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Jewfish - Kingfish - Fishing The Hawkesbury & Middle Harbour & Burley


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In the Middle Harbour end of Sydney Harbour, Grotto Point is in my opinion the perfect passing spot for Jewfish, Kingfish and other Pelagics coming in and out of Sydney Harbour. Grotto Point is the entrance, the benchmark and the guage if you like for Middle Harbour. It is in the ideal position and the area on both sides of it has a natural attraction for larger fish coming up or into the Harbour itself and particularly into the Middle Harbour side to intercept food moving along with the run in tide and moving back with the run out tide repeatedly. The movement of other fish along the same route over and over again gives predators and Pelagics the initiative to come back again.

Whether burley should be used or not is a matter for the individual fisherman to determine. A sign of too many pickers is a sign that there is less risk from predators. A sign of no pickers and no loss of baits is obviously a case for activity stimulation.

Whether they are hunting, passing through the area, or inactive in a nearby vicinty at the time, predators are attracted to tell tale feeding activity especially in a concentrated area, and in the case of Jewfish, feeding activity and gatherings of smaller fish in there own natural territory, stimulates their activities and participation as well.

When fishing for Jewfish, using burley attracts other fish towards the area of your baits and, by being able to congregate other fish from the vicinity into the same area, Jewfish, larger fish and other predators will sense the feeding activity and react to it.

When fishing the Hawkesbury, it is pointless burleying the surface in the main stream of the river because of the current. However downwind spots in the many deep areas out of the currents such as fishing river mouths around corner rocks, sharp bends, small alcoves etc, where the water is pushed in by the weight of the swell over the tidal factor and the wind etc, are attractive locations to seek out. Predators conserve energy and hide waiting for baitfish which flow in with the push especially during the run in tide with the wind blowing towards the shore, particularly when the wind is coming from an easterly or north easterly direction.

When the wind is coming in that direction and picks up and becomes blowy, as is common along the coast in the early afternoons, fish have no alternative other than to seek refuge in these sheltered areas. Whether they be in down river or in up river areas, these are locations that have long been regarded as hot spots. When the water in a river whether it be saltwater of freshwater is affected particularly by reams of mud which can alter the oxygen supply in the main stream, these are the types of locations that stand out from others.

It is also worth noting that when conditions change to dead calm bait fish will suddenly come out of cover to seek food just as predators will come in to get them.

Anyway back to normal type fishing where fish react to conditions as well. When a session starts off quiet and dead baits or live baits are not being touched, it is well worth using a slow release burley device on the bottom in these types of areas.

Good Jewfish results often come when there is a shortage of food and they have more fossicking and more focussed hunting to do. The bigger the Jewfish, the slower it takes the fish to wind up and chase, so tactics and surprise ambush is their specialty. Jewfish have a lower than average flight speed for size and if you release a yellowtail, a mullet, or a tailor and then a soapie Jewfish you will see that quite distinctly.

Release a Kingfish straight off the hook and watch it run off the mark when it get's balanced compared to a a Jewfish.

When there are baitfish schools in cover such as bridge pylons etc., a single Jewfish will often ambush a target, however a pack tends to attack and chase baitfish out of cover, surround them, and obstruct their escape. It is handy to have a selection of baits out away from the structure and you need to be well prepared if you have waited for the first signs of eruption, the splash and the ring or the series of splashes and rings on the water. An attack by larger Bream on baitfish is easily recognised by the type of eruptions followed by double tail splashes on the surface.

Surface burleying is a separate issue as well and is essential for encouraging fish to rise and encourages baitfish activity in the area of choice. When the pickers have gone you are better off without any baitfish in the vicinity, so that your baits stand out and present as an easy take for an exporing predator.

When bait fish are out in the open where you are fishing it is often better to hold them there. Baitfish can be daring and reckless when tempted by the easy treats in the burley and will take risks by remaining in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the baitfish have gone is the right time to stay on and fish for fossicking Predators, especially larger Jewfish who have lost their speed.

Using a slow release bottom burley device, designed to release burley in tiny portions and weighted granular fragments is very effective, and particularly so when you need to attract other bottom feeding fish to a confined area.

Naturally if there are baitfish down deep onto the burley, others will go down deep for their share. You can't avoid that, but it's not a negative by any means, the baitfish may be holding down deep because of the burley and be caught unawares.

The baitfish will go and when they appear to go, the time is right to get a variety of large baits out and stay on and wait for the order to change, so as to give yourself every chance on the day.

Hope this helps others especially the members who messaged me.

I hope you all get your share of Jewfish and Kingfish and Pelagics on the coming Anzac Day weekend.


Jewgaffer :1fishing1:

Edited by jewgaffer
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Hi Jewgaffer,

Mate i agree about Grotto point.

Plenty of nice fish come out of that area.

I would fish it more but in my tinnie it gets a bit rough due to swell and passing boat traffic.

Itching to get out there ATM. Gonna wait for sun and for the water to settle a bit before i venture back into Middle Harbour.

Saturday looks like a possibility or maybe even this arvo low tide. I love low tide for jews in MH as they seem to scavenge around on the bottom in deep water when the water movement is minimal. They seem to be pretty lazy fish most of the time.

No rain in Frenchs Forest but a bit of wind as i write this.

I dont burley in deep water of MH but i put out two rods for jews, one a livie and another squid or flesh strip. Both of these rods i set and forget.

My third rod i use pillies to attract the pickers and i hang onto this one and muck around. I like the theory of bringing in the fish with an offering of pillie to create some activity down there. Predators come in for a look on whats happening and find a feed. Hopefully connected to my big arse hook.

Seems to be a few people out tonite hunting jewies. I would fish the low tide and right thru to the late high. Long night but i think thats what it takes.

Cheers mate.

Edited by zenman
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