Bream, trevally come to play
  |  First Published: July 2005

It’s that time of the year when tailor, bream and trevally come out to play in Pittwater.

These fish are always exciting to catch on 2kg tackle, especially with lures or soft plastics. This year we are lucky enough to have the odd thumper bonito hitting lures and live baits while working the schools of tailor near Mackeral Beach.

Early morning has seen the best surface action and the birds give their position away or just look for the 20 boats working the schools. Most of the time the fish have been feeding down deep by 8am so trolling Rapala CD 7 and CD 9 lures in mullet colours are working later in the session. Before the fish feed down deep we have been using 20g River 2 Sea lures along the surface for instant hook-ups.

The odd school of salmon has been active between Barrenjoey Headland and Lion Island. Under these fish there are trevally and the some large kingfish.

We have trolled live salmon on our downrigger but as yet have not hooked up, although we have had a few follows. For those who own a downrigger, try this method in your area, you may be surprised what you hook up.

The salmon and trevally are on the small tucker and any fish profile of 10mm will do the trick. Felty’s Eyes flies in white are working and are used in conjunction with a water-filled bubble float.

To rig, tie your fly to the leader material of your choice. We use 12lb Berkley Vanish or 14lb Red Cajun line. Make the trace about a metre long and tie the trace to a water bubble that can be purchased at just about any tackle store. The bubble ties to your main line and once the bubble has been filled to a level you are happy with, you’re ready to go.

This method is quite successful on salmon when they are surface feeding and allows you to use very small flies on conventional tackle.

Bream are showing up just about everywhere you cast a line. The larger fish are among the moorings along the eastern side of Pittwater and are responding well to oily baits drifted down the berley trail.

The best bait has been a strip of fresh bonito with pilchards a close second. The berley has consisted of tuna mixed with chicken pellets and the ‘secret’ ingredient, boiled wheat.

Careel Bay has flounder on the drift with the occasional keeper flathead and bream. Whiting were around but have shifted camp and we are still tracking them down.


The weed beds around Careel Bay are still holding some big squid and it is worth anchoring on the edge of the weed and casting a pilchard on a spike. The other thing we use to attract big squid is a large yellowtail, shoulder-hooked and placed just below the surface. The hooked fish sends out all the right messages to the squid and they come from the weed beds eager for an easy feed.

At this time of the year we tend to use darker coloured squid jigs such as green and blue. The smallest jigs don’t seem to tempt the larger squid so always have a larger jig ready.

The Supermarket is holding trevally to 35cm with bream and leatherjackets making their presence felt. John dory have been caught here on yellowtail around 12cm. John dory are slow-moving fish so this method helps to target them. This same area has accounted for flathead on the drop-off and, every now and then, salmon rounding up baitfish.

Taylors Point is home to a million undersized snapper but if you have enough bait and patience, some nice bream have been caught just before sunrise. Anchor in the shallower area and use unweighted baits fished in a berley trail.

Anglers have seen big mean kingfish in their berley trails but have been unsuccessful in getting them to hook up.


McCarrs Creek has been a bit of a surprise this month with a good showing of quality fish taken from the deeper channel. Jonesy’s Gutter has produced john dory, leatherjackets, bream to 40cm and a lost jewfish of around 10kg – the moorings are very unforgiving areas. The top half of the run out-tide has been the most successful.

Near the sand bank at the end of Lovett Bay there have been john dory, leatherjackets and small bream. The bream may be small in this area but they are aggressive. These little guys around 20 cm are eating soft plastic 2” grubs in watermelon colour. We have been pulling 10 fish in short 25-minute sessions; again the run out tide seems to be best with the bottom of the tide producing the most fish.

Soldiers Point has been host to trevally, tailor, bonito and bream if you are prepared to wait for the fish to pass through. In this area fish where the rough ground meets the sand, the water depth here is about 10 metres.

This is a time when the wind blows cold but those who can bear the early starts should still be able to catch a mixed bag. We have bargain weekday specials for of July so call us on 9999 2574 to book a charter.

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