Northern visitors pop in
  |  First Published: February 2007

Because the water temperature never really went down last Winter we are starting to see some tropical fish pop up in places like Broken Bay and Pittwater. Visitors such as amberjack, pearl perch, rainbow runners, spotted mackerel, cobia and spangled emperor are not uncommon. Let me know if you come across any of these tropical holidaymakers.

Once again the beach jewfish scene has kicked off with gusto and some large brutes have been dragged up the sand. Put these dates in your diary to try for a jew off the beach. From February 4 to 9 there are good evening tides and I would target Dee Why, North Curl Curl, North Narrabeen, the southern end of Newport and North Palm Beach with the largest squid bait you can get (it must be very fresh) on two 8/0 to 10/0 hooks.

Find a deep gutter and cast out. It doesn’t have to be far because jew come in very close at night and you would be surprised at how many fish are taken right at the angler’s feet.

As soon as the fish hits, strike because jew just wolf down a bait and then turn and run. That old wives tale about you have to wait til the fish turns the bait and then strike on the second run is a load of old poppycock. If you don’t strike immediately, the fish will spit the bait and an opportunity is lost forever. Let me know of your successes and failures.

As the water gets warmer, you don’t have to venture far out to tangle with snapper. Just off Barrenjoey and around from North Head there are fish to 4kg very willing to take a squid or pilchard. I love taking people out and getting them connected to snapper. To see the thrill and excitement all over their faces as a red spirals up from the depths is something that lives long in the memory.

God bless those kingfish. As I write, my back and arms are still sore from encounters with these brutes a day ago. They pull hard and get up to the dirtiest tricks imaginable. If there is a reef, jetty, pole or mooring within spitting distance, you can bet your bottom dollar that a king will head for it to wrap you up.


Is it my imagination or are the kings getting bigger this year? I have been smoked more often in the past few weeks than all of the previous years. Oh well, I will have upsize the tackle again to cope with these thugs of the waterways.

The course superintendent at Monash Golf Club and fanatic fisho Marshall Howarth scored a 78cm cobia at Flint and Steel on squid bait. Marshall was as surprised as his mate but it was a prized catch and good to see these fish back in our patch again. Working the leases up Mooney Money Creek in Steve Brooks 4.1m Polycraft, we took a few flathead and some honker bream on soft plastics.

One of our Harbour icons, the Western Wedding Cake collapsed just before Christmas and is totally underwater. NSWFM Harbour reporter and fishing guide Craig McGill reports kingfish are gathering around the structure and it’s well worth a fish.

The Northern Beaches are the place to be if you are after jew. Working squid baits off Dee Why, Marc Turnen landed an 8kg jewfish one evening. Marc has had a few outs recently and it pleased him no end to see a fish come up the sand under the glow of his head lamp.

Dropping down to 150m then bringing up large trevally is hard work but George O’Hearn and mate Bunny did just that wide of Terrigal. Using slabs of yellowtail, the duo came back with trevally, long-finned sea perch and a blue shark.

Drifting off Long Reef, Ting Huin and Oliver Tran found a patch of tiger flathead all around a kilo and a bonus a shovelnose shark also fell to the mackerel bait.

Close in to the rocks at North Head there have been humungous kingfish that are very selective in what they eat. At least two boats saw fish but couldn’t tempt these thugs to have a nibble.


Narrabeen Lake has been open a couple of months now and already anglers are reaping the rewards. Using light line with a small sinker sliding right to the hook, Ian and Jenny Fairmont took home three fat yellowfin bream using peeled Hawkesbury prawns. They also spoke of another angler who beached at least four sand whiting on bloodworms. Working plastics at the western end of the lake, Jake Levy hooked and released one bream and five flathead, giving his new graphite rod an excellent christening.

With a bit of flushing we should see the end of that clingy silk weed that nearly choked the back end of the lake. Lower levels are already showing results. Young Ben Everingham scored mullet, bream and luderick from Mullet Creek. Regular Narrabeen Lake visitor Lim Joo hooked bream and flathead and his girlfriend Sherin landed a very respectable lizard on a soft plastic.

• Monthly tip: Drill small holes in a sinker and stuff the holes tight with cotton wool. When fishing off a beach or boat with the sinker, dip the modified lead into tuna or pilchard oil. The cotton wool will absorb the oil and it will provide on-the-spot berley.

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