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Warm water pelagic run will stick around longer
  |  First Published: March 2017



The arrival of the warmer water off Sydney was later than usual this season. This often means it will stay around a month or two longer, as will the fish that arrived with it.

Solid bait schools are roaming the offshore currents with plenty of predators in tow. There have been good reports of striped marlin lately. Additionally, mahimahi of all sizes are readily taking baits and lures. Our inshore reefs and many local headlands are holding kings and snapper. Great battles have been fought from the stones and from boat fishos casting stickbaits and poppers.

Emerson Spina fished for striped marlin off Sydney Heads around the 70 fathom mark and got a 50kg+ model which took a liking to a small trolled skirted lure in a three-rod spread. Emerson said there was plenty of bait and lots of bird activity in the area, with a water temp of only 23°C.

The peninsula’s charter operators have been busy. Mahimahi and kingfish are popular targets at this time of year, and you won’t find a better time to get out and get amongst the fish. Nick Danes landed some great ones recently and Oceanhunter skipper Vic Levett reports there are black marlin around the 40 fathom line. Decent numbers of kingfish are on our local inshore reefs, plenty of big squid have moved in and snapper are also being taken down deep.

The harbour has schools of tailor and salmon on the move now, with mac tuna and bonito captures also being recorded. Good flathead are taking soft plastic vibes around the drop-offs at Clontarf and the Spit, while Grotto Point is providing whiting on the flats. Kingfish are working the east coast headlands, taking poppers and live baits.

The harbour hairtail are thinning out now, and it may be some time before we see another three-month bite like the one just witnessed on the northside. After fishing the harbour for most of my life, you could count the number of hairtail captures I’ve heard of on one hand. It’s a terrific time of year to get anglers of all ages out for a fish, particularly the beginners like Fletcher, who recently caught his first leatherjacket on his new Spiderman combo.

The rocks are providing successful platforms to fish baits and spin lures from for the topwater species heading south. Kevin Harbord recently landed a good king from the stones while live baiting. Hardly a day is going by at the moment when we don’t hear of a good session being had.

Some locations along North Head have been closed due to rock falls. I contacted the National Parks and Wildlife Service and was assured that these closures are only temporary, and will be lifted once any works required have been completed.

The beaches are picking up now as the warmer ocean currents move south. Manly, Dee Why, South Curly, Narra and Palmy have all had good schools of salmon and tailor beyond the breakers, and long casting metal slugs is a popular technique. Fishing from the beach near the rocks at Manly and Dee Why has even seen a few rat kings hooked on slugs. Some 30lb braid and a 9’0” graphite rod is terrific for covering the cast distance with a 60-70g lure, and will put you well over the back of the suds. Whiting are holding on most beaches, with dawn and dusk the best times to get some on beachworms. Be prepared to move up and down the beach as these schools are moving with the tides. The run-out tide has been a good time to get out chasing them.

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