This month all the Summer species can come into full swing if the water warms up enough.
Off the rocks kings, snapper, bream, jewfish and pelagics like bonito will be there.
Off the beaches the whiting run will continue with the jewfish numbers increasing.
Generally most rock anglers put the pig outfits on the back burner by now but the run of rock blackfish is continuing.
It will pay to put in a few more outings now for those whoppers that are often caught this month.
If the snapper or kings are slow, try for a big pig. Cabbage weed under a float is a good bait choice although bread, cunjevoi and prawns are also typical baits.
November is a good snapper month off the rocks and the fish should continue until May, but now until January is a cracker month for a red in the suds zone.
Try 6kg-10kg mono or braid on a 4500-size threadline reel and a 12’ 6kg-8kg rod or a 6kg-10kg 13’ rod; I like the Wilson Live Fibres.
Light ball sinkers ranging from 00 to No 2 will cover most situations and 2/0-3/0 hooks like the Mustad 92554, 540 or 92247 are reliable choices.
For a snapper, large prawns or pilchard halves are the choice baits but you can add squid strips and cuttlefish to that list. Salted striped tuna and slimy mackerel are great flesh baits and tough enough to take a long power cast.
Remember to add whatever you are using to your berley. Add small squid strips or prawn shells/heads into your pillie/bread berley.
Snapper get the taste for a particular bait and can refuse other offerings.
There are some very good snapper locations in the area. The washes on the eastern fronts of Bluefish Point, South Curl Curl, Mona Vale Pool and North Whale are producing snapper to 50cm.
Distance casting has been working for reddies to 45cm off South and North Curl Curl, the southern and northern sides of Long Reef and Mona Vale Pool.
If you haven’t landed a snapper off the ocean rocks, you are missing one of the true pleasures of rock fishing.
This is a good month for kings and some stud fish well over a metre are possibilities for the fisho that has the gear to deal with these brutes.
Its OK to use 10kg-15kg outfits for a king but the problem starts when you hook a fish over 4kg-5kg. Big fish are landable on lighter gear but why risk it unless you are fishing a location that has fewer submerged pinnacles, boulders and ledges?
The more sandy rock ledges, like South Curl Curl about 200m south of the swimming pool, and North Whale to a lesser extent, are better locations for extracting a larger fish.
The Hat at Manly, Bluefish Point, South Curl Curl, South and North Whale headlands are the pick for kings.
Spin sea gars on gangs of 3/0-6/0 Mustad 7766Ds. These Tarpon pattern hooks don’t have an offset, reducing the amount a well-rigged bait spins while being retrieved.
Live bait like mullet around 20cm, yellowtail and live squid will get the kings’ attention. Squid strips work just great, especially with a squid strip berley.
Unless there is a flat ledge or a sandy bottom, avoid fishing the bottom for kings. Generally a balloon or a foam float in the torpedo or turnip shapes is buoyant enough.
Some days the salmon will pester you to the point of despair but at least you’re still getting bites. I like to take a 3kg-4kg spin outfit to take advantage of the sambos.
Bonito can be livie-munchers as well. Have large metals up to the 125g or large minnows or poppers as back-up.
Bream angling will improve your ability very substantially.
The rock bream angler fishes all terrains, shallow and deep.
Bream are one of the most timid fish you’re likely to encounter. They are finicky, so you have to use stealth techniques, although they can be line-damaging species, so your fish fighting strategies will have to be good.
Generally ocean rock bream anglers use 3kg-5kg line so there is not much room for error.
Locations that are producing include Bluefish Point, Little Bluey near Shelly Headland, South Curl Curl, Long Reef in the shallows, Narrabeen Headland and Barrenjoey.
Peeled or whole prawns, pillie fillets or halves are top baits. Pink nippers are very hard to beat but the effort to pump them will have to be factored into your time. If you want to fish for bream often and you’re strapped for time, nippers may not be practical.
The beach scene has been encouraging, with whiting in good numbers. Fish to 40cm have been caught and there have been reports of a couple over 44cm.
Typically live beach worms, pink nippers and the very best bait for a whiting, live bloodworms, are working just great.
Narrabeen Beach has been the best performer lately although all beaches are producing at least some. Dee Why is also a good producer from the southern corner to the surf club. Bungan Beach is a good whiting beach lately and Palm Beach north of the massive boulder is good.
A few jewfish to 9kg have come from Dee Why and Collaroy and there have been a couple of reports from Warriewood Beach.
It is the very end of the Port Jackson shark run, which is great! These interesting but annoying bait stealers damage your rigs but they will be soon replaced by the dusky whaler sharks.
Well, that is the reality of the beach angler chasing a mulloway. Make sure you have ample pre-made rigs wrapped on the round rig spools that you can purchase at any good tackle shop.
If they don’t have them, ask that they get some in. They normally come in a packet of two.
Purchase a few packs and put your rigs on them. When you have damaged a rig, place it in your carry bag and simply replace it with a fresh rig.
Hooks from 5/0-9/0 will be good for anything from medium squid to large whole squid, live tailor or mullet.
Have a tailor outfit with you along with some pilchards and ganged hooks so you can catch a chopper and quickly convert it to live bait. A robust rod is required for large live baits off the beach.
My last advice for the rock or beach fisher person is to have some back-up plans and tackle to suit.
If it is too rough to fish the ocean, have a go in the estuaries like Pittwater, Narrabeen Lagoon or Sydney Harbour.
Switch to your downsized outfits and have a plan B spot that you will fish.
Don’t risk it off the ocean rocks unless you really know what you are doing in large swells.Reads: 1243