A new beginning
  |  First Published: September 2004

I ALWAYS think of September as the beginning of the fishing year.

The cold months are behind us and warmer, more settled weather is on the way.

Inside the Port bream are becoming prolific and with the grand final of the NSW Pro Bream Series to be staged here from September 17 to 19 and bream well over a kilo haunting the weed beds, rock walls and oyster racks, it’s looking to be an interesting competition – I just hope the weather is better than on the last attempt.

Weigh in will be at lunch time both days with the presentation at 2pm on Sunday at the Soldiers Point Yacht Club.

Blackfish are in plague proportions on the co-op breakwall, as are anglers chasing them. I’ve been dabbling in this interesting part of our sport lately and catching quite a few good fish for the table.

Though my pursuits are mostly from the ocean rocks, I decided to try my hand at still-water float fishing and joined the ranks on the breakwater. Alas, try as I might, I just did not cut it.

An elderly gentleman who fancied himself as a bit of a blackfish wiz had taken up a position on a rock behind me, seeing that I was somewhat younger than the rest of the crowd. I’m sure his intentions were all good but he then went on to tell me the reasons I wasn’t catching any blackfish were many and varied, from a too heavy main line, too heavy a float, not enough weight on my float, lead at my hooks too heavy and short, my hooks too big and my weed too soft.

I thanked the gentleman and tried to look as though I was making amendments to my tackle to increase my chances. He then noticed I had a brand-new black fish rod and questioned how long I’d been fishing for them.

I told him the blackfish rod I had owned since I was seven had broken the day before on a fish while I was out with my grandfather. Not being 10 minutes from Duff’s Salamander Bait and Tackle, I drove over and purchased a new rod and returned to my Granddad’s spot, where he’d berleyed a frenzy.

We continued fishing and came home with our bag limit. I’m sure any newcomer to blackfishing who is eager to learn the finer details of this delicate art only has to take a position on the breakwall with a new rod from Duffy’s. There he will receive all the tuition he requires.


Jack and Donny Wilson were fishing for snapper one day recently. Due to the current running against the wind they were not having a great deal of success, although they knew that this time of year often yields some monster reds. One fisherman, however, was having overwhelming success.

A sea lion was eagerly catching huge snapper one after another. He’d dive down, catch his meal and then toss it about on the surface for a while as if to say to the disappointed brothers, “Look what I caught!” and then eat it and dive down to get another.

The boys now fish where the sea lion isn’t and catch rates are increasing.


Drummer are on the beat around local washes so join the band of happy anglers trying their luck.

Drummer perform best early mornings and respond well to a berley of old bread and chook pellets. Small, lightly-weighted baits of prawn, bread, cunjevoi or abalone gut work well.

Tailor and salmon are also menacing the washes so, with all the action about, an angler shouldn’t have all that much trouble finding some fish.


Bream like this one should keep the competitors in the Pro Bream grand final this month happy.

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