I’m not going to make any resolutions this year. What’s the point? Didn’t keep any I made from last year, like eat less fat, exercise more, save money, keep out of tackle shops and not use packet bait.
However, there are a few things I want to do more this year, like beach fishing, chucking soft plastics around Narrabeen Lake and Pittwater, go hunting for a few sharks out wide and maybe a track down a marlin or two in my trailer boat.
So what’s been happening on the local scene?
Offshore, table fish such as morwong, snapper, flathead and trevally have filled boxes that have been returning empty for a quite a while. Cleaning tables at Parsley Bay, Brooklyn, have had a queue for the first time in months.
This is all due to a lick of warm water that curled in close and sat there for a few weeks. Ron Kovacs scored silver trevally, kingfish and a squid that inked all over him at Long Reef. Also at the Reef, Nick Clarke and Dan Trotter parked over their secret spot and pulled out snapper to 3.5kg on pilchard baits.
As well as snapper and morwong found close in to North Head, Andrew D’Ambrosio landed a huge squid that would feed a family of four, with enough left over for bait.
Live beach and bloodworms are still tempting big blue- nose whiting from Harbord, Curl Curl, Warriewood and Mona Vale beaches on the making tide. The only glitch has been the big king tides that created strong washes, pushing terminal tackle back to shore.
Blackfish are there for the taking off the Mona Vale platforms and there has been a little drummer activity from the possies at the ends of Whale Beach.
My ever-faithful informant, Dan, informs me trevally have come in from Flat Rock at Curl Curl as well as tailor and salmon. Dan is now in his late 70s and although he can walk to Flat Rock, is not agile enough to climb down and fish there any more.
Oyster racks are the place to target bream at present. In Mooney Mooney, Mullet Creek and Porto Bay, bream are climbing all over these structures, snacking on anything they can find. Drifting live nippers down a bread and chook-pellet berley trail, Evan Headland and Jess Tobin scored a bag of good-sized bream at West Head in Pittwater. Yellowtail and small bream were a menace until nightfall, when the big boys came out to play, and they had a good feed aboard by 9pm.
Father-and-son fishing addicts Greg and Tim Minors are out at Flint and Steel Reef most weekends. They floated down a tasty breakfast of fresh squid and an 8kg jewfish was a reward for the early start.
Chris Stokes took out Sam Austin (an avid believer that there are no fish in Pittwater) and hooked seven kings and landed three. Biggest fish was 75cm. The kings were taking yabbies and live, fresh squid strips. Next day, Chris took out Peter Daley for four kings (all under 60cm) and two flathead, (50 and 55cm), using live squid and yabbies again.
In Narrabeen Lake I hope those big river garfish stay for a while because they make a delicious feed when crumbed and deep fried. Soft plastics are working well at Narrabeen and Queenscliff lagoons, taking bream, flathead and small chopper tailor.
Recently I spent nearly two hours watching the goings-on at the Bayview boat ramp. With two four-lane ramps, you would think there would be no congestion. Wrong.
Most responsible boat owners do the right thing and use the ramp itself only for launching and retrieving, going elsewhere in the park to do all the housework. Then there are the selfish few that come in to the reversing circle, spend an eternity getting all straps off and putting all the paraphernalia in the boat before eventually launching.
Then there are those who pull their boat out half-way up the ramp, blocking the exit, while they fit tie-down straps and do all those other chores that could be done elsewhere.
Others retrieve their boats and then park in the reversing circle to do the tie-downs.
It’s this simple: The ramp and reversing circle are for launching and retrieving only. There is plenty of room in the reserve to do all that has to be done before launching and before heading home. Don’t be selfish; think of others.
I have just been through an extensive radio course, followed by an exam, run by the Volunteer Coast Guard to earn my MROCP (Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate of Proficiency). This certificate is compulsory if you have a VHF, MF or HF radio on board and wish to transmit.
Even those with a 27 MHz set would benefit greatly from the course (you don’t have to sit for the exam) to learn correct radio procedures. When you are in trouble, knowing what to say and what channels to listen to is very important.
You might one day become involved in a mayday situation and a boat close by could depend on you to relay for help.
The course also covers radio trouble shooting, EPIRBS, antennas, who is on listening watch, frequencies for 27MHz, VHF, 2MHz to 16MHz, limited coast stations, batteries, the new Digital Selective Calling, Ausrep (Australian Reporting Procedures) etc.
If you go to sea, I strongly recommend you contact your nearest volunteer organisation and book in.
Going out and catching nothing? Book into one of my three Monday-evening fishing clinics at North Narrabeen and I guarantee to make you a better angler. Next course starts January 17, so call 02 9970 6204 to book. Ladies are most welcome.
• Tip: When fishing fish baits, keep them on the move. Static baits are very unattractive but a moving bait will raise the curiosity of a fish either to eat or to attack if it looks like it’s threatening its territory.Reads: 1202