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Raw weather for raw fish!
  |  First Published: July 2013



A lot of anglers seem to put their gear into storage now but July gives me an opportunity to fish for some of the most magnificent sashimi species – trevally and rock blackfish.

It is common knowledge among rock anglers that a silver trevally of about 350g-600g is one of the most delectable fish around, raw or cooked.

The pig or rock blackfish is an awesome fish to catch and few fish in the ocean can match it on the table.

A 500g-2kg pig is amazing cooked with your favourite method or as sashimi. Rock blackfish are at least as good as any of the best raw fish you would encounter at a Japanese sashimi bar.

Trevally and pigs are being caught at Barrenjoey’s south face near the point, north and south Whale Headland, Mona Vale pool, South Curl Curl and Bluefish Point.

Clive Williamson had a good outing at Mona Vale pool in his first successful session off the rocks, landing 10 good trevally to almost a kilo and a 37cm snapper.

He used pilchard fillets and peeled endeavour prawns on 1/0 Mustad 92554 hooks and 5kg line. The lightest of ball sinkers allowed the bait to waft down the pilchard and prawn head berley.

I reckon you could catch a trevally off any headland on the Northern Beaches now.

That day there were also salmon working only 40m out that could have been spun up quite easily on metals like 15g 25gm Snipers. This will be a more common occurrence for the next month or two.

On these short Winter days the sun is at a low angle. The light is not very bright on the water, allowing the pig angler to get a feed later in the day.

It may not be the very best time to catch a fish but fishing mid-morning to mid-afternoon allows you to beat the chill earlier and later in the day.

The pigs can be hungry and thick at a location and then become timid, especially if a westerly is blowing hard at your spot.

For example, at open areas like Long Reef when it is blowing due west, the northern and southern faces have a strong crosswind, usually accompanied by flat seas and clear water.

The eastern section is then the place to fish, with the wind behind you. It would also be more likely to find a wash there.

Andrew Morgan recently caught a cracker pig of 3.7kg on 5.5kg mono. Fish that size will do you like a dinner on 10kg line if you use skull-dragging techniques, but Andrew skilfully played out the fish until it could be landed.

Katrina Griggs enjoyed success on her first-ever fishing outing, catching lots of undersized (sub 30cm) rock blackfish, some better ones and a good bream at a safe location at South Curl Curl.

She was able to take in the elements of a sport that was totally new. It can be more challenging to work with an angler who has bad habits.

Rock fishing makes you feel alive. The crashing waves, the scenery and the great fish that you catch in a challenging environment – nothing compares with it!

BEACH JEWFISH

Jewfish are continuing their migration along our beaches.

Even though the majority of jew anglers have stopped by now, I like to brave the elements and fish for them until August. Matter of fact, my clients have caught nice jewfish in July-August.

Aerick Lee had spent quite a few outings pursuing one and finally broke the drought by catching three to 7kg within a few weeks.

John Halford caught a nice school mulloway of 5kg and Carl Fyson finally caught his first, only 3.5kg but still a jewfish. The techniques that you can acquire on a beach or rocks trip can be adopted successfully when in a boat.

The run of tailor should continue with some fish up around 3kg likely this month. The diehard jewfish angler often catches them.

Braid or mono around 6kg-8kg is a practical choice for these hard fighting fish; you will truly enjoy landing one on this tackle.

Rig up with whole pilchards on ganged hooks with 10cm of 40lb-60lb wire crimped onto your leading hook. Big tailor often swallow the whole pillie and bite-offs are regular on fluoro or mono leaders.

Tailor and mulloway are being caught from Manly, Curl Curl, Dee Why, The Pines at North Narrabeen and I have just heard of an 11kg fish from north Palm Beach.

SALMON

This is going to be one of the peak months for Aussie salmon. A lot of beach anglers have landed a head-shaking, jumping salmon as their first sizable fish.

Normally these fish are caught on whole blue pilchards on ganged hooks but you could try a white or frogmouth pilchard on two ganged No 2 Mustad 7766-D hooks on 4kg-5kg line – great fun indeed.

Expect some big bream to fall to a white, especially from beaches on the northern end of the peninsula.

This is the last month for a whiting until they migrate again in late October/November. Curl Curl can be a reliable beach, and I saw a fine 42cm whiting caught off Manly beach recently.

Fish with live tube, blood or beach worms. Rob Marich and son Daniel caught 14 good fish recently; mid-Narrabeen for five and then the rest from Dee Why.

So even though the cold may deter you from having a fish in the early hours or late arvo, consider fishing a daytime tide in the soft Winter light. Your perception of fishing could change!

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