Variety is spicing up Sydney
  |  First Published: October 2016

Being a mad fan of the warmer fishing months, the change from September to October is one of my favourite seasonal shifts of the year. Temperatures are on the way up and fish are on the way down the coast, chasing our migrating bait schools headed south. This transitional period is awesome for catching both warm and cold water species, as the seasons overlap. The fishing options available are numerous with so many different species in our local waters.

Our inshore reefs are holding great kingfish and many local anglers land plenty. Richard Kidd fished off Dee Why in 35m targeting kings with great success. His 80lb outfit and slow trolling a squid head were the required combination for landing a 110cm king.

David Rothwell fished wide out of Texas Reef with some terrific results. After targeting kingfish with jigs, Rothy and his crew had a mad session landing eight solid fish from a dozen hook-ups, the largest going 105cm with a couple kept for the plate. The rest were released. It’s well worth the trip out to the wider reefs when the conditions are suitable, as some good fish are holding. By finding bait schools, you know you’re in the zone.

Not to be left behind, the local inshore reefs are firing with red-hot snapper on the chew. Emerson Spina went out on a solo mission to the 40m mark off Palm Beach, fishing for reds in a berley trail. Using lightly weighted baits, Emmo soon found himself with a double hook up on a pair of solid snapper.

It’s always a trying time – two loaded rods and one angler. A cool head landed both fish consecutively. It was a great effort with the biggest of the two going 88cm. Both were hooked on 20lb outfits. Further south, Andrew Marsden fished in 28m off Curl Curl, landing four snapper to 68cm with similar techniques.

The anglers at Oceanhunter Sportsfishing are masters of fishing and catch their share of fish for their clients. Even on the odd day off, they can be found fishing. Zane Levett fished with them recently, chasing groper and drummer in the wash. They landed a couple of cracker fish, fishing very lightly weighted baits of peeled prawns and bread.

These fish will readily take offerings in the berley trail and apply serious pressure once hooked. These fish can be targeted from both the stones and the boat, and make for exciting fishing if the swell is down and the fishing is slow.

The rocks have been on the up too, with good angling. Mark Walters fished off Dee Why headlands, and landed two snapper at 43cm using the long cast gear and mullet fillet for bait. A paternoster rig is popular and a small to medium sized bait is preferred. A major requirement of this type of fishing is a long cast out to the gravel. Once the hook-up occurs, keep the fish up off the bottom. Snapper are a demersal species and due to their nature of living on the ocean floor, will make every attempt to stay down. Plenty of rub offs will occur.

The harbour is holding awesome snapper too. John Davies landed three fish using soft plastics from his kayak, drifting west of the Spit. Good schools of trevally are around Grotto Point and Little Manly, both providing their share of captures this month. North Harbour has good flathead on the drift, as does Balmoral. Decent whiting are taking beach worms off the sand flats at Clontarf.

Manly and Dee Why beaches have had schooling salmon beyond the breakers of late, providing plenty of fun for anglers of all ages. Grab your favourite distance-casting outfit – mine is a 9ft graphite rod with a 4000 size reel and 15lb braid. With a few metal lures to pelt over the back, you’re on your way. This style of fishing is cast and retrieve, and not a bad way to keep warm during the odd cooler day.


David Rothwell with a solid winter king.


Emerson Spina with a wicked pair of snapper.


Richard Kidd with a ripper kingy.


Zane Levett with a couple great fish he caught in the wash.

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