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Southern seas make for swell fishing
  |  First Published: May 2016



This month is great for fishing in general. With cool conditions with mild autumn days, I find that it is not too draining because of the heat and not too cold yet. The water temperature is still nice with that 20°C average making it attractive for virtually all species.

Let’s start off on the beach. From Manly to Palm beaches there have been all the species that you would want to pursue, except for the Australian salmon, which are yet to come on properly. Salmon should come on next month.

The whiting, bream, mulloway, dusky whaler sharks and tailor are already there in good numbers. The tailor are averaging around 1kg, with some even larger on some beaches. To some, tailor are regarded as not really very good on the plate, but I find them sensational cooked in many ways and are a great bait or bream and mulloway.

Manly Beach from South Steyne to Queenscliff is producing bream, whiting, tailor, mulloway and sharks. The often neglected Freshwater Beach has some great bream in the southern corner, with some good tailor also available after dark.

Curl Curl Beach from the southern corner gutter parallel to the swimming pool has good bream, tailor and the occasional mulloway for those willing to put in the time. Further north along the same beach, the area is producing tailor, bream and whiting, and it’s definitely worth a go for a mulloway as well.

Dee Why beach has good quantities of whiting from the southern corner with some good bream as well. Sharks and mulloway are also a possibility further along the beach to Long Reef Surf Club. South Narrabeen Surf Club area is good for whiting and tailor, but I normally prefer to fish it when the swell is a metre or less. North Narrabeen area from Octavia to the lagoon entrance for mulloway, sharks, tailor, bream and whiting is definitely worth some attention at this time of year.

Warriewood Beach is fishing very well for whiting, bream and tailor, and Bungan Beach is also firing, providing you don’t mind the big hill.

Avalon Beach as always has good whiting, bream and tailor, and Palm Beach from the north Palm Beach Surf Club to roughly Black Rocks, which are those massive boulders near the side of the road, is a good choice for mulloway, sharks, bream, whiting and tailor.

For the tailor, ganged pillies are your best bet. Generally, you should fish for them before sunrise to about an hour after and well into the evening time.

For the whiting, live is best when using beachworms or even better, bloodworms.

The mulloway and sharks love large fresh squid strips, live yellowtail, sizeable mullet in that 25cm+ size, and of course, tailor fillets. Fish for them during the full or new moon on the high tides in the evenings. Fish the run-up to the high to a couple of hours of the run-out as well. It pays to have good quality gear, as you will need a formidable outfit for any mulloway off the beach!

The bream fishing off the rocks is great at the moment. The trevally and snapper are on as well with tailor in the evenings and kings throughout the day at selected rock spots.

Clients have been doing well in Sydney Harbour, with good kings, quality tailor and bream. Luderick are also on in the harbour and off the rocks. Silstar Slapstix from Rapala have come out with a 9” red head, which has been producing some good kings. It has scent and ultraviolet colours, which excites those often finicky kings.

Other proven lures are the Pop Pro 180, with the ball bearing rattle in them from Williamson. Salted and fresh sea gars, fresh squid and medium sized live yellowtail.

The bream have been getting caught on live nippers pumped from Pittwater or Narabeen lagoon, fresh yellowtail fillets and mullet fillet.

If tailor are your target, try Chowder Head, or possibly the more dangerous Middle Head, but only if you’re up to it. Take into account that Middle Head involves a small climb with some narrow ledges, and it’s relatively exposed to an easterly and northeasterly swell. It fishes well in a southerly, when you’re on the north face. There are good luderick being taken from there lately as well. Take in your hair or cabbage weed and sand/weed mixture for berley and fish the several washes off this headland if you’re really serious about nailing a few blackfish.

Off the ocean rocks, it’s a good time to try for kings, tailor, bream, snapper and trevally at Bluefish. Take into account that this involves a climb and the wave energy is powerful from the northeast and southeast.

If you’re not up for rock hopping, Little Bluey near Shelly Headland in Manly is probably a safer option. Trevally, rock blackfish, luderick, bream, some kings and tailor are being caught there.

North and South Curl Curl has tailor, salmon and some kings with trevally and bream in the washes. Snapper will also be taken for those distance casting.

Turrametta and Warriewood Head has luderick in the big gutter at the Warriewood side. Take note that there is a climb involved to get into this location. Pigs have been taken in the boulders about 100m from the climb on the Turrametta side near the old pipe. Large peeled prawns and bread berley are a winning combo for the pigs. Use white sliced bread, as this seems to bring better results. In rough seas from the south, fish the high ledge at Warriewood approximately 50-80m west of the climb for tailor, trevally and snapper on the long cast.

Please note that this month the dominant swell is from the south. The waves are notably thicker, often called a ground swell. They have a lot more energy than a thinner wind wave. Have a plan B and even a C location to go to if the first spot is risky. I often do that with clients. If the location chosen first is risky, I always have another location to go to. I teach my clients preventative measures for a safer outcome as far as rock fishing is concerned. Fish smart and you will be safe!

• For rock and beach guided fishing or tuition in the northern Sydney region, visit www.bellissimocharters.com, email --e-mail address hidden-- or call Alex Bellissimo on 0408 283 616.

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