It’s still a Winter bite
  |  First Published: September 2006

I love this month; now you can feel the sun’s rays warming the back.

Water temperature is still way down but sunscreen is something to put back on the shopping list. I’m still chasing the Winter species such as tailor, salmon, john dory, trevally and the like and that will be the case til around November, when I change tactics as the first of the warmer-water fish start to stir.

As I’ve said before, don’t forget the beach for jewfish. These golden beauties are there 12months of the year and my choice of bait at this time is squid, as the big schools of mullet are not running yet.

One beach that used to be a great jew spot was North Palm Beach. However, it died the death and has been ignored for years but it seems to be on the way back. One angler has been consistently taking mulloway up to 14kg from this prized stretch of sand.

Park the car at the furthest point north and walk towards the rocks at Barrenjoey. There are plenty of great gutters to choose from, especially after a big sea. Target four days before or four days after the full moon with a medium high tide around midnight. Fish up to and over the peak with whole squid baits set on three-quarter drag.

Don’t be disappointed if you are coming back with zilch lately. If it’s any comfort, so are a lot of others. Action really has slowed down over the past few weeks with only the occasional flurry of activity.

Snapper, at long last, have decided to peck at something. Reports from Long Reef indicate the occasional fish to 4kg taken from the usual spots. I’m sure fish were there all the time, just that they didn’t want to partake. Fishing at a secret spot off Long Reef, Johnny Siggs landed a 9kg cobia recently on a floated pilchard on 6kg snapper gear. As you can imagine, it was a fairly lengthy tussle.

It’s been a great year for mako sharks, especially off Long Reef. Boats are getting them on live baits, on the troll and on strip baits. When hooked they do their thing in the air, which is quite awesome. We saw a couple of makos free jumping off Esmeralda a few weeks ago.

There’s a bit of aerial action in the surf at the moment as salmon do their thing when captured. North Narrabeen and Dee Why have seen consistent schools of fish and a gang-hooked pillie won’t be ignored. Regular DY beach fisho Barry Shelton’s tally for one week’s fishing was two salmon, three flathead and a tailor so things are slowing down.


Among the moorings at the lower end of The Basin in Pittwater, Anthony Sutcliffe and Brian Hemmings scored four john dory on live bait, also taken from the area. Ant said the fish were above average size and all gave that familiar grunt when hauled over the side.

Taking a client to Queenscliff rocks, Alex Bellisimo scored him drummer to 3.8kg on cunje and bread baits. Alex also reports big tailor on Dee Why Beach with one fish over 2kg.

Working baits off the Curl Curl platforms, Anthony Smith nailed drummer to 2.8kg. He has just invested in a digital camera so hopefully we might see some pics of his captures.

It didn’t last long. As I write, Narrabeen Lake’s entrance is now firmly shut again with water levels only slightly lower and the fishing still very mundane. Young Josh Clark scored a single fan-tailed leatherjacket and that was it.

I just read how someone endangered his boat and passengers because of alcohol. Luckily, a nearby boat heard distress calls and dragged him to safety just when jagged rocks and a crashing break threatened. When breath tested, the skipper went 0.159, three times the legal limit!

Remember, boating has a high risk factor, just like flying. We have to do everything in our power, mechanically and physically, to make it as safe as possible. Alcohol plays no part whatsoever if you are in command of a boat.

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