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Flyboat fishing charters Sydney harbour

Rory’s first Kingfish

Charters before the New Year

Book now for the last remaining spaces for Sydney Harbour in 2021. Call Stephen now on 0422709139. Two person fly fishing charters; up to four person bait fishing charters.

Green water doldrums

Well goodbye winter and hello spring, and with it the cool green water of November. All waters south of the Hawkesbury have fishers scratching their heads and hoping for a blue water sea change. What’s happened? Well, first the fish are on holiday! Sydney is in the middle of the transitional zone between the warm East Australia Current (the one that brought us Nemo) and the cool Tasman Sea. When the EAC pushes hard we get warm blue water and cooperative fish; when it’s not so strong we get the green water from the Tasman Sea – loaded with nutrients, but the fish can be a bit testy.

Flyboat Sydney Harbour Fishing Charters

Green water at 20 degrees is chilling the Sydney coast, at latitude 33 degrees south.

Image courtesy of the BOM. Mix in some wind from the NE and some break away eddies and the local fish are chasing the bait – which are scarce in Sydney Harbour right now. During the seasonal changes we see this more often than in the more stable periods of winter and summer.

All the reports I’m getting from fellow anglers tell the same story of tough fishing during these times. We see them on the sounder, and breaking surface water but they’re not easy to hook. There are times when it may come alive for a brief moment or two but after consecutive days struggling to even catch yellow tail or leather jacket I question my sanity. What the hell is going on down there? But that’s me. Never happy unless I can deliver the goods. Then I remember last year!

Flyboat fishing charters Sydney harbour

Iconic Sydney

On the fly.

For the first part of the week it was all about the salmon. Hard fighting and fun, but pretty much the only game in town. They haven’t come easy with small schools of spooky fish testing everyone’s patience and perseverance. You almost had to land the fly in the fish’s mouth to entice a take but even that didn’t guarantee a take. And I’ve had some very competent fisherman casting brilliantly for little result. Some days they were pushing through the surface doing there feeding circular path and others they were like trout sitting deep and rising only for a size 18 dry (metaphorically) only to return to depth at speed.

Later in the week we finally managed some cracking 80cm plus kingies, and the salmon became jealous and then cooperative. Go figure.

The key for salmon was a floating line and the smallest, sparsely dressed eye candy/micro bait pattern. And definitely no flash! After three hours chasing them on an intermediate line, as soon as I put out a floating line we had three fish in as many casts. Those fish were looking up! They’re pretty spread out but from around the bridge to Shark Island schools they were regularly popping up with early morning and early afternoon being the most productive times.

Adding to the mix we had some memorable fly sessions on black fish which are still around in good numbers with some great fish to be had.


As you know, I’ve developed a niche fishery for drummer and grouper over winter but this has now slowed a little. But they’re still on the bite behind the wash zone and I love fishing for them simply – with white bread. It’s just so productive. You can really tell the difference between spots that can be accessed from land, and those where you need some boating expertise.

Getting squid this week has been near impossible but luckily the kings seem to be struggling to find them too and were happy to take a yellow tail – which when you find them are mostly the perfect size for the job. Only a couple of the usual spots are holding kings which are quiet decent but it’s all about timing if you want to get the bite.

Luckily there’s plenty of trevally still around especially further up the main and north harbour. As usual a mega burly trail and unweighted fresh bait will maximise your chances. Again bread can be an awesome bait especially when they start taking it off the surface.

Grouper have been really consistent with half red crabs or extra large prawns being really productive. Drifting the sandy areas of  the harbour is starting to produce some good flathead with the classic paternoster rig #halfpilly 😁 producing some good fish. Especially on the run out tide.

Now for an optimistic close. This weekend the tides will be some of the biggest of the year and with some fresh rainfall run-off mixing with the already nutrient rich water let’s hope for a bait fish boom. My pick for the weekend will be bream and black fish. Get out there early for the rising tide and good luck. Keep an eye out for the sharks moving around in the dirty water – that submerged log on your sounder, well, who knows!

Need tackle? Get into the Compleat Angler Sydney for the best gear, the best advice, and up to date intel on what’s being caught where.

Keep your rod bent – Stephen.