THE AUTUMN months see the bream in the Sydney area schooling up in preparation for their annual spawning run to sea.
That means if you can find the spots where they aggregate as they move downstream to the estuary mouths then you have a good chance of getting a feed. The fish are generally in top condition but still keen to take a bait before they go into spawning mode, during which time food is not their major interest.
A bit of rain over the past few weeks has put a bit of colour in the water, flushing some of the bream out of the top ends of the creeks into the main estuary systems and possibly triggering an early run to sea. Recent reports certainly support this, with bag limit catches reported from all of the Sydney metropolitan estuaries.
In Sydney Harbour, the area from the Gladesville Bridge right through to the Heads has produced some good bream catches. Land-based anglers have done well fishing at night around Pulpit Point, Balls Head and Cremorne Point. Boat anglers have scored well at the Sow and Pigs and the area from Goat Island through to Snails Bay.
In the Hawkesbury, the recognised bream hot spots such as The Vines, along the shoreline upstream from Bar Point and out from the houses at Marlo are certainly worth a look during the smaller run-out tides. As the bream make their way down the river we can expect both the bridges, Juno, Walkers Point and Flint and Steel to provide some good fishing.
There are still plenty of kingfish to be found in Sydney Harbour. The problem is finding squid for bait. Squid don’t like fresh water and the recent rain seems to have flushed them out to sea.
An option to consider when live bait is scarce would be jigging. Jigging is best in deep water as the jig has more time in the water to attract a fish and maybe get the king agro enough to have a lash at it. But there are deep spots in the Harbour where the kingfish lurk, such as off Seaforth and in the main shipping channels.
If the water is relatively shallow, then pelt a long cast out and use a horizontal jigging action, rather than vertical, pausing every now and then to let the jig drop to the bottom. The erratic action of a jig, rather than the straight retrieve of a lure, is more likely to entice the interest of a fish. Be aware of when the jig is getting close to the surface, though, as the last mighty lift of the rod may see the jig hurtling past your ear.
Some good-sized jewfish have been taken at Gladesville Bridge with fish to 9kg caught just wide of the boat moorings downstream from the bridge. School jew have been caught in the Lane Cove River and land-based anglers have had some good catches at Blues Point, where school fish from 2kg to 3kg have put in a regular appearance.
We should have another month or two before the water gets too cold and the blue swimmer crabs disappear for the Winter. I have been getting regular catches of 10 to a dozen a session in my witches’ hats set off Milson Island in the Hawkesbury. All have been males and full of meat.
I’ve had a bit of a problem with small Port Jackson sharks, and even a little hammerhead, getting caught in the nets, but it’s been worth the hassle for a feed of delicious crabs. In the Harbour, the best areas to set the traps have been in Double Bay and Elizabeth Bay.Reads: 3294