Kings, marlin, mahimahi, bass, prawns — it’s all go!
  |  First Published: December 2014

We’re in the midst of a kingfish invasion here in Sydney, with inshore and offshore fish well over a metre being encountered regularly by anglers targeting the species from both land and sea.

Justin Duggan of Sydney Flyfishing Tours has had terrific success inshore, getting his customers locked into some of these rogue fish on fly. Vic Levett and the boys over on Ocean Hunter Sports Fishing are having their fair share of joy too, and are leading the tag and release program on kings — tagging over 90% of the fish that come aboard their boat. This sets a great precedent for charter boats, with plenty more skippers now hopping on the program. These guys have caught some awesome fish recently, including a 60kg striped marlin on light micro jigging gear.

When soft plastics arrived on the east coast, most of us were slightly unsure as to how quick we should jump on the bandwagon, but it didn’t take long. Well, micro jigging is now powering along at twice the speed soft plastics took off at. Demersal species like teraglin, jewfish and snapper are targets for some of the gun anglers here fishing jigs exclusively in 12-120m of water. If you haven’t tried this new method, may I suggest you give it a shot? With warmer water flowing down the coast, a lot more fish species will actively feed in these conditions. Hooking a good fish on these micro rods is unbelievably cool fun, and knuckling down for a solid fight goes with the territory.

Some good snapper were caught during the annual Hunt For Red October Snapper Comp hosted by the Warringah Anglers Fishing Club at Long Reef. Some 85 competitors came together to raise funds for Bear Cottage, competing for a part of the $15,000 prize pool. In the end, 3 anglers stood out. The overall biggest capture went to Tim Angus with a 6.95kg snapper and a 14kg bag of 3 fish. Long Reef Pirate Crew’s Mike Bonnici took out the catch and release section with a 71.5cm fish, and up-and-coming young gun Ryan McManus took out the junior category. Ryan frequently catches good reds with his clan, and he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Solid reports are coming in daily from the larger boats offshore, and it looks to be a bigger and better season than last year. Striped marlin are leading the way, with most fish being trolled up or switch baited. Some good mahimahi are being caught the same way. These fish come into their own as a target species for the smaller boats at this time of year, throwing live baits at just about anything floating on the ocean.

Rob Haslam found some fish trap floats out wide during a Matt Reid Raptor charter, and landed a 115cm mahi. These are the fastest growing fish in the ocean, and don’t they play up when hooked! If you’ve never chased these fellas, give them a go as they’re also terrific on the plate.

I’m now going to head into a little bit of unchartered territory for the Sydney North report this month, and talk about 3 topics I think more people should try:

Firstly, prawning. Such a simple thing to do. Grab a prawn net and an underwater light, go to Narrabeen Lake and wade the edges around the time of the new moon and scoop some up. I’ve seen plenty of prawns around there already and they look as healthy as I’ve ever seen them. A terrific bait or great eating, I’ll let you decide their ultimate fate.

Secondly, the amount of guys chasing bass on the northern beaches is growing quickly, so quickly in fact that we’ve had to build another 16 sq m of wall space to accommodate all the new freshwater lures coming in. Full ranges of topwater lures like Tiemcos and Austackle Insektas just to mention a few are all in store, so if you’re keen to try the fresh out here in the salt, drop in and we’ll run you through what you need to know. Also, that bream rod in your armoury will be just fine for this sort of work.

Thirdly, kayaking is currently moving forward in leaps and bounds, with kayak clubs popping up all over social media. The ability to get on the water without all the bells and whistles that go with boat maintenance and boat ramp queues is proving too much for many a local angler. Being able to fish so many different locations from the water is extremely tempting, seeing as you aren’t restricted to boat ramp-only areas. We are currently into micro jigging out of the ’yak in deeper sections of Sydney Harbour and Pittwater, so if you’re looking to step outside the comfort zone, it might be worth popping in for a chat.

Finally, on behalf of myself and all the boys from Fish Outta Water Tackle World, we’d like to wish everyone the merriest and safest of Christmas breaks. We’ll be open throughout the holidays for anything you need, so give us a call.

PS: Maybe Santa might put one of those new micro jigging rods under your Christmas tree?

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