As summer comes to an end, we are finding the fishing here on the Northern Beaches still firing on all fronts. Offshore, the marlin fishos are hooking good fish in warm waters out wide, while the mahimahi are running amok at the FADs and the 12 Mile.
Closer to shore, some good reds are taking baits and jigs on the local reefs, while off the stones big kings are making their presence felt. Pittwater and the Harbour are both holding visible schools of fish and bait, and finally the beaches are performing above expectations, with some good reports from the sand coming in.
Vic Levett and the guys and girls from Oceanhunter Sportsfishing have been smashing it this summer, and recent days have been no different. Reports of black and striped marlin are now frequent with this newly established outfit, with big mahis also being a seasonal specialty. In this company’s first season, there’s been no shortage of metre kings and mahimahi, with some great billfish also hooked (even on micro gear). This company is leading the way in tagging fish off Sydney, with many recaptures already reported. No one ever said it was easy operating a charter outfit, but these guys just make it look that way. They are very professional and successful, so if you’re looking to boat fish, give them a ring.
On the subject of big fish, Kirk Branch and Ben Russo headed out to the 80-fathom mark in search of marlin. After dropping 2 fish, the guys managed a solid mahimahi that smashed a live yakka on 15kg string for Ben. Sydney has been having some prime days and conditions to get out wide, and we can only hope it continues that way into the tuna season.
Our local reefs have fished reasonably well, holding schools of mulloway, trag, kings and snapper. Anthony Ball was chasing mulloway in 45 fathoms off Long Reef recently, and nailed a good snapper while live baiting with squid. Davey Marsden and Luke Rowden fished further north off Newport, landing mulloway to 12kg, while Mad Huey Dan ‘Blackbeard’ Webster has been getting amongst the metre kings with the boys from Long Reef Pirate Crew by casting surface lures in 25-30m of water.
Northern Beaches’ rock ledges have been providing successful platforms for land-based anglers seeking a fish, particularly the high speed casting guys and the serious kingie fishos. Schools of bonito and salmon have been taking lures of both the hardbody and metal varieties, with some good size fish being landed. Most of these guys are casting 20-30lb braid on 9-10’ graphite rods with 4000-5000 size reels, as punching a lure is what they do best. We carry a variety of this style of rod in store at Fishouttawater Tackle World, so drop in and check them out. Keep in mind that this application is year round when conditions are good, and this type of rod also works well in our estuaries and bays.
An outstanding recent capture off the stones was a mammoth 33kg kingfish landed on 24kg line off a local rock ledge by Kris Preussner, using a live bonito for bait. This is a terrific capture and one that will be remembered for a while, I expect. South Curly is a very popular ledge for fishing and one of the Northern Beaches’ safest, which means it attract anglers soaking baits, and therefore the fish will come. Kings and mulloway up to 10kg have been landed here recently, as well as plenty of bonnies and salmon. Live baits on the sandy bottom are a preferred method, while spinning metals and squid jigs are also adopted styles.
As per usual when the rocks are firing, so too are the beaches, with the southern end of the peninsula proving very popular with anglers chasing bread and butter species. Manly Beach has had some good whiting at the southern end on beachworms, with some specimens reaching 40cm. Mid Steyne and Queenscliff have bream schooling beyond the breakers, so a longer cast is required, but keep your hooks and baits small, as even the biggest of bream don’t have a large mouth.
Over at South Curl Curl, beach whiting to 38cm have been caught, but you will need to move around and chase the gutters, as these fish are often on the move. An early morning session into sunrise has been a good time to chase down these tasty fish, with beachworms being the undoing of most.
Kayaking appears to be one of the fastest growing styles of fishing that I’ve ever seen, so to accompany this growth, here at Fishouttawater Tackle World we have a few aces up our sleeve. Keep an eye on our Facebook site — Facebook.com/fishouttawatermanly, and next month’s column in this mag for a special announcement.
Anthony Ball with a Sydney north snapper caught on a live squid.
Ben Russo with a healthy bull mahimahi.
Kris Preussner with an epic Northern Beaches’ king from the stones.
Vic Levett and Nick Martin with a tagged Sydney black.Reads: 709