The water remains cool
  |  First Published: October 2006

Do you remember last year when we had 35°-plus weather last October? It was stinking hot outside but the water was still like an ice bath.

Because of this, I recommend you continue targeting the Winter species such as john dory, tailor, salmon and bream. Big, barrel-shaped whiting are still on the beaches but are patchy and it will be a hit-and-miss affair going for them. To increase your chances employ live beachworms, which are their natural fodder.

Jewfish are a definite possibility with fish being taken throughout Winter. Hardly a week went past without someone scoring a jew off the Northern Beaches. Once again, although there were sporadic reports of hairtail, especially at Waratah and Jerusalem Bays, these fish are still scarce.

Big drummer have been falling to prawn, cunjevoi and bread baits at all the favourite rock platforms and this should continue for the next couple of months.

Small kingfish will appear in Pittwater although we’ll have to wait around six weeks for their best numbers. I love small kings because I can get out the 2kg and 3kg gear and know I’m going to get a good tussle.

Don’t forget the bream. Work the leases in places like Porto Bay, Mooney Mooney and Brooklyn in the Hawkesbury. I know soft plastics are all the rage but don’t forget those hard-bodied lures.

Wind, rain, thunderstorms – Huey has thrown down everything except locusts and pillars of salt over the past couple of months! It’s a shame because those lovely snapper are getting hungrier and more frequent at this time of the year, especially around Long Reef. However, a few boaters have come back with a big zero so it’s still hit-and-miss. Mike Lysaght found little current and his floaters picked up only sweep and sergeant bakers at Long Reef Wide. Even plying heaps of berley didn’t do the trick.


It’s been a wonderful season for yellowfin tuna. Most who have made the long journey to the continental shelf were rewarded with fish taken by cubing or trolling skirted lures. Working near Brown’s Mountain, Ron Kovacs got first mate Steve connected to a 25kg yellowfin on light tackle, a big buzz for this keen stalwart. Wind and rain saw them back early as the seas kicked up and became quite unfriendly.

Rolling surf always produces predators like tailor and salmon. Most beaches are firing well, especially Curl Curl, which has holding schools of salmon near the surf club. Peter Ryan chucked soft plastics off the beach at the entrance to Narrabeen Lagoon in search of jew. Unfortunately he had no hook-ups but reported seeing big fish swirl in the gutters, ignoring his soft plastic.

Weed has also been a problem with large clumps choking gutters on high tide. Drummer are still getting anglers excited with fish coming from Warriewood and Long Reef on peeled prawn baits. Marshall Howarth, who’s been picking up pigs whenever he goes out, employs the cheap endeavour prawns which are hardier and have a better resistance to pickers.

Small ‘soapy’ jew are back in the headlines, taking baits on a rising tide at places like Walker Point, Eleanor Bluffs and West Head. Fishing off Taylors Point wharf in Pittwater, Glen Shelton found four big calamari squid that took a liking to a pink Yo-Zuri squid jig. Then Glen scored two thumper bream on fresh Hawkesbury prawns.

There have been plenty of chopper tailor in Narrabeen Lake and Andrew told me he nailed around six undersize bream on Berkley minnows near the Sports Academy. I haven’t heard how the blackfish are running in the main channel so maybe someone could enlighten me.

Monthly tip: Instead of working a heavier leader when using very light line, tie a double so you still keep the stealth factor. Then the bait or lure is not restricted by weightier leader line.

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