Transitional season species on the prowl
  |  First Published: May 2015

It was good to see summer drag on a bit this year and the water stayed warmer for longer, which was encouraging for the bite. Now comes the interaction of seasonal species. How long do you chase those warmer water fish before you swap gear and switch to cold-water species? The answer lies within boys — for as long as they’re on the chew!

Sydney is getting some great reports of both warm and cold-water fish, so I wouldn’t be putting my summer kit away just yet. Kingfish are still being caught in and offshore, while schools of trevally are moving into our estuaries and here’s a spanner in the works for you — schools of migrating winter salmon have been here all summer.

Oceanhunter Sportfishing owner Vic Levett reports good schools of bait and kingfish from Long Reef to South Head, with plenty of fish taking baits of live yellowtail and squid on the downrigger, and unweighted in berley trails. Micro jigging has absolutely killed it all summer, and will certainly nail it all winter as well. This form of fishing is relatively active and certainly keeps you warm during the colder months.

Heading a bit closer to shore now and the excitement surrounding Sydney Harbour at present is wicked to say the least. Five different species of schooling bait are still present and many a pelagic is feeding voraciously upon them. To close in on a baitball and watch the action unfold is spectacular, and this seems to be occurring from Manly to the Harbour Bridge.

Matt Armistead and Bill Maguire are regulars at finding the predators herding these schools, and have had overwhelming success in landing many species in the vicinity, including bottom feeders. The boys headed out on 1 of their many trips and landed kings, salmon, tailor, trevally, bream, squire and bonito. Matt said moving from school to school played a big role and matching the hatch with small soft plastics fished on 3-5kg outfits ensured they stayed connected to most hookups. More than 30 fish were landed in a short session, with the morning bite being more successful. Bill landed a Watsons leaping bonito during one outing, which I haven’t heard of being in the harbour for a few seasons now. It’s good to see them back, albeit somewhat late.

Squid numbers have been quite solid in the harbour this month, with reports of plenty caught. Try locations like The Spit, Watsons Bay and Bradleys Head weed beds. Jigs up to 2.5 have been preferred.

Sydney Harbour gets a lot of visitors in these pre-winter months, and sharks are no exception. A small tiger was caught from the bank way up the back of Middle Harbour in the Roseville area just recently, The shark was released after a quick pic and as many species of sharks head upstream to spawn, this is not so surprising. Just remain a little aware, all you autumn swimmers.

I mentioned a couple of issues back that we had something in the pipeline for kayaking, due to its ever-increasing popularity in Sydney. Well here it is. Fish Outta Water Tackle World would like to announce the Sydney Kayak Classic. It’s a month-long online kayak fishing comp starting on April 1 and ending on May 2, with the presentation at Fish Outta Water on Sunday May 3. There are $5000 in prizes up for grabs, spread over the 10 different species categories. This is a length competition and when you enter ($20 entry fee) you will receive a bag (valued at $70) containing various goodies and a marked Brag Mat to photograph your fish on and send to us. Two kayaks to the value of $1000, donated by Aqua Yak, will be given away at the presentation, but you’ll need to be on-site on Sunday May 3 at Fish Outta Water to be eligible.

Details and entry forms are available online at http://www.fishing.net.au/sydney-kayak-classic-2015/ or head over to our Facebook page Fish Outta Water Tackle World for any questions you may have or any other details. We will be looking to make this an annual event, with plenty of major sponsors on board. By the time this copy hits the shelves, there will still be 2 weeks left to fish, so don’t miss out.

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