Bait: fresh is best
  |  First Published: January 2015

This month I’m going to look at what’s hot and what’s not, to try and up the chances of every one of you landing more fish and bigger ones. We’ll also check out some bait collecting techniques, locations and methods that are working in and around the northern beaches, as well as the usual what’s biting and where. To finish off we’ll do a little on a big mover and shaker for 2015.

Here at Fish Outta Water Tackle World, we’re always getting asked about bait collection, so here’s a bit of local advice:

Firstly, every angler knows the better and fresher the bait you use, the more chance you have of nailing that cracker fish. Consequently, I’m going to start with some Narrabeen Lake reports because this place has been a wealth of bait supply when it comes to catching something fresh to put on your hook. At this time of year the obvious choice is prawns that are spread throughout the lake, and a simple prawn net, torch and a bucket are all that’s needed to collect them. If you’ve never been prawning, you don’t know what you’re missing out on, as this is fun for all the family. The lake was stocked back in October, so while those little fellas won’t be ready for the picking just yet, there’s plenty of bigger boys in there that are.

Another popular bait in the lake is garfish, and the rock fishos spinning the stones love casting gars at kings. All you need to catch these fish is a loaf of bread and a small handline with a little float and size 12 hook. They can grow to a good size and there’s always a shortage of them at the markets at this time of year when we need them most. They can be found in good numbers up the back of our estuaries, particularly in calmer water. Crumb up the crusts of the bread for berley, and then use tiny soft bread baits half the size of a pea to catch them. They don’t stay alive for long and don’t handle a hook too well, but fresh is always best.

Plenty of fun can be had chasing bait and as you know, where there’s bait there’s bigger fish. Antonio Revere and his dad get prawns, gars and mullet in this lake, and these three are great baits for chasing bigger targets. Gus Dowsett has been fishing the lake lately with live baits, landing some good fathead and mulloway. When a live bait gets clobbered, it normally results in a hookup.

Now with the bait out of the way, let’s move to some offshore reports. Vic Levett from Oceanhunter Sportsfishing has been having nothing but success since he launched his Sydney charter business late last year, and this year is shaping up to be just as successful, if not more. The Sydney micro jigging scene has gone crazy and Vic has regular charters utilising this newly adopted technique on everything from trevally to amberjack, and mahimahi to marlin. There seems to be no species safe from this exciting method.

Cooper Williams went out with Vic and the boys, and landed a very healthy mahimahi jigging the FADs offshore. Not to be outdone by the fellas, Kath Levett has been catching fish this way too. When they’re not jigging or live baiting, you can even chase mako sharks on fly if you prefer, all it takes is a call. Vic’s number is (0414) 906 569.

As popular as boating is here in Sydney’s north, one scene in particular is growing very quickly and that is kayaking. We had record ’yak sales over Christmas and some guys are getting right into it. It’s a simple realisation that you don’t need a boat ramp or the summer hassles that go with boating including parking (or lack of it), parking fees, registration (boat and trailer), and general boat maintenance. The ability to pull up on the side of the road and rip the ’yak off the roof and drop it in the drink is becoming a regular occurrence out here on the peninsula, with a lot of these spots being situated near deep water, which often means bigger fish.

Kayak clubs are popping up all over social media. Kayak Fishing New South Wales is one of these sites on Facebook and they’re a good bunch of blokes with honest opinions on all types of kayaks from 8-15’. If you haven’t paddled a kayak before, you can drop into our store or call us for a demo on (02) 9949 9488. There are a lot of models to choose from and one will suit your style.

Any ’yak can be customised to suit your plans and pocket. It used to take me hours to get the boat ready and launched, but now I’m in the water and fishing in half an hour at 10 times more spots as I’m no longer restricted to boat ramps.

Some terrific fish were landed from kayaks in NSW last year, and this year is looking equally as good. Kayak prices start at $350 and from there can head up to over $4000, so get some advice first. Every staff member at Fish Outta Water kayaks, all advice is free in store, and I’m a fair believer that if you’re going to do it, do it right.

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