Prime time to target bigger fish
  |  First Published: July 2017

The bluewater scene is picking up out off Sydney, with reports of tuna on the rise. Trolling small skirts and cubing pilchards is proving successful out wide. Providing we get the right weather and seas over the next month, a flotilla of anglers will be in the thick of it offshore.

Reports are coming in of mainly yellowfin captures to 45kg with a few striped marlin still lurking in the cold waters. The bluefin have been quiet as yet, but it’s only early in the season. The inshore reef scene is alive with snapper and solid kingfish captures. Vic Levett reports ample numbers of snapper are on the chew around most of the shallow water reefs while some solid 1m+ kings are being confronted on just about every trip.

Most of the charter companies have been getting amongst the kings and reds. As per every winter, the seas will flatten out a bit, enabling boating crews to fish the local spots. It’s prime time to target the bigger fish so be prepared with appropriate tackle to do the job. A 30lb kit will do the reds, and you should use at least 50lb for the kings.

Our estuarine waterways continue to provide successful results on a number of species in all depths. Pelagic species like tailor, salmon and bonito are prolific on the surface, while bream, flathead and mulloway are in good numbers on the bottom. Squid and yakkas are showing themselves at most local haunts in the harbour and are making great live and fresh baits for anglers willing to put in the time.

Middle Harbour has been a pretty hot area lately. Camm Sutherland landed a 1m+ king using a big squid head for bait. Armen Kouch and Rob Haslam both had success on mulloway while kayaking around Roseville. Plastic vibes bounced on the bottom are proving very successful on this species. A few rat kings have also been taken up the back of the harbour. The kings have been roaming well upstream and it’s not uncommon to hear king reports from as far back as Roseville Bridge on a weekly basis.

Rock fishers have been into kingfish, salmon, bonito and tailor. Spinning lures is the preferred method. Small metal lures through to surface stickbaits have been successful. Luderick are feeding on the weed offerings and some solid bream have been picked off with unweighted pilchards in the wash.

The peninsula beaches are well worth fishing at the moment. With a variety of species available, there is something for everyone. Big tailor are roaming the suds at night and some fish up to 65cm have been landed using ganged hooks with salted pilchards for bait. Whaler sharks are still in the vicinity, so take some wire trace – it may be required if you want to tangle with the Noahs.

The winter whiting run has started with this bread and butter species being caught from most beaches. Be prepared to move along the beach as some of the bigger fish are on the move with the tide changes. A tub of king beachworms is an excellent choice of bait for these guys if you can’t find the time to get live worms.

They are great value and are accounting for some good bags of fish. Manly, Curl Curl and Dee Why beaches are excellent locations to target the whiting, with dawn and dusk being successful times.

For the metal casting brigade the long cast over the back of the suds with your favourite metal slug and casting outfit will put you in the tailor and salmon zone. Fish up to 68cm have been recorded and provide a great battle on 20lb gear.

Narrabeen Lake has been flowing consistently after the recent works, allowing good numbers of fish to come and go. The lake is proving its worth this season with plenty of flathead still on the chew. Johnathon Ross fished the back of the lake landing a couple of large flathead on soft plastics recently, with one fish providing a terrific fight on light gear. The lake whiting are also keen on a feed and the early morning session using poppers and topwater lures around the edges and weed beds has been a proven winner, to say the least.

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