Reds gather on the reefs
  |  First Published: October 2009

his month things really start to kick off. We’ve had large doses of sun and the warm currents, which will kiss our shores next month, are starting their long migration south.

If you can bypass those line-nibbling leatherjackets, we should be getting into some quality snapper offshore.

In November I start targeting West Reef and East Reef because I know that’s where fish will congregate as the water starts to climb back to more tolerable temperatures.

Another place you’ll see me is the far southern end of Boultons Reef, another small bump showing on the sounder that acts as a ‘men’s shed’ for snapper.

Preparation is the key because a heap of berley is needed to get these fish on the chew and the mash must be dispensed regularly in a liberal dose each time.

If there’s current, use a berley bomb to get the appetiser into the zone – no use berleying some other patch over the horizon.

Don’t forget a few bait cubes flicked in now and again to train your quarry to take solids.

That wonderful stretch of ragged reef off Palm Beach called Trawleys will be the home of kingfish by now. Work the steep drop-off and look for the telltale towers of yellowtail kingfish on the sounder.

Some days they will be receptive to large metal jigs and other days they will look at nothing but live bait or strips of freshly caught squid.

When they are close to the surface, try a big popper or fizzer. A legal (65cm) greenback will find a splashy disturbance on his patch too irresistible to ignore and those surface takes sure get the heart racing.

e have had a wonderful few weeks of solid whiting hit the beaches. Curl Curl, Dee Why, Freshwater, North Narrabeen, Mona Vale and the middle of Palm
each have all produced fish.

Beach worms and bloodworms have been the top baits and because these whiting are large, thread on enough worm to choke a hippo.

Try different gutters until you find fish and when the bite ceases, be the nomad and go look to another gutter.

Vary the weight on the terminal tackle as the tide waxes and wanes, so you are not fishing with excess baggage.

Des Hartford found two jewfish at South Newport when he fished a high tide late one evening. He guessed the fish to be about 10kg each and they took slabs of shop-bought slimy mackerel.

Salmon meet early morning at Woody Point near Long Nose in Pittwater and discuss the day before sunrise. As soon as the glowing orange ball peeps over the eastern horizon, they’re gone.

Trolling bibbed minnows is one way to find fish, or just look for showers of bait as they flee the packs of hooning sambos.

If you have never been off the rock platforms targeting drummer or ‘pigs’, I strongly suggest you give it a try. With westerly winds, rock platforms become safe havens and you can flick in a peeled prawn or maybe just a blob of bread dough. Cunjevoi too is a wonderful attractor.

Berley with a bread mash and when you get a take, just hang on for the ride. Strong rods, a minimum of 10kg line and XXX-strong suicide hooks are the order of the day.

I fish a pea sinker sliding straight to the hook to avoid the rocky snags. Let me know how you go.


With both her girls now at pre-school, mum Angela Houghton can fish as often as she likes, as long as she’s home to cook a meal when husband Darren returns from work.

Angela recently scored a swag of bream on pumpkinseed plastics near Paradise Beach early one morning. Casting to structure, the fat bream darted from cover and devoured the lure.

Pittwater is a bream factory and for those who love chucking plastics, there are a myriad locations to choose.

Get out your witches’ hats and start repairing the netting. Sometimes it’s cheaper and a lot less frustrating just to buy netting and re-do the hoops with the new mesh. If you love the sweet white meat of blue swimmer crabs, get to work on those nets now.

When will they start work on The Pipe at Collaroy? Warringah Council has the money, the work has been passed by the council – so why the wait? I would love to see them repair the outlet and remove the metal gate so we can fish off it again.

• Monthly tip: Keep nylon monofilament line away from sunlight. Degradation happens a lot faster if line on reels, or new line, is left exposed to ultra violet rays. I keep all new line in a sealed box and make sure my tackle does not sit where sunlight can come in through the windows of the garage or the shed.

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