Reefs should fish well
  |  First Published: February 2005

Hopefully the weather will allow us offshore freaks opportunity to get out there and ply our trade on warm-water pelagics this month.

Just for the sheer hell of it, I’m going to target kingfish on micro-tackle this year. I know I’m going to get blown away but hopefully I’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

This month snapper come in closer and reefs such as Boultons, Newport, West and East start firing. Long Reef possies such as October, Jurassic, Good Property and Reef Wide are known big snapper spots.

Berley is a vital ingredient and don’t be impatient – wait for it to work. Usually, fishing through a tide change ups the catch rate, according to my diaries. Let’s hope the current allows little or no lead so we can feel those delicate bites.

For those who love a feed of leatherjackets, the Wrecks off Narrabeen have been home to some monsters. Large pods of dolphins have been active but that was all the surface activity I witnessed recently. Usually at this time of the year striped tuna are balling up bait on the surface, to the delight of mutton birds and terns, but as I write there is still no sign of mahi mahi on my inner haunts, either . The warmer water needed to get these little fighters in closer should be well and truly here by the time you read this.

Out on Broken Bay Wide, trevally to 3kg, snapper up to 4kg and long-finned sea perch (pinkies) are in numbers as well as some barrel-shaped cowanyoung.

Those sporting saviours, undersize kingfish, are everywhere . Try Whale, Avalon, East and West Reef for these little scrappers.

Solid Summer sand whiting are at most beaches, feeding right on the edges of the gutters. Live beach or bloodworms will usually outfish packet bait. If you can uncover pipis in the wash, they are also magic attractors.

After a few lonely nights where only a bronze whaler shark plus a 1.5kg flathead were caught, Anthony Smith finally landed his first mulloway from the beach. Anthony reckons he is now totally hooked on these bronze warriors and is now spending all his spare time trying to get another one. If you are after a beach jew, February 22 to 28 is my pick with late tides and a decent moon.

Black drummer have come in from The Hole in the Wall at Avalon on abalone gut. Yellowfin bream were seen in the berley trail, although none were hooked.

Crystal-clear conditions have put fish into spooky mode in Pittwater so I recommend the deeper spots such as Mackerel Beach, Long Nose Point and the entrance to McCarrs Creek. Salmon are still a distinct possibility, as are frigate mackerel and kingfish. For more refined table species, such as flathead and bream, night sorties will get fish as they venture out under the cover of darkness.

After chopping and changing positions, Greg and Tim Minors eventually found jewfish at Flint and Steel Reef in Broken Bay. Three good fish were taken home to feed the family. Late reports are also of jewfish deep down at Iron Pot off Eleanor Bluff, as well as under the rail bridge at Brooklyn.


Bream have been a bit coy at the moment in the river with few coming from the usual haunts. Catfish were jumping on baits at The Vines and also at Wobby Shore. Flathead were falling to live nippers drifting across the mouth of Mooney Mooney.

The other week we hit the water early and couldn’t see land when motoring up Pittwater. It’s amazing when we get that sea fog that drifts in, obliterates all and usually accompanies flat, oily water.

Small chopper tailor have been driving those using soft plastic lures in Narrabeen Lake crazy as they nip off the tails without hooking up.

Pink-billed river garfish are still in numbers. Bread berley is needed to get them active but the bread also attracts the lake’s duck population and remember, these birds are protected, so no Lake Rage, please!

Monthly tip: In the surf, vary trace length according to the conditions. When the seas are big, keep traces down to around 30cm. In calmer water, lengthen traces up to a metre to get a natural wafting action.

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