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Long arm James

Sydney Harbour fishing report.

After months of water restrictions the media reports Sydney has experienced the biggest rain event in 20 years with over 200 mm falling in just a few days  Warragamba Dam has jumped from 43% to 80%. We definitely needed the rain and for Sydney Harbour it was like pressing the reset button. Along with  estuary systems up and down the coast the harbour receiving a long overdue flush.

Being a metropolitan waterway Sydney Harbour has a huge watershed for debris and urban pollution. Reports of ramps being closed and everything from trees and fridges floating under the harbour bridge are not exaggerated. Middle Harbour has suffered the worst of it as usual with a thick muddy soup full of debris welcoming you as you come under Spit Bridge! Time will clean this up of course – quote from local gun fly fisherman: ‘the solution for pollution is dilution’.

But what’s this done to the fishing? For sure the first few days following the major rain thing went quiet, bait was hard to find, if you could get a yakka or two, dropping them down live was almost pointless. Before long they would succumb to the fresh water at the top of the water column. Any fish that on the sounder seemed uninterested with all our offerings – too stressed I guess. And no matter where you went finding clean  fishable water was at best a challenge, at times impossible.

Fast forward a week and things are looking up, the water is still dirty but hopefully one more week of decent tides will change that. The fish are back on the bite with morning surface action reported from Watson’s Bay to North Head and North Harbour, where large schools of salmon, tailor and kings are working bait balls on the incoming tide.


1 week later – OK, I have no words for this!

On fly.

I didn’t expect much on my first fly outing this week but I was pleasantly surprised. Kingfish, Salmon, tailor and bonito have all made an appearance on the boat floor. They weren’t particularly fussy and cast after cast into bait balls was producing results. The most exciting of which resulted in a metre long kingfish taking a 30 cm tailor right as I was about to lift the fish into the boat!  I’ve never changed rods so fast!

There’s Kingfish on most marks at low tide. Big flies seems to be doing the trick and the ability to get down deep is key!  Good size tailor and salmon are taking small surf candy’s. Blue’s been my colour of choice this week. You can find them on the incoming tides in the main harbour. They’re fairly spread out but best of all they’re not shy!

John’s first king on fly

On bait.

With squid almost impossible to come across  most catches have been on live yakkas. Finding small yakkas has been the trick to getting the kingfish. With most of the usual spots out of action you have to go on the hunt. Use your fish finder to get results. And look for the cleanest waters where the bait is most likely hiding.

All the bream anglers out there must be loving it right now. I’ve seen countless large bream caught off the rocks in numerous locations around North Harbour and Balmoral. Fresh bait, burly and a rising tide were the ingredients for the most consistent catches. Don’t forget the bream will be feeding at your feet, so no need to cast too far.

My go to bream-on-bait setup is a 4 lb pound fluorocarbon leader, size 4 bait holder using strips of chicken thigh as bait. Unweighted or just a single bb size split shot works every time. And burleying up with some bread never hurts your chances.

This months plan…

Lots of fly trips booked in for the next few weeks but with all the large sharks in the harbour,  we though we would hook up with local fishing legend Shane Dwyer and target and tag a few monsters of the deep. If you want to be part of the action get in touch now.


Daily weather reports for the harbour from Willy Weather.

Book now

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’ve 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 as calm as your average inland lake.