Autumn’s arrival is normally our first sign that winter is on its way, with the cruel cold moving in to freeze our butts off and shutdown the warm water bite.
However, it’s not quite like this in Sydney at the moment as we are still fishing southbound tropical currents with species aplenty inhabiting them.
Local FADs off Sydney have held mahi mahi all summer and continue to do so, with good numbers of fish still holding fast. Anglers have been using a variety of methods to hook these fish, including using live baits, soft plastics and strip baits (even short, fat beach worm pieces worked a treat when one fisho ran out of bait). Some fish have been up to 98cm so don’t be shy to get out there and get the last bite before this mild water shoots through.
As we know the cold waters are pushing up the coast and that means ‘tuna time’ to most to most offshore boats. Already some reports are filtering in with some yellowfin up to 40kg being captured. Most reports are from the colder currents out wider, with plenty of success from anglers using smaller skirts and pushers up to 9”. Anglers have been running them fast, up to 12 knots when conditions have suited, allowing a larger trolling area to be covered while in search of these barrels.
While the offshore waters are still quite warm our coastal waters are following a similar trend, and some decent kingfish are still being landed close to shore. Dylan Hannah fished with large live squid, landing a great pair of hoodlums to 90cm in 10-15m of water. Dylan mentioned there were some bait schools in the vicinity that were holding the schooling kings’ attention.
With plenty of late season kings still being caught, my attention turns to squid. For the last month now some bumper size squid have been on the chew in regular spots like Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. Using a 2.5-4.0 size jig with 15-20lb breaking strain line is the norm for the bigger winter squid. Don’t expect them to stay hooked on the tiny barbs of a small jig as the lengths of the hooks are often too short to penetrate far enough. Popular venues like The Spit Bridge, Middle Head, South Curly Rocks and North Whaley platform have all been successful areas.
This is the season where we start chasing soapy jews (small mulloway) on light plastics kit in our estuaries, with our bite hopefully staying around until June. The most productive plastics for these fish are Squidgies and Gulps up to 7” by late season.
Night fishing on the beaches is quite popular with this warm weather lingering, and there are plenty of dusky whaler sharks roaming the shoreline after dark. If you’re out chasing the elusive silver ghost expect a couple of bait-stealing, line-stretching sharks to be present.
As the big squid have rocked in early and they are fairly mysterious creatures, we will be holding a squid talk here in store this May showing the hows and whys of these critters. We will send an email to all our subscribers letting you know the time and date (if you’re not already subscribed, go to www.fishing.net.au and sign up for the newsletter). These nights are always popular so make sure you book early. There will be giveaways and prizes as well as 30% off squid jigs on the night.
I was returning to the Long Reef boat ramp from a session lately when we discovered that a Subaru had slid off the end of the ramp and into the drink. This ramp has had many improvements but lengthening it wasn’t one of them. At best it’s a nightmare for new anglers looking to launch offshore. Even in a 2ft northerly swell it’s hard work.
If you are not aware of how this ramp works, take the time to watch a few other boats and see how their skippers handle it. Around 95% of boats heading back in run their boats up the beach for retrieval, and most launches happen on the side of the ramp.
I’ve seen four cars go in the drink here and I doubt this one will be the last.Reads: 1235