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Sydney shines for spring
  |  First Published: September 2015



As spring closes in and the weather begins to warm there’s plenty of fish on the chew and plenty of options for those keen to enjoy the excellent fishing that northern Sydney has to offer.

The cooler water temps have stabilised of late and some ripper fish are being caught offshore, inshore and land based. I’m finding over successive years the seasonal run of species varies from year to year with some species hanging around longer and some hardly making a show. I’ve noticed particularly that kingfish are being caught all year round now in good sizes and numbers. I believe this is due to an increase in population since the banning of fish traps, and also the different techniques used by anglers to catch them. With more fish being caught more reports obviously filter through, particularly on social media. Flathead have also been prevalent this winter, even during the colder periods when they are supposed to be hibernating.

Offshore

Offshore the fishing has been awesome to say the least with pelagics and bottom feeders all getting a run this month. Vic and the guys over at Oceanhunter Sportsfishing have been working overtime fishing both inshore and offshore with some great results. Hooked and Hunted’s Joe Emmerton ventured offshore looking to haul up some gemfish from the depths and he certainly didn’t go home disappointed. A large slab of slimey mackeral was dropped to the bottom in 450m of water on an electric reel and a solid hook-up soon followed. The electric reel did its thing and 6-7min later a couple of nice gemfish hit the deck. Gemfish are a stunningly good eating fish, albeit with a head only a mother could love. Solid albacore to 9kg were also trolled up on the same trip, with 6” skirted lures being the standout lure. UV skirts in a variety of colours also did the damage.

It’s not only offshore where this boat has been landing fish, with the inshore scene at The 12 Mile and closer at Long Reef also proving two reliable locations to catch kingfish. Live baiting and micro jigging have been popular methods on this species throughout the winter, and I expect the lighter jigging method will continue to grow in popularity during the summer months as anglers investigate the different styles and techniques that go with this method.

Tuna time

The big tuna will begin to slow down as our waters warm and who knows when that could be, so while they’re here make the most of them. Amy McAndrew is a young up and comer in the game fishing scene who catches her fair share of quality fish. Amy fished out of Broken Bay recently and landed a 50kg yellowfin whilst trolling a 6” skirted Billmark lures in UV colour using a 24kg outfit. The fight took 40 minutes for the fish to be subdued and hauled aboard. As well as the big tuna there were plenty of albacore caught as well. Chasing tuna can be exhausting but its well worth the effort when a big barrel rocks up to the boat. Always be prepared with some pilchards as when these fish find you, and that’s how it often is, feeding them cubes, then sending a whole pilchard down on a weighted hook is a sure fire way of getting a hook-up.

Kayaks

It’s not just the boaties catching good fish with kayak anglers certainly catching their fair share fish too. Dane Neville recently fished Narrabeen Lake and trolled small hardbodies along the weed edges for excellent results. Fishing light with 6lb spin tackle Dane hooked and landed a 82cm flathead. The fish was landed after a fairly nervous battle on the light tackle and earning Dane a new PB. Like most anglers nowadays this fish was released after a quick photo. The light line slow troll technique is a great method over these sandy/weedy bottoms with fish hiding in the weed and ambushing passing prey and lures. It is essential to remain aware of lure and bottom depth as this is a major factor in the success of this style of fishing.

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