Broken Bay has been fishing well over the past month. We've had some good sessions on kingfish, salmon, tailor, small amberjacks and the odd bonito.
Most of the kingfish and amberjacks we caught deep-water jigging with soft plastics on light spin tackle. The bonito and salmon we found around Barrenjoey Head and Box Head trolling lures – the best way to cover territory and find out where the fish are. Then, using our Humminbird sounder to locate the fish, we used metal and soft plastic jigs to spin them up. Most salmon have been 2kg to 2.5kg and the bonito around a kilo.
Plenty of bream, flathead and jewfish have been caught on bait and lures all the way from Pittwater to above Wisemans Ferry. Soft plastics worked around the rocky points have also been working on the bream. Deep-diving minnow lures trolled in the same areas have been catching their share of bream, flathead and the odd school jew to 8kg. Its also a good way to find where the fish are located and then begin working the area over with soft plastics.
Bass and estuary perch have been on the quiet side this month. Most fish we've been getting have chewed on plastics in or around the weed beds. We've certainly had a bit of rain lately and this has put a little flow in the water which hopefully this might bring them on the bite.
Have a fish around the tidal areas around Cattai, Ebenezer and Sackville. These areas are where the bass start to school up at this time of the year.
Mat Thomson, the founder and designer of Strudwick fishing rods, passed away suddenly on May 22. Mat was one of those blokes who was liked by everyone who came into contact with him. Nothing was too much trouble to him and he was always ready to help out a friend.
He was like a brother to all of us who worked with him at Strudwick. I feel that I was very lucky to know him as a close friend and will miss him for the rest of my days
I've just arrived home from a trip to the Kimberley, which should have been a trip of a lifetime. Poor planning let us down. When we booked the trip through a third party, we asked that person to check with the guide what the best time of year and best tides to fish for barra and jacks were.
He came back to us with the dates that he said would be the best. So we told him to go ahead and make all the arrangements and thought everything would be OK. Wrong!
When we arrived at the camp we where greeted by our host warmly in the most picturesque location that you could dream of .You look out over the bay at islands and headlands that had ‘fish’ written all over them. That’s when it all started to go downhill.
We were sitting around, discussing our fishing plans for the next five days when our guide asked why we had come fishing on the worst tides of the month. You can only imagine the conversation that went on after that! In short, we told him that he and the booking agent had picked the best times to fish the area. He denied this and said that the agent didn't discuss this with him.
We could've argued for the rest of the trip who was wrong, the guide or the agent, and it wouldn't have made any difference. We were in the wrong because we let someone else organise our holiday. This is the first trip that we had to use an agent to organise a fishing trip and it will be the last. Do it all yourself and make sure that you contact the guide yourself and tell him what fish you wish to target and find out from him the best time to fish for them.
The guide was right: The fishing was hard but we made the best of it and caught some good fish. We took queenfish, golden trevally, fingermark and giant trevally, but the fish we wanted to catch were barra. We caught only five, the largest around 70cm.
On the first day we went out after pelagics. We trolled some lures around and cast poppers with limited success, so I decided to try some kingfish tactics on the queenies and trevally. I pulled out some Slug-Gos and tied them on my 6kg spin rod. My guide said, “That’s a waste of time,” but I decided to give them a go. I cast out, let the Slug-Go and jig head sink down under the level of the fish, then cranked as fast as I could. I paused about half-way up and, as I resumed my retrieve, my rod buckled over and line peeled off as a golden headed for cover. After 20 minutes a fish around 10kg was released next to the boat. This method accounted for most of the queens and trevally over the next three days.
Our guide was a Slug-Go convert and asked for the details of where he could get hold of some those ‘waste of time’ lures.
The author with a Slug-Go-munching Kimberley queenfish.
Mal Paton with a Kimberley queenfish. Sydney kingfish lures and tactics also paid off in northern waters.
Ian English with an 8kg GT, a meritorious catch on 4kg spin gear.Reads: 1968