Hoping for another good year
  |  First Published: December 2006

Hopefully 2007 will offer more of the same, because it hasn’t been too bad up on the Northern Beaches and if we have another year like 2006, I won’t be all that disappointed.

The jewel in the crown has been beach jewfish. Most who would like to fish for this enigma think that every night, a solitary jew sets off from Sutherland shire and slowly makes its way north along the beaches past the Heads until it arrives at Manly, then slowly swims to North Palm Beach before making the return journey. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you’ll snare it.

The truth of the matter is that there are hundreds of jew off each and every beach every single night! All you have to do is get down there around 10pm to 11pm on a high tide with a large bait such as a whole mullet or a large squid and you are in the draw with a chance of winning a prize.

Another fish that we take for granted and even think it’s a pest at times is the wonderful kingfish. This street fighter comes right up at this time of the year, fossicking into the far reaches of Pittwater and putting the fear of God into every single baitfish.

When hooked, it uses everything to bust you up – jetties, mooring ropes, reefs and pylons all come into play. I love using surface lures such as poppers, fizzers and chuggers when fish are visibly prowling around boats or wharves. Surface takes are some of the best fun you can have and the adrenalin pumping through the body when a fish finds the hook is addictive.

Those who have stayed close to shore and saved fuel lately have been rewarded with a better variety of fish. Small snapper, morwong and six-spined leatherjackets as well as wrasse and pike were just some of the fish taken, especially by those who used liberal amounts of berley.

Salmon schools have been working out from the Heads, just watch for the birds, and there are striped tuna on the 80m mark. Most reefs have kings and I have found that East Reef and West Reef fish best for these on an outgoing tide.

Remember, too, that nannygai have delicious, white, sweet flesh so don’t think they are a pest if you get into a school of them.

Lance Jansen and a few mates took a big calamari on a new-fangled Japanese squid jig off the ocean side of Palm Beach recently. This squid actually pulled drag, it was so big.


Bob Dean took the opportunity to give his favourite rock platform a go when there was a small swell recently and caught three silver drummer to 8kg.

Large whiting are nosing through the surf, coming in close right on high tide. Curl Curl and North Dee Why are proving to be the pick of the beaches but try The Pines at Narrabeen and a late report reveals Whale Beach near the south end has fish. When there is a high tide around dusk, bream are often taken in the surf as well.

Don’t be embarrassed if you fished the Hawkesbury recently for zilch. It’s been hard work trying to find action with only a small number of anglers finding the odd fish. Whale Beach resident Dominic Wiseman had a shocker in Pittwater when all he pulled up was a clump of the invasive Caulerpa weed. Small soapy jewfish are in Jerusalem Bay but all these are throwbacks. Bigger fish have been taken on livebaits.

As the water level creeps up again, fish have been on the wane in Narrabeen Lake. One angler landed a couple of bully mullet at Wimbledon Avenue opposite the swings on bread dough. Fishing Mullet Creek, keen junior Josh Clark scored a few luderick and a couple of bream, only one of which was the legal 25cm.

Monthly Tip: When beach fishing, leave a little slack in the line. When you do get a take, the fish doesn’t have to contend with a hard pull which will make it spit the bait.

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