Plenty of action to be shore
  |  First Published: November 2016

As the warmer waters make their way back down the coast this month, great reports and captures are coming in from offshore and inshore alike. Marlin and mahimahi are moving in locally and are now becoming regular topics among fishos out here on the peninsula. The inshore reefs are providing action on the kingfish and snapper fronts, while the washes are great venues for targeting a feed when the tide slows and the swell is down.

Our estuaries have plenty of fish on the chew with schooling salmon and trevally visible on the surface. Good rogue kings are holding beneath them. The flathead are out looking for a feed now. Bream aren’t far behind. It looks as though a great season for our bread and butter species is on the way.

More marlin captures are prevalent offshore this month with some solid reports and captures. We still have a bit of our annual algae plaguing out wide, but it’s not wreaking too much havoc with fishos and lines. The odd yellowfin tuna is still being caught, but it was a fairly quiet showing by these fish during the season.

Our inshore reefs have been a little on and off during the spring transition. This is common while the winds swing around to the north. When you head out fishing on the reefs, be sure to move around. Most reports are coming from different spots day to day. Finding the bait will have you in the zone and different techniques like plastics, livies, jigs and poppers will up your chances of confronting these fish and eliciting a hook-up. Great reds are starting to show, with big baits fished deep proving successful in bombed berley trails. Using a berley bomb that drops deep near the floor keeps a lot of rubbish feeders from knocking off your bait on the surface.

Closer to shore, our ocean washes are holding good drummer and some great fish are being caught using bread and prawns fished in a berley trail. Ed Worland landed a ripper black drummer using this method recently. Silver drummer, luderick and trevally are also taking bait offerings on the ocean’s edge while a longer cast out to the gravel will put you in snapper territory.

The harbour has had some good reports of schooling salmon from North Harbour to North Head. These fish are chasing shoals of whitebait and can be hooked by casting small metal lures into the school. Be aware that they can be boat shy. Cutting the motor and drifting into them is a successful technique to get close enough to get a cast in. Bigger lures like poppers and divers worked around these schools can find the kings in tow. Be prepared to work a heavier outfit as well as a lighter kit for salmon.

Oceanhunter’s Vic Levett has had success on the kingfish. Amberjack are also being reported up in the water column. Snapper and flathead to 70cm are working down deep. Schools of salmon are working Sydney Heads and Mosman Bay while further west in Middle Harbour at Bantry Bay, schooling salmon, tailor and more kingfish are taking live yellowtail baits and soft plastic lures.

The kayak brigade have also been into the fish lately; Rob Haslam worked lures from his kayak landing kingfish to 77cm. Mike Kelett confronted a solid bite, landing his best fish at 90cm using squid heads down deep. Targeting kingies from the yak is very challenging and a great way to get on the fish.

Working the flats has been productive of late. Dave Nixon waded the flats at Clontarf and landed four flatties to 58cm using soft plastics and blades while slow rolling the drop-off on the run-in tide. Narrabeen Lake is providing some fun in the shallows with the flatties on the bite taking vibes, blades and soft plastics. These fish are taking lures at night in the dark, so finding a couple of hours to wet a line is worth the time. Scoop up the odd prawn as it swims by for a terrific bait option.

The beaches are providing decent whiting and bream in the wash, with worms and whitebait both being popular baits for this style of surf fishing. Dee Why, Curl Curl and Collaroy beaches are holding fish. Our friend the taxman has been ever-present too; whaler sharks are a common hook-up during spring and can provide plenty of action on a cool night.


Ed Worland with a solid black drummer.


Luke Ashley with a nice offshore kingfish.


The flathead are awake this month.


Mike Kelett with a kingfish.

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