Sydney fishing takes it up a level
  |  First Published: December 2016

This summer is threatening to be an absolute belter as it jumps out of the festive season. Plenty of species are currently available. December started off with a bang as kingfish reports started flogging in from anglers fishing all the local bodies of water on the peninsular. With land-based and small boat fishos getting right amongst it, this month will be no different. As water temperatures increase, so should your line class when chasing the kings. These bigger fish will become more prevalent and bust offs will be more frequent.

The local inshore reef fishing scene is nearly out of control with plenty of kingfish taking all varieties of lures and baits. Use your sounder to locate the schools of bait to get in the king zone. Be prepared to move around from spot to spot to up your chances of finding these fish.

Anthony James and Logan Mader from the rock band Once Human managed a trip out with OceanHunter and caught some very good kings on our local inshore reefs. Live baits and lures were the key to catching some superb kingfish to 117cm during this trip.

Some great snapper are still on the chew. Fishing Sydney Tours’ Steve Winser reported some up to 70cm on jigs, lures and baits, so don’t put away the snapper gear just yet.

After the recent summer rains, decent fish are on the chew in Sydney Harbour. Kings, salmon and flathead have all featured prominently in reports with plenty of live baits available. Arrow squid and yakkas have been plentiful. The surface action around the central harbour has been crazy with many a boat load of anglers are pelting lures and plastics into the big surface schools.

The frustration of not being able to hook a fish continues with some anglers, as matching the hatch is imperative to ensure you get the hook-up. It can be a little frustrating when salmon are swimming into your boat, but won’t take your 90g metal slug. Smaller metal lures (half this size) and clear soft plastics are generally more successful, as is trailing a small fly on 15lb fluorocarbon 30-40cm behind your casting lure. Deceivers and clousers are popular flies for this technique.

Harbour flathead have been most keen on lures and plastics bounced along the estuary floor. Samaki vibes are also killing it around the drop offs. Kings and salmon have been taking live baits of squid and yakkas just below the surface. Reports have been around of the odd 10-15kg hoodlum showing interest in some of the bigger hooked salmon on their way to the boat. Be sure to have a popping outfit ready to employ. You never know what’s going to happen and it never hurts to be prepared.

I managed to situate the kayak bang in the middle of one of these surface schools recently. It sure makes for exciting fishing with so many species on the cards. Salmon and tailor were clearly visible chasing small baitfish on the surface. Down deep, the sounder was telling me that these topwater fish were just the beginning.

Poppers, plastic vibes and blades accounted for three salmon, eight flathead, six tailor and a couple of absolute ooglies in the way of two hairtail! These aren’t generally a species caught in the harbour, or during the day, or on lures – they sure topped off a mad early morning session before the wind blew up.

Antonio Revere hit his favourite harbour wharf fishing with live and dead baits. He landed a variety of species including kingfish, bream, tailor and a 76cm flathead. Antonio hooked a few unstoppable fish – the mystery of fishing is a wonderful thing.

The beaches are well on the up this month with whiting and bream feeding on beachworms at Manly and Dee Why. Both are successful venues to catch a feed. Casting lures has been a popular method for targeting the surface fish on the beaches of late with many salmon and tailor landed during the day. After sunset, a few whaler sharks have been stealing bottom baits intended for mulloway, which nonetheless make for an outstanding fight on mid range outfits.
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