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Sydney Reports: Sydney Fishing August 2013, by Craig McGill

Sydney Fishing August 2013, by Craig McGill

The cold water is well and truly running through Sydney now, confirmed by the constant stream of whales passing by the heads and occasionally even poking their blubbery noggins into Manly for a quick look. The boys offshore have been having a great run of southern bluefin and to top it off we caught barracouta and even a gummy shark inside the harbour. I've occasionally caught couta in the past but have never even heard of anyone catching gummies this far north. They are prized table fish so no one was complaining.

Over all this winters fishing has been very good. When the weather is right Fishabout skippers Steve and Stu have been nailing some exceptional wash fishing from the boat. Fishing around the north harbour and north head washes , using plenty of burley and both bread and prawn baits they have done really well on groper, drummer, bream, luderick, trevally and jackets. Its exciting fishing on light gear with plenty of bust-ups from big groper and drummer but enough brought back to the boat to provide a succulent winter feed.


The luderick continue to bite well at all their usual lower harbour spots. They will be a reliable target right through to the new season. I covered luderick techniques thoroughly a couple of months back so I won't go over it again but would like to offer a quick tip on keeping weed. I normally use cabbage weed that I get off the ocean rocks. The blackfish that I am chasing are all lower harbour fish , therefore ocean blackfish, and are quite happy with cabbage. By keeping the weed in a wet hessian sack in the vege crisper section of my bait fridge and thoroughly washing the weed and bag in the sea every time I go fishing , I can keep it in good condition for about two weeks. You simply dunk the whole bag in and out of the water a dozen or so times. Recently Mike Baxter from ‘Melville Island fishing lodge' joined me in Sydney for a blackfish session. He brought a good sized bag of river weed (hair weed) with him that he had picked up from an estuary somewhere around Woy Woy on the central coast. We did very well with it and the luderick were more than happy to scoff it down, but what really amazed me was the longevity of the weed. I kept it in a wet sack as described above and two months later was still catching fish on it. Now, ten weeks later it's still looking good and I've set myself a bit of a challenge to see how long I can keep it going for. One of my charter customers once told me that he had keep weed going and even growing, in shallow tubs of fresh water in his back yard -- until his missus decided to dispose of the "vile broth". Weed is treated like gold amongst the luderick fraternity. It's hard to find, unreliable in supply and its location guarded with threats of murder. (It's rumoured that a massive reef of weed was discovered somewhere in central Australia in the 1930s but despite numerous expeditions it has never been found). I guess my tip is , that with good care , you should only have to secure river weed once or twice a season.


There is some really nice winter tailor in the harbour at the moment that should hang around through til at least October. Unlike summer fish the winter tailor are rarely seen chopping on the surface. They prefer to hang deep and are feeding on bigger baitfish. Naturally they like to hang around structure that accumulates baitfish so wrecks and deep reef, channel markers and some of the deeper boat moorings are good spots to look. The best depth range for daytime fish is around the 60ft mark but at night they will come into the shallows to feed. Sow and pigs reef is a classic night time spot and you can nail them with an unweighted pillie either drifted down with the current or slowly spun on ganged hooks. Once you have located the daytime fish, usually because they have been terrorizing your Dory live baits, you can either chase them with strips of squid, whole pillies, or jig for them with metals. Let your jigs fall to the bottom and jig them back to the surface , much the same as you would if you were jigging for kings albeit a bit slower . Blades and spoons are ideal for the job.


I'll also add that winter tailor are far superior table fish to their summer brethren. They carry a marbled fat through their flesh, particularly the belly that improves their flavour and texture considerably. To see what I'm talking about, have a good look at your knife blade next time you fillet a winter tailor. It'll be as greasy as a mechanics thermos. And it's all healthy omega 3 oil ---good for ya noggin.

Stuart Reid's 50lb Pending World Record PNG Black Bass

Pending World Record Black Bass

Papuan Black Bass are renowned the world over as the toughest pound for pound freshwater fish in the world, and the place to find the biggest Black Bass is PNG's Gulf province. The current all tackle world record Black Bass of 46lbs, and the fish pictured (caught on 19/6/14, by Stuart Reid, Fishabout) which is the pending world record at 50lbs, were both caught from these rivers.

Once you feel the strike you know that no freshwater fish can come close to the power. Watching 100kg guys get knocked over on the strike, reels give way, rods break in half and 130LB pound braid snap from the pound for pound strongest fighting fresh water fish is a sight to behold. If would like to experience the thrill of targeting PNG Black Bass and Barramundi in remote areas with very low fishing pressure contact us now. *2017-18 spots selling now* ... read more

Kadavu Island - Great Astrolabe Reef

Fiji Macky

The pristine Fiji Islands are home to the South Pacific's finest sport and game fish, including massive GT's, monster dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, dolphin fish, wahoo, spanish mackerel, black marlin, blue marlin and plenty of reef fish. Many of these species are endemic to the Great Astrolabe Reef (one of the largest barrier reefs in the world), which is the reef that encompasses Kadavu Island, Fiji.Fishabout now offer 6 and 8 day fishing packages to explore this marine wonder of the world, which include 3 and 5 days fishing respectively. For more information call us on (02)8922 2651 or click here

Endyalgout Remote Fishing Camp

Sunset at Endyalgout

Fishabout is pleased to now offer remote fishing trips to Endyalgout Island, one of the best fishing locations in Australia. (Nestled on the south east of the Coburg Penninsula).

Situated on a shell grit beach under shady trees, are several permanent tropical friendly safari style tents, raised on wooden platforms.

Looking out past the resident Crocodile you can see miles and miles of enticing mangroves, barely touched creeks, rivers, rock bars and channels, all calling your name.

From monster Baramundi up to 130cm, to big Black Jewfish, Threadfin Salmon, various Trevallies, and some of the biggest Golden Snaper to be found anywhere, Endyalgout Island is truly a dream to fish.

Pricing ranges from $4350 (4 days, 3 anglers per boat) to $6910 (7 days, 2 anglers per boat)

For more information please call us on (02) 8922 2651 or click here