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Kids out for fish and ships
  |  First Published: September 2016



As winter sports come to a close, the finals have been won or lost, you’ll find the number of anglers out fishing will increase. Parents will think about taking their kids out on the water. Our kids fished right through the year. It’s just a matter of rugging up and finding somewhere in the sun.

When it comes to taking the kids fishing, it’s not about catching the biggest fish. It’s about having fun and the possibility of getting a tug on the line. Our son Chris and his wife Alanna have twin boys, Riley and Lachlan. They love getting outdoors, playing in the water and on the beach, and going for rides in Chris’ boat. They haven’t been fishing yet, but I’m sure they will by this year’s end.

So if you have kids or grandkids, why not take them out for a fish, the next time you get a chance. It may only be a couple of hours, but they’ll enjoy it. Our kids loved to help me catch pink nippers or poddy mullet. Incorporate a picnic or BBQ in the outing, and maybe a bike or scooter ride. Here are some places in the Sutherland Shire to have a go.

Gunnamatta Bay Baths

The walkway of the baths is a couple of metres off the water, depending on the tide. The railing isn’t childproof. You can fish off the walkway at Gunnamatta Bay for bream, whiting, flathead, leatherjackets and trevally. You can also fish on either side of the baths off the sand, and cast into the deep water of the bay. Try using pink nippers, live poddy mullet, chicken pieces or strips of mullet for bait. You will find nipper holes here, but you’re not allowed to pump for them. This is a great spot to teach the kids how to cast with soft plastics or blades.

Gymea Bay Baths

Parking here is fairly limited, and there’s a short walk to the baths. Much like Gunnamatta Bay, the railing isn’t great. From here, you can cast into fairly deep water for bream, whiting, flathead, squid, leatherjackets, trevally and the odd salmon or kingfish.

Swallow Rock Drive at Grays Point

At the end of Swallow Rock Drive, at Grays Point, you will find a boat ramp, parking, park, barbeques and a sandy beach. This is an awesome place to bring the kids and fishing rods for a picnic. There’s a fair amount of beach on the up-stream side of the ramp, where you can cast a line for bream, whiting and flathead. You could also try putting out a poddy mullet trap. Kids love to catch a few poddy mullet and then putting them into a bucket and watching them swim around.

The Georges River National Park

Georges River National Park is fantastic for a family daytrips, walks, fishing, or to take your boat out for a spin on the river. There’s a cost of $8 to bring your vehicle, and it’s open from 6am-7.30pm during daylight saving times. At other times of the year, it closes at 6.30pm. The landscape of the park includes striking rock formations, steep forested hillsides, plateaus and riverside flats, and provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Frenchmans Bay at La Perouse

La Perouse has a long beach that faces south – a great spot to fish during those northerly winds. Bream, whiting and flathead can be caught here on both baits and lures. You don’t need a long rod as the fish can be in close. If the kids get bored, you can always go for a walk along the beach, or out to the bridge near Bare Island. They can look into the water to see the fish. I wouldn’t take kids out to the island, because the sea can be rough.

Cattle Duffers at Picnic Point

A lovely land-based spot for bream, whiting, flathead and the odd mulloway or two, the water is fairly deep and can run strong. Take care fishing from here. You might need a couple metal rod holders, so you can get the rods ready for that bite.

Silver Beach at Kurnell

Here you will find about 2-3km of beach, where you can cast a line. If it gets too hot, you can go for a swim in the netted pool. This isn’t the best place to fish when the winds are coming from the north or west, but there’s plenty of parking and places to have a picnic.

Next time you’re at a loss for what to do with the kids, pack the rods, get some bait, put together a picnic lunch and head off to one of these spots for a few hours. Not only the kids will have a great time, so will you.

1

I ventured out of the Shire to North Narrabeen Beach and managed to get a few whiting on king worms from Fish Outta Water at Manly Vale.

2

Andrew Humphries with a nice trevally he caught with 1/20th oz. Nitro Pro Jig and a 2” pumpkin seed minnow over the flats at Towra Point.

3

Riley Brown loves helping grandad rearrange some of his lures.

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