This appears to be a great Winter for fishing the Northern Beaches and northern reefs off Sydney, with reports and weigh-ins from local clubs, such as Narrabeen RSL, The Sands Fishing Club and Avalon Fishing Club all showing very good results.
Several species such as snapper, jewfish, kingfish, flathead and trevally are being taken in good numbers and in decent sizes.
The Reefs off the Northern Beaches, especially Long Reef and Newport Reef, both in close at 13m to 16m, have produced great catches of snapper, with some over 5kg.
At this time of year, the big reds run close to shore and are even caught from the land-based rock spots such as Avalon, South Whale Beach and the Ledges at Warriewood Beach.
The deep reefs such as Esmerelda, Broken Bay Wide and the 12 Mile Reef all have snapper, large trevally and big leatherjackets.
Broken Bay is also producing some monster kingfish and also, unusually, a number of cobia.
Large kingfish have been taken on the heavier metal jigs and I have landed several kings up to 10kg on jigging tackle.
The outside flathead season has begun with some really good results – the best spots are close in along Palm Beach, the Hospital Ground drift at Mona Vale and North Narrabeen Beach in about 18m of water.
The best method of catching these top eating fish is to drift using two-hook rigs and plenty of lead so you are always on the bottom.
The northern end of the Barrenjoey Peninsula, on the rocks, is proving to be the happy hunting grounds for the luderick and drummer fishers. The drummer fishos have been out in force and are landing fish up to 2.5kg around the Newport, Collaroy and Warriewood headlands. Tom the Dutchman tells me that heaps of bread berley is essential (– he’s a baker, so he has no shortage of bread).
Several of the locals have been bagging good-sized luderick with local league legend Geoff Toovey accounting for a number of luderick over 1.5 kg off the blowhole at Warriewood.
Collaroy, North Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon beaches are providing no end of fun on the Aussie salmon and large Winter bream. Best times are dusk or on a run-up tide.
Flathead around 2kg have been landed at Dee Why Beach and the southern end of Curl Curl.
Narrabeen Lake is still providing the odd excellent bream from the Narrabeen bridge, Jamieson Park and Wakehurst Parkway areas, with soft plastics doing the major damage.
Young Sean Martin has been walking the banks of the lake catching some nice flathead, especially from the boatshed area and along Pipe Clay Point. Sean uses a mixture of small strip baits and soft plastics, as well as prawns and yabbies.
All in all, Winter looks like it is shaping up for a bumper fishing season!
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• The rock ledges at Warriewood (access from Narrabeen Park Parade) have excellent snapper and trevally – remember to cast out very wide of the ledge.
• Broken Bay Wide fires for big reef fish over the next few months, with catches of kingfish to 10kg, cobia and snapper to 5kg. Big gear is a must and this reef fishes best on the dark of the moon and up to the first quarter.
The fresher the bait, the better the result! Make sure you don’t skimp on quality bait.
• Snapper are taking big floating baits such as strips of mullet, bonito or squid.
• For flathead, use bonito or mullet strips for best results.
• Drummer love peeled prawns.
• Bream are taking peeled Hawkesbury prawns and chicken gut.
• For Aussie salmon, use WA pilchards