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Win some, lose some
  |  First Published: January 2010



I hate it when you come across acres of teeming fish, churning the water up like a washing machine. You chuck every lure you own at them and not one fish even looks at the offering. It’s so bloody frustrating!

Thankfully, this scenario doesn’t happen too often but when it does, it’s so exasperating.

We came across a huge boil of fish recently off Newport Reef. I threw everything I owned at the melee, except the wife, and didn’t even get a nudge.

My mate, who prides himself on owning more lures than the average tackle shop, was twice as mad.

He rummaged through countless packets of plastics and boxes of hard-bodied lures to throw at these finned pains in the bum, but all to no avail.

Eventually, gritting our teeth, we left them still boiling away and laughing at our feeble attempts.

Another frustrating incident, which this time left us shaking and wanting more, was a session when we kept getting smoked by ginormous snapper.

We were stationed in 19m of water slightly north of Long Reef, using two pilchards pinned on an 8/0 Mustad Tarpon hook floated down a chook pellet berley trail. The fish hit like Bondi trams and then ran.

I employ a Calcutta 400 spooled with 10kg fluorocarbon strapped on a custom stick. We landed three fish around 6kg to 7kg but there were some big mamas down there that, when hooked, had no desire to meet us face to face.

When we tried heavier string, yep…you guessed it…not even a bite. Who said fish are dumb?

PITTWATER BREAM

Some wonderful bream are coming in from the southern end of Pittwater.

I have written about these before and it’s good to see that some fishos are venturing out after dark in search of action.

A good place to start is near the water taxi caravan off the Pasadena Restaurant. We gave this a shot using a variety of baits, including fresh Hawkesbury prawns, live nippers and home-made pudding mix.

All baits worked at various times during the early evening sortie. All bream taken were keepers with no ‘minors’ – the rewards for fishing at night.

Derrick and Josh Kitchens fished off Queenscliff Bommie and were blown away by marauding kingfish. It just goes to show that 4kg line is a bit meek when it comes to a tug-of-war with the greenbacks.

Hitting the sand at Freshwater with shop-bought bloodworms, Jess Tompkins and Charlie Ho took home a basket full of sand whiting. There were plenty of throwback swallowtail dart in the mix and a small trevally for the creel, too.

Bream are also the talking point at Narrabeen Lagoon, with big fish taken at Pittwater Road bridge and near the Scout hut. Flicking fresh prawns around the weed beds is proving the best way to get the drag moaning.

It seems anyone who put crab traps out took home something to cook.

HOT CRABS

It was an awesome season up to and over Christmas, with crabs queuing up to jump in the hoop nets.

The western side of Pittwater, Scotland Island, West Head, the western side of the Hawkesbury, Bar Point and Milsons Passage all yielded plenty of big buck blue swimmers.

Remember to cook crabs in salt water; they taste bland if boiled in fresh.

I must mention the fishy wedding of Grant Huleson to his lovely bride Janine. Both attended my fishing clinics many years ago, both are addicted to the sport and after Grant lived with Janine for nearly seven years, he popped the question a month or so before her warranty ran out. All the very best for the future and long may you enjoy the greatest sport in the world.

Fishing out of a friend’s cruiser moored in The Basin, one angler (who wishes to remain anonymous as he is a current Australian cricketer) nailed a superb flathead on a cabanossi sausage.

Two casts later, a bream fell to the savoury delight, then another. The barbecue was lit and after a feed of fish, a cold beer and a perfect sunset, it made for a perfect day on the water.

• Monthly Tip: If miniature fish nibbles are driving you crazy, resist the temptation to use even smaller hooks.

Go bigger and employ larger baits. This eliminates those pesky pickers and when you do get a hit, you know it will be worth keeping.

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