It’s all up and down…
  |  First Published: June 2003

The swell has been up and down, deterring a few from venturing out on the briny, but the bump seems to abate quite quickly.

The current has been trickling uphill (to the north) at under a knot, so only light weights have been needed to get baits down. Silver trevally have started to show in numbers around reefs up to 40 metres although some fish have weighed more than 2kg. There have been plenty of squid around with Lance Carew scoring a feed off Palm Beach in around 12 metres. Lance put some of the squid to good use on a few rat yellowtail kings but the bigger specimens were not at home.

Off the northern side of Lion Island, Nick Clarke soaked a couple of live baits on the look-out for jew. To his surprise, three good-sized hairtail popped their ugly heads over the gunwales within minutes of the baits going down. As it is now June, there will be more tardy hairtail caught on the close reefs before they venture into the estuaries, where they already have been caught by night fishos. On another sortie, Nick scored bonito, tailor, frigate mackerel and salmon off the tip of Newport Reef. Some of the bonnies were well over 3kg.

Steve Brooks from Careel Bay Charters has been getting stuck into the snapper, teraglin and morwong on the south-eastern corner of Boultons Reef. Off Narrabeen, Steve reports, the snapper are getting bigger with one specimen going well over 6kg.

The on-again, off-again whiting have gone off the boil but decent size surf bream have taken their place. There are some beaut gutter formations on the northern end of many beaches. Try Dee Why, North Narrabeen and North Palmy.

Big, ugly seas tend to kill rock action although one angler reported tailor from the higher ledges at Warriewood. Places like Curl Curl, Dee Why and North Whale will really start to fire when the seas become fishable. It’s been a while since anyone reported a jew off the sand. Any information forthcoming here? There are plenty of beach worms in the middle of Narrabeen beach and also at the southern end of Palmy for those with nimble fingers.

A stack of small soapy jew were taken from the Hawkesbury. These fish are mainly undersize (under 45cm) and had to be returned. Be very careful when handling small jew as they have a high mortality rate. Catfish have been a nuisance and on Flint and Steel, small pike eels were reported knotting up line. At Spencer and even farther up-river, more than a few honker bream have come in on live poddy mullet. The best drift at the moment is down from Bar Point on the outgoing tide. Keep inside the eddies to slow the drift and use just enough lead to keep baits on the bottom.

John dory are now well ensconced in Pittwater with places like Mitchell’s Marina and most of the public wharves holding fish. Small live yellowtail will always lure one of these slow predators that fight like wet paper bags. Greg Joyes from Calm Water Charters keeps producing enough jewfish from the Hawkesbury to please all his clients. One 17kg fish was photographed more than Elle McPherson as it was the first ever jew caught by the ecstatic angler. Well done, Eric!

Narrabeen Lake levels have lifted recently and this always makes fishing that little bit harder. However, I suggest swimming out live poddy mullet for flathead anywhere where there is a bit of depth to the water. Wading near the large car park off the Wakehurst Parkway, John Beaumont scored small bream and a flathead on Atomic soft plastic lures. Near the Ocean Street Bridge, whiting are still prevalent on dusk and are taking blood and tube worms. In the deeper water opposite Woolworths, a few blackfish have succumbed to worm baits.

The lagoon at Queenscliff has been a bit quiet, with just the odd report of mullet. As the water temperature cools, the exotics in there, like mangrove jack and giant herring, get a bit bait- and lure-shy. However, they still have to feed, so don’t give up.

We all need to keep the pressure on Pittwater Council and NSW Waterways to provide a boat ramp to service the northern end of Pittwater. Write, phone or email these bureaucrats to voice your opinion.

On June 27 I will give a talk on fishing estuaries at the Sea Bees Fishing and Boating Club, Carlingford. Give Ron Abdilla a call on 0408 285 156.

Please let me know of any reports you have. I do not need just your success stories. I also need to know if nothings happening, as it gives balance to the reporting. Email or fax me on (02) 9918 2049.

Bag ’em ready

Make up spare traces and seal them in snap lock plastic bags so when the bite is hot, a tattered and torn trace can be discarded and a new one tied on and you can be back in the action in no time.

I keep a variety of traces in bags, and the larger ones wrapped around plastic foam for ease of access.



The author with that dreaded Winter visitor, the barracouta. these cold-water fish love to snaffle baits on the way down.


Although a bit scarce, whiting are still on most northern beaches but you’ll need to put in some legwork to locate the fish.

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