Sydney beaches fire up through the cold
  |  First Published: June 2016

Some terrific captures have been reported on the north side with some real standout efforts by local anglers. Sydney Harbour is the healthiest I’ve ever seen it and is supplying some outstanding catches including a northern bluefin tuna off the stones inside Manly.

Kevin Harbord and Atila Uler were fishing live yellowtail under floats when Kev’s Spheros 20,000 started unloading string at a rapid pace. A solid 100m run had the boys thinking a rogue king had nailed the bait, but after a 20 minute battle the fish came into view and they realised the colours weren’t right. As it came up to the gaff, the boys were pretty stoked once they recognised the fish. We don’t get a lot of longtails in Sydney, and this is only my second recollection for Sydney Harbour in ten years from memory. This is a truly awesome capture – great work boys, cracker effort all round.

The water temperature in Sydney Harbour is a little up and down this month and the annual migrations of various surface bait schools are beginning to show. Fish these schools to put you in the zone for tailor, salmon, kings and trevally. Casting metal lures into the bait with a quick retrieve works well. Another method is to drift unweighted baits of pilchard and squid. This helps boat anglers keep a little distance from a school of surface feeders so they can see where they are heading as these guys can spook easily.

The inshore reef bite is heating up this month and some decent snapper have been landed on our local reefs. Jethro Lyons and Jarrad Howse hooked two fish in as many casts, both of which measured over 75cm. Popular methods are unweighted baits in the berley trail and soft plastics. Craig Butcher and Jake Levy also fished offshore in 34m landing mulloway to a metre using the ever popular squid strips for bait. These guys had a mad session before work and managed a few kingfish along the way.

Our coastal rock platforms hold schools of kingfish and many rock fishers have been successful lately, with plenty capturing 70cm+ fish using baits and topwater methods. These fish will be prevalent while the water temperature remains high, and they put up a serious fight, particularly from the stones. Be sure to use reliable equipment to target these fish.

Another great capture came in recently of an amberjack caught behind Scotland Island that weighed 7kg+. Stuart Bedford fished with Dave Rothwell using live slimy mackerel for bait when the hoodlum jack came along. We don’t see too many of this species at this size in Pittwater, so this was a great capture.

The beaches have been solid this autumn in the lead up to winter, and if you haven’t been down for a while now is a good time to get some sand between your toes. Dee Why Beach holds schools of whiting and bream as young Ruby Merrett found out while fishing with her dad, Jimmy. Ruby used king worms for bait and landed whiting up to 35cm on her favourite rod, great job! Narrabeen and Collaroy beaches have been exceptional, with numerous species taking baits and lures, including salmon, tailor, tarwhine, bream, flathead and whiting. Staff member Paul O’Hagen has caught numerous fish this month with squid and fillet baits fishing both day and night. Schools of yellowtail scad are being herded behind the breakers by bigger predatory species including whaler sharks. These guys aren’t prejudiced as to which baits to take, as plenty of smaller offerings for bread and butter species are being belted. If you hook one of these guys, my best advice would be to just hang on and enjoy the ride, however long it lasts.

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