Beach whiting willing
  |  First Published: May 2006

Now that the cool weather has hit, Summer’s endless heat didn’t seem so bad.

Off the beaches, whiting have been big and very willing to play with fresh beach worms and bloodworms in the right gutters. At the time of writing, these fish are still there and are showing at the top of the tide.

Jewfish were the star attraction for beach fishos over the warmer months. The offshore reefs didn’t show many mulloway, why I don’t know, but our beaches sure did produce for those who prepared well and put in the hours.

On the down side, snapper were disappointing with few large fish caught north of Long Reef. However, the reef fishos nailed fish to 7kg on the popular grounds and a lot of fish were taken in water of less than 25m.

So what has May to offer? I hope the hairtail cycle will show fish back in Cowan Creek and America and Jerusalem bays. It’s been quite a few years now since the hairies came up with the goods and hopefully this year will be the turnaround.

This month I will be out practising the most relaxing fishing of all, the hunt for the delicious john dory. Places like Mackerel Beach, The Basin and Long Nose Point will be targeted as well as the moorings in Careel Bay, the entrance to McCarrs Creek and West Head.

Dunking live yellowtail, then sitting around waiting for a take as the sun warms your back is just magic. I take plenty of food, drink and reading matter, kellick the boat fore and aft and spend the day relaxing and fishing for the larder.

Tailor will also be targets as they work the bait schools hard before the sun peeps over the horizon. Small metal Raider lures usually get fish or if you’re into the fly, fast-stripped Surf Candies on a floating line.

Without the mahi mahi it could be slightly boring out wide as some days the current pulls so hard that outboards have to go flat chat to compete! If you can find anything floating out there, it’s worth a chuck for mahi mahi which love to congregate around flotsam. They are still there from around 80m out but are getting thin and won’t last much longer.


Working the outgoing tide at East Reef, Emiel Temmerman nailed over a dozen small kingfish on live and slabbed yellowtail. Emiel reported plenty of yakkas around the boat and the kingies went berserk every time a bait hit the water. When the tide turned, the fish went elsewhere.

The jewies just keep coming up the sand and I see no reason for them to stop now the weather has turned colder. Two fish at Newport, one at Narrabeen and another at Dee Why were caught on dead baits. I don’t know how many more captures didn’t make dispatches,. As well as jewfish, bream have been on beaches, especially after dark. One Collaroy angler took home five fish on pumped nippers.

Whiting are still there in numbers but sometimes can be hard to find. Dispersing berley into the surf, such as a mix of bread, fish mash and chook pellets, helps when fish get scarce.

Kingfish abound in Pittwater, off Barrenjoey and in the Harbour, chasing the ample bait and are well-fed so I recommend you get up before dawn when they are still hungry. Fishing near Gladesville Bridge, Tim and Greg Minors scored undersize kingfish and small throwback jewies on fresh prawns. Next day they ventured out to Flint and Steel Reef for three jewfish (one keeper) and a flattie. Bream fishers in the Hawkesbury have been hassled by catfish, especially at The Vines and Marlo.

Although Narrabeen Lake is still closed and won’t reopen until we get some substantial rain, it is producing some fine fish. Flathead are amassing near the entrance and can be taken on plastic shads. One fish came in on an orange Mister Twister double tail and Squidgies have taken fish, too. Kieren Clark and Timothy Forder, both eight years old, had a ball in the lake fishing with bait. Kieren came up with a 62cm flathead and Tim nailed a great bream.

Monthly tip: Remember most fish prefer structure so don’t cast too far if you’re on a pier or a jetty. You will have more success around the piles of the wharf etc. than trying to land your sinker in Auckland Harbour.

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