Fisherman’s paradise
  |  First Published: February 2014

It’s fisherman’s paradise out here on the beaches at the moment. The water temperatures will continue to remain warm at least for another month and plenty of good fish have been coming boat side for many an angler.

While the warmer currents are still heading south down the coast, some rather large schools of slimy mackerel are heading with them and plenty of larger species are also in tow. Our local inshore reefs have been holding kingfish, trag, bream, morwong and snapper.

Most anglers chasing the kings are live baiting and downrigging live squid with plenty of success and while this action is on, make sure you take big plastics, stickbaits and poppers as these methods are now the norm for targeting the bigger fish out here on the peninsula.

The teraglin are a schooling fish and are generally 4-6kg. They look similar to a mulloway, but you can tell them apart because the trag have a yellow mouth.

Fishing a paternoster rig of 40lb line with a couple of 7/0 hooks and 30lb mainline will be enough to stop some of these guys. Baits like fish and squid strips are very popular for most anglers fishing the bottom while chasing these species.

The amount of anglers that I know who have a sounder but are not quite sure how to use it bewilders me. If you do need more practice on your preferred model, go to your manufacturer or YouTube or even look for a Facebook site. If you are not getting enough out of your sounder, you will be reducing your capture rate.

There are a few good fish around in the washes at the moment and at this time of year a little bit of berley goes a long way. I have reports of snapper to 1kg taking pilchard tails at South Curl Curl and fish to 40cm further north at Bluefish Point on the same method.

Spinning the stones at this time of year would normally give you a shot at kings, salmon, tailor and bonito but the bonito seem to be a bit of a slow show, with only a few popping up so far.

The tailor have been a terrific night option, particularly for anglers using a whole pilchard ganged up under a glow sticked float. You will find more of these fish in bigger numbers around the headlands, with some fish up to 65cm being recorded. Some solid salmon are mixed in with the tailor and are keen on taking metals and topwater lures on sun-up casting from the stones.

The beaches have some mulloway doing the rounds, with 16kg being the largest I have heard. Mike Nilson was the angler and he was using 30cm live tailor as bait at Narrabeen during an overnighter.

Dee Why, Whale Beach and Manly are also successful venues for beach fishing this month, with plenty of whiting, bream and trevally being caught on various methods. Generally bait is a given at the beach but working in a tackle store, I am now seeing a trend of people spinning plastics in the surf – the likes of Slick Rigs for mulloway and other bigger fish, and 2” and 3” grubs for bream and trevally. There are now some great variations of artificial worms that work well on whiting and other species. The Isome and Berkley Gulp brands are the most popular, so if you are looking for something new I recommend pioneering some plastics from the beach.

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