Sydney Harbour fishing report.
The holidays may be over on Sydney Harbour but somebody forgot to tell the fish. It’s been great to be on the water over the last week. The holiday boat-traffic has gone and the waters are calm and tranquil and brimming with life! From squid, to crabs and our scaly fish species. Water temps upwards of 25 degrees C, and crystal clear bluewater sitting right out the front of the Sydney Heads. You do not want to be anywhere else right now.
I’ve seen some pretty amazing fish behaviour over the last week. We’ve had kingfish launching themselves half a meter into the air chasing surface action. Two large schools of soapy jewfish nosing along sandy drop offs and more sharks than I’ve seen in ages. The amount of life in the harbour right now is outstanding. Fingers crossed that the slow start to summer we had over December and January will lead us into an amazing late season.
As a flyfisher it’s been a bit of a struggle at times over the last few months. But times they are a changing! The kingfish are getting active and hungry. Most markers on the harbour are holding fish at different stages of the tides. I find they retreat back to boat hulls and markers on low tide but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
There are a lot of smaller fish about but be warned there are some serious hoodlums swimming in the mix. I’ve lost a few expensive squid flies recently to fish I just couldn’t put the brakes on. So be prepared for some epic battles and make sure your knots are good!
I say this again – orange squid flies are just too good to stop using. We have caught one fish on a deceiver over the last week and 20 on squid flies. Although I keep telling myself to try something new but I just love catching!
Leader size has been a issue. I generally fish 20 lb fluorocarbon but after some epic battles in moorings I’m back to 30 lb. The fish don’t seem to mind the extra diameter and it’s definitely meant a few bigger specimens have made it into the boat.
Other great news for flyfishos is the bonito seem to have finally moved en-mass into the harbour. And it’s about time! Check Middle Harbour early morning for some great surface action.
Squid,squid and more squid…. if you get the squid you will get the fish. Yes you might get a fish on some frozen or dare I say servo squid. But if you want to catch good fish consistently you have to get good at squidding.
Green eye calamari, arrows, or cuttlefish. The hoodlums out there definitely have a nose for cuttlefish but fresh caught squid of any variety will give you the best chance of fish in Sydney Harbour. Spend the money and buy a few well balanced squid jigs. For colour choice, a great place to start is by remembering to use natural colours during the day and your more radical fluoro pinks and oranges at night. My fave all round is Yamashita 1.8 orange and natural.
I did a little experiment last week and spent $15 on some straight off the trawler vacuum packed frozen squid – versus- caught an hour before squid all used in strips. It wasn’t exactly scientific, but two rods on the left were frozen trawler squid – versus – two on the right were the caught that morning squid. All with the same hook and leader size, using strips cut to same length and width. Dropped straight below the boat in the last third of the water column.
It wasn’t much of a surprise but the frozen squid didn’t get touched while the fresh caught squid was taken on each drop and resulted in some great kingfish. Visually the frozen squid was already white, whilst the fresh squid still maintained some translucency. I wouldn’t be surprised if the scent had changed too on the frozen squid.
I have found the freshness of the squid was most important with kingfish. Jewfish on the other hand don’t seem to mind fresh/frozen squid. Though it definitely helps to freeze them in some saltwater as soon as you can after catching.
It hasn’t just been the kingfish that have been on fire with the squid. We have had lots bream up to 45 cm, cobia, flathead to 90 cm and lots of pan size snapper and jewfish. They have been less picky about the quality of the squid but the better fish were all taken on fresher squid.
On my first personal fish in months I had a double hook up of little pan size snapper and jewfish on my first drop, just as the sun was coming up. Both on fresh squid strips and 5/0 circle hooks using 20 lb fluoro leader. Sydney Harbour just keeps getting better!
Daily weather reports for the harbour from Willy Weather.
Don’t miss out on a great day out and book now to avoid disappointment and get out on the harbour for some serious fish-hunting. We have had a lot of kids and parents come aboard over the holiday period and it’s been great. So a reminder to you all out there. Fishing in the harbour is insane right now and why go outside and risk spending your day seasick when you can catch once in a lifetime fish in waters calmer than any inland lake.