It’s time to play
  |  First Published: December 2005

What I love about January is that I usually have very little work – a whole month off!

Magazine editors have our copy for January, my TV and radio commitments resume in February and boat dealers are usually too busy to allow staff or themselves out for a day to do boat evaluations. All that means a lot of fishing.

One of my favourite fishing venues at this time of year is the beach. I make full use of the warm, balmy nights by chasing those enigmatic jewfish. I have found the most productive fishing on a 10pm to 11pm high tide four days before or four days after the full moon.

As a bonus, you usually have the beach to yourself at that time. And when Mr Mulloway does visit, it sure raises the pulse rate and gladdens the heart. My hot spots are North Palm Beach, the southern end of Newport, North Narrabeen, North Dee Why and Curl Curl.

In recent times horrible, green, murky water has greeted outside fishos. A tongue of cold water licked our shores for a while, dropping sea temperatures like a concrete parachute.

Mike D’Antonio fished Long Reef for a trevally, pike and a nannygai, all cold-water fish – yuk! Not one snapper was seen or taken.

Plenty of salmon have been breaking the surface off the tip of Newport Reef. Get out early before sun up to catch the mayhem.

Lance Jansen drifted the Narrabeen flathead grounds for five keepers using slimy mackerel and pike fillets. When cleaned, all the lizards had little eels in their stomachs.

There were some reports of a huge tiger shark very close in at Long Reef after the prolific bait schools. East and West Reef are producing there fair share of jewfish and squid is the best bait, with live yellowtail a very close second.

Ron Jacobs fished out wide for a few small yellowfin which hit his trolled skirted lures with plenty of ferocity. Ron said there was plenty of bait around but there was a chronic lack of fish eating it.

A steeply sloping beach at South Curl Curl helped Roger Heaseman to a nice bag of whiting one evening. Using beachworms, Roger scored six good-sized fish from a single gutter smack-bang in front of the surf club.

Marc Turnen landed an 18.7kg jewfish from Newport Beach using a whole, twin-hooked mullet. I saw an angler recently land a couple of tailor around a kilo and in prime condition off Flatrock on ganged pillies.


Just a word about fishing off the stones. One of the most dangerous rock locations in Australia is Bluefish Point, on the ocean side of North Head. In a sea, there is nowhere to go if struck by a wave.

The long climb down involves ropes and steep rocks where anglers have fallen and suffered horrendous injuries. It’s a very treacherous place so be very wary.

Fishing tragic, Michael Gusavac at last broke his duck with a solitary kingfish taken in Pittwater on a small prawn bait. His very supportive wife, Lisa, emailed me with the exciting news.

Drifting from the port marker off Palm Beach wharf out to Lion Island, Jason Ho and Dennis Quickly scored a respectable bag of flounder on the outgoing tide. Small spiky flathead were a nuisance with none going anywhere near legal.

After a recent business trip to Hobart, Emiel Temmerman was keen to get back to the Hawkesbury. Unfortunately the result was only a couple of jew runs and that was about it. Back at the Brooklyn boat ramp he met a couple of guys who said they nailed a mulloway or two but Emiel had his suspicions.

Every Thursday at 6.35am on Radio 2SM (1269 on the AM band) I give a brief wrap-up of what’s biting where, right round Sydney. I also do a weekly segment on The Weather Channel, on Fox, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at noon, 2pm, 4pm and 7pm on This is Australia.

Monthly tip: When using a fillet as bait, leave plenty below the hook, allowing it to flap around enticingly. Pin the fillet and then use a half hitch with the line or leader to stop it slumping down around the hook.

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