They ‘eyes’ have it
  |  First Published: November 2003

SALMON have been providing plenty of action for anglers fishing the lower section of the Harbour, although they are a day-to-day proposition.

Some days they are active on the surface, easy to find because of the birds following the schools; on other days they will stay deep and can only be found on the sounder or by trolling deep-running lures. The bait schools also seem to be a bit of a mix of minute little fish called ‘eyes’ (because that’s about all you can see of them) and sometimes larger whitebait or pilchards. This means that when they are feeding on eyes, sometimes the only way to temp a strike is to cast a fly to them or toss very small lures on very light line. When they are feeding on the larger fish they will take heavier chrome lures or trolled minnows.

Not all of the kingfish left the Harbour during Winter, with reports of captures over past months, but now that the warmer water has arrived so has the main contingent of kingies.

It is good to see so many over that magical 60cm minimum legal length. Admittedly, most are just over by a couple of centimetres but at least it shows that the catch-and-release ethic practised by more and more anglers is having a positive effect on kingfish numbers. There are more legal-size fish available for those who would like to put one on the table.

There are a few big kingfish about, too. One angler claimed a monster hooked on 60kg braid busted him up. The big fish are showing a preference for live squid, which have been a bit hard to find. You could find yourself spending more time catching the bait than catching the fish.

School jewfish up to 5kg have been reported from the Gladesville bridge area and they also are biting best on squid. If you have a cache of live squid hoarded away somewhere, you are a mile in front if you are chasing the bigger fish.

Rose Bay has been a popular and productive area for those chasing bream. There have been some good catches from around the foreshore, particularly the Vaucluse side of the bay, and boat anglers have also had success around Shark Island. You will do best with live bait such as nippers or bloodworms. Early mornings and late evenings into the night are the best times.

Flathead are feeding more actively now with the warmer water and with the start of daylight saving and the extra hour of daylight after work, an evening session spinning the flats in any of the bays around the Harbour is not a bad way to finish after a day at the office.

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