Those sweet, sweet dory
  |  First Published: June 2007

Never happy we humans, are we? It was only three months ago we had 30° heat, 80% humidity and couldn’t wait for the cooler weather to arrive. Now it’s that bloody cold the local council’s going round chipping stray dogs off lampposts!

One good bit of news is that from June 22, the days start getting longer so an evening fish comes back on the radar.

So far I’m having a good time on the john dory. Ever-faithful, these fish pour into Pittwater in the cooler months and head to all the well-known bait stations. They cruise around on the outer ,waiting for some errant fish to break from the school.

Dunking live bait on a bobby cork or from a bit of suspended lead will attract a take from these wimpy fighters. What they lack as a sport fish they sure make up for in the frypan. The soft, sweet flesh is addictive and will have you out there hunting them so you can relish the taste all over again.

Although they are a bit harder to find, snapper are still willing takers on the deeper reefs such as Esmeralda, Broken Bay Wide, Reef Wide, etc. Plenty of berley is need to get fish in the mood.

Up to the time of writing, there’s been an influx of big tailor on the Northern Beaches. Fish to 4kg have been landed and if you don’t know how hard a big tailor pulls, get down to productive sand tracks like Long Reef, Curl Curl and South Newport and feel the power of these big greenbacks.

I spoke to an angler who is very keen on beach fishing for jew. He can’t wait until the warmer weather returns so he can spend many evenings in search of these addictive fish. I mentioned that jew frequent all our beaches every night. He sounded surprised and immediately planned an outing to coincide with an 11pm high and around three or four days before or after a full moon – his favourite. I will keep you informed of his progress.

Now is the time to do maintenance on all the gear to ensure it holds up for the Summer ahead. Properly maintained equipment won’t let you down when you eventually hook that fish of a lifetime. Do it now!!


With calmer conditions over Winter, more offshore fishos head out wide. Plenty of action can be had but in these cooler months but plenty of berley is need to get fish in the zone and get them hungry. Working strip baits near the Wrecks at Narrabeen, Bob Harwood and Bernie Jolan netted a haul of marbled flathead on fresh green prawns. These are very tasty fish crumbed and lightly fried.

Small surf and little white water recently sent fish into retreat. Two anglers lucked out at Dee why after hitting the sand at 4am and a couple of throwback whiting was the total. After a bit of a break, Bob Dean got stuck into his favourite drummer off the rocks at Whale Beach. Working fresh cut cunjevoi baits in the wash, fish were in a very playful mood and the calm conditions made landing them like shelling peas.

It’s been a while since jewfish were reported on any of the Northern Beaches. Let me know if there have been any mulloway around.

Working small Slider Grubs around the marinas at Bayview and Church Point, Jess Tetheridge scored eight bream, the biggest going well over 1.25kg.

Fishing off the pontoon at Bayview boat ramp (not strictly allowed!) Josh Rickard-Ford hooked small bream, tailor, whiting and leatherjackets. Every so often, a lone bonito would scatter fish but the bonnie ignored Josh’s bait.

There seem to be trillions of undersize bream in Narrabeen Lake at the moment. These bait-stealers are hitting anything that has a fishy smell and demolishing it without hooking up – very annoying. There has been an unconfirmed report of an estuary perch taken in the cutting next to the Sports Academy.


If you are in the market for a boat and you are new to this wonderful world on water, it can be very daunting. Here are a few tips.

For a start, write down what you want the boat for, eg, fishing, skiing, pulling biscuits, cruising, overnighting, etc. Then write down your budget.

Then decide on the construction: Should it be fibreglass, aluminium or plastic? Then decide on a configuration – open runabout, cuddy cab, full cab, console, walkaround or flybridge.

Then call round to a few dealers and ask questions. Scan the internet after you have narrowed your selection.

Get the choice down to three boats, then have a comprehensive on-water test with a few friends for ballast and ideas. Then make a gut decision.

If you have any info of fishing successes (or zeros), a funny story or want to dob in a mate, email me. I reply to every email.

• Monthly tip: When freezing fresh-caught squid baits, do not rinse them in fresh water. Make sure they come in contact only with salt water. Seal each one in a snap-lock bag and stick ’em in the freezer.

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