First, catch your squid…
  |  First Published: February 2004

THERE have been some quality jewfish coming out of the Harbour.

Blues Point has been one of the hot spots, with fish up to 11kg caught in the deep water straight off the point. The biggest problem has been catching squid big enough to make a tempting bait. There are plenty of squid available but, for some reason, they are all small and even the smallest squid jigs are too big to catch them. A whitebait on a miniature squid spike has proven successful.

Strips of frozen squid, fresh tailor fillets or live yellowtail are reliable alternatives as a bait for the jew. The Gladesville Bridge is another spot that has been producing jewfish but, generally, of a smaller size, with fish averaging 3kg to 5kg.

The area from the Ryde Bridge through to Kissing Point has been a good drifting area for flathead and bream and night anglers have also been getting some good-sized whiting over the sand and mud flats around Putney. Bloodworms are accounting for most of the fish but if you go to the trouble of scooping some prawns first and using them live, you will catch the bigger fish. The Cockatoo Island drifting grounds are also fishing well for flathead with salted whitebait on a two-hook gang rig the way to go.

Land-based fishos at Clarkes Point have reported catches of tailor. Floating pilchards under bobby corks and keeping the baits off the bottom is the best method. You will need to be patient and wait for the travelling schools to pass by and then it is frantic action until the school moves on. Boat anglers fishing off the point can bring the fish to the boat and hold them with a good berley trail.

Another spot that has been popular with anglers fishing from the shore has been Mrs Macquaries Chair. You need to get there early, though, to get a parking spot, as it is a popular area for picnickers and tourists. Flathead and whiting have been the main species caught there, along with a few bream. You will need to cast a distance into the deeper water, so a long rod is recommended – but watch out for the passing boat traffic.

Here’s a story you may have trouble believing, but it is true and there are witnesses.

Steve Thelander and his partner were walking along the marina boardwalk at Birkenhead, admiring some of the big boats, when a bream hurtled out of the water and landed at their feet. Steve reckons the bream was well over a kilo and closer to 1.5kg, and alive and kicking.

After inspecting the fish, they released it back into the water and it took off speedily. Why it jumped out of the water is a mystery; possibly it was chased by a shark. I have heard stories of mullet, flying fish and occasionally garfish and long toms landing on boat decks, but never before a bream.

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