashimi meals you may ever encounter.
Expect by-catch to include salmon, snapper and the odd small king.
Another location that has been producing plenty of trevors is Little Bluey, about a kilometre north of Bluefish.
Flat Rock at South Curl Curl, Long Reef, Turimetta Head, Mona Vale Pool, North Avalon and the south face of Barrenjoey Head also are producing good bags.
Fish pilchard halves, peeled prawns and pink nippers in a bread berley trail with light ball sinkers. A 1/0-2/0 Mustad 92247 or 92554 is about the right hook for your bait.
The black drummer are biting well, but they bite pretty much all year, anyway. Varying bags of these delectable fish have been caught at The Hat at the Harbour entrance, Tumbledown (a 40-minute walk; the second rope about 200m south of Bluefish Point), North Curl Curl and Mona Vale Headland.
Bangalley Head and Barrenjoey’s north face, like Tumbledown, are worthwhile if you’re willing to put in the walk.
On a recent pig outing with clients we found that the peeled prawns and fresh cunjevoi did not work as well as sliced white bread. As unusual as that sounds, it is always practical to have the bread back-up.
Besides, you are often berleying up with bread anyway, so it should be part of your bait.
Snapper catches will be good this month with distance casting among the best methods.
North Curl Curl, Mona Vale Pool and South Avalon near the big gutter have been producing reds to 1.5kg.
Expect some trevally bites on your red outing, too. If these happen, reduce your hook size from 3/0 to 1/0 for better hook-up results, especially if the trevs are 500g-750g.
Try South Avalon in a fairly large sea. The high ledge at Warriewood, South Curl Curl and a relatively safe option, Long Reef, are great producers during a southerly blow.
Most divers tell me that groper are the most prolific species off some headlands, often outnumbering luderick, bream and pigs.
That Winter groper itch becomes more demanding, knowing that the end of the king season is very close. Don’t be concerned about a lack of ‘white-knuckle terror fishing’ –a groper will provide plenty of that.
Your rock king outfit is perfect for groper. Red crabs and ‘scotchies’, the crabs that are harvested in the red weed beds and cracks, are a groper’s main food.
If you’re justifiably cautious about putting your hand down a weed-filled rocky crevice that normally also has sea urchins, anemones, barnacles and even octopuses, try the pools above the high tide area for that purple/black crab. They work well if you cannot obtain red crabs and they’re easier to catch. Just make sure you can legally gather bait where you are.
Anglers often get the misconception that groper are only caught in close –absolutely not true. Cast out your crab 20m-80m on a paternoster rig, preferably onto a flat bottom to reduce snags. Then hang on!
It’s still worth some last attempts at a king and they may be around even until the first week of August. A few years back I caught a 23.5kg king in mid-July, so don’t naturally assume that they all have migrated. Each year will be different from another.
Some cracker whiting have been on Curl Curl Beach and there should be more this month. They are also at Dee Why and on a beach seldom fished by anyone, local or visitor – Bilgola.
You could also encounter a big bream or a 3kg-4kg salmon that will strip 50m of your 3kg line in one run.
It has been a good flathead season off the beaches with one or two fish to 55cm on most outings. Most have been sand flatties with the odd dusky.
Tailor to 2kg have been caught on Narrabeen Beach, not in numbers but they’re worth fishing for. Often they are picked up on live bait or whole squid meant for a jewfish.
The salmon also are available on ganged pilchards from almost any beach from Manly to Palm Beach, especially Curl Curl, Dee Why and Narrabeen. Have two outfits rigged, a 6kg-8kg outfit with the pillies and the other with 2kg-3kg and 15g-45g Snipers and Knights with pink, blue or green reflective trim. Try all to see which one is working best.
A jewfish expedition this month could be worthwhile. I generally give it away when the westerlies are in full swing.
I had a season when I had clients catching the odd jewfish in August so June is OK and some fish to 10kg are still being slid up the beach.
If you have never witnessed the glowing red eye and the silver slab of a nice jewfish in the darkness, you have not had the pleasure of catching the grandest of fish off the beach.
Squid strips and whole squid with a tube length of 20cm-25cm are good for most circumstances. Reduce the bait size in a strong drift.
So there’s plenty to keep you interested off our beaches this month in the form of jewfish, whiting, salmon and tailor.
Off the rocks there are snapper, pigs, trevally, groper, bream and luderick and have a good hard go at the kings – often the fish caught this month are whoppers.
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