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Neutral Bay Wharf - A frustrating donut


HawkesburyParadise

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Being an overcast and potentially rainy afternoon, I decided to try wharves again just to avoid a soaking.

Well, the rain didn't come and neither did the fish. 

To be fair, high tide on the harbour was around 12 noon so being 3pm, maybe it wasn't the best time. 

Rod: new Shimano fishquest - Bought as the last one broke. Prespooled with 10lb mono. 10lb shimano mono leader. Size 4 hooks for Bream.

Bait: Prawn and Chicken. Prawn got bites but there weren't a whole lot of bites.

Negatives - A lot of frustration

"Shoulda gone to Bobbin head" feeling

Positives -

Tried new rod

Got some good news from Parramatta Eels re:player signings. That's about it. Unrelated I know but I'm struggling hehe.

Next step - Might try new line as the 10lb pre spooled seems heavy, even heavier than my Shimano. Fishing closer to high tide may also help.

Edited by HawkesburyParadise
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best times to fish the harbour   1 hour before sunrise untill 7.30 am  , night time also , rest of the time , target certain species  if you  want better results , the fish are there ,   live baits are the best , very fresh baits  also good ,  burley when you can ,  try  different spots , ask advice for spots you have not been to  

 

 

Edited by leonardgid
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Don't stress @HawkesburyParadise, everybody has fishless trips.

I sneaked in a casual 20 min session on the Parra this morning before an appointment and before work. Donutted too, but had a few hits from suspected tailor. But that session still hit the spot for me, after a busy few months with work, study and family.

What I will say is that whilst catching fish is everyone's goal, there's plenty of other things to enjoy about fishing as well. An afternoon on the harbour is a very good reason to be happy and relaxed.

On the fishing end, if you are getting bites on the prawns, downsize the hook to a size 8 or size 10 long shank hook with a small piece of prawn on the bend. Likely a leatherjacket, bait fish or tiny bream/snapper and size 4 is a smidge too big for them. Either way you'll find out what they are. Leatherjackets like to hang in close to the wharf, so no need to cast out - just drop it straight down underneath you, then wind up slightly higher.

10lb mono is fine if you are fishing with bait.

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I have always found fishing the Harbour in Spring harder and late autumn is the same to some extent but not as bad  , I believe it is something to do with the water temperature transition . The colder water fish have mostly moved out and the warmer water fish haven’t really arrived yet . I remember when I mostly fished Middle and North harbour that it was around this time of year we would see an algal bloom and the water would go this horrible milky green colour , never ever caught anything when this was happening and in later years if we saw this we went home . One trick I used to use fishing the ferry wharves is to watch the prop wash when the ferry comes in and departs , cast your bait out to the edge of this prop wash as this is where anything that the wash stirs up will end up and the fish have worked out that they can get a feed from it and I used this to great effect on Valencia st wharf  . This is also a really good tactic for lure fishing up the parra river as the fish hunt around the prop wash and also the shore break as it stirs the bottom up .

Always plenty of leather jackets in the lower Parramatta river , Lane cove river and harbour . Use a short dropper patternoster rig with enough lead to get you to the bottom and keep tension on the line . Drop this down around the pylons or edge of any kelp growth and make sure you can feel the weight of the sinker ( you need this as it helps to transmit the small bites of a jacket up the line - without it you will feel nothing and just keep losing bait !) if you don’t get a bite after a few minutes lift the bait up a metre and wait again , keep doing this until you can see your bait . If you don’t get anything after a few drops move to another pylon , you can also berley and jackets will come in from a long way off for a feed .

Edited by XD351
To add more info and to kill the evil that spellcheck is
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One other trick with the paternoster rig is to slowly lift your rod/line up and drop it down about 15-20cm every few seconds (making sure you can still feel the weight of the sinker all the time like @XD351 says). Nothing too drastic - just a slow up and down motion.

This imparts a bit of movement to the bait and also makes sure you feel the weight of the jacket when they bite (often you might not feel them otherwise). This will often also hook the fish. Learned this all those years ago from an old salt on a wharf.

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5 hours ago, XD351 said:

One trick I used to use fishing the ferry wharves is to watch the prop wash when the ferry comes in and departs , cast your bait out to the edge of this prop wash as this is where anything that the wash stirs up will end up and the fish have worked out that they can get a feed from it and I used this to great effect on Valencia st wharf

I used to be a bit of a wharf jockey frequenting Valentia st & ferry st wharves in my teens in the 70’s & fished valentia st & surrounding area until about 2010. I’m sure we would have crossed paths @XD351

The slow yo-yo  technic also worked well for yakkas & a little bit of prawn or minced meat usually always ensured a catch of fish. The ferry wash was another good trick especially with the smallest of sinker & slack in the line

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2 hours ago, 61 crusher said:

I used to be a bit of a wharf jockey frequenting Valentia st & ferry st wharves in my teens in the 70’s & fished valentia st & surrounding area until about 2010. I’m sure we would have crossed paths @XD351

The slow yo-yo  technic also worked well for yakkas & a little bit of prawn or minced meat usually always ensured a catch of fish. The ferry wash was another good trick especially with the smallest of sinker & slack in the line

Possibly ! 
I used to occasionally fish next to an old bloke named Stan who fished for Luderick  on the lane cove river side of the pontoon , I was very fortunate to fish with him as he taught me the secrets to catching the Luderick that lived under the pontoon - fantastic bloke too ! 
I first fished there in the late 70s when the old wharf was there , a school mate’s dad took us there and we got a few good flathead a bream and a few leatherjackets . I once or twice ran into another guy that was a leather jacket catching machine and he was the one that showed me the short dropper rig .

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23 hours ago, XD351 said:

I first fished there in the late 70s when the old wharf was there , a school mate’s dad took us there and we got a few good flathead a bream and a few leatherjackets . I once or twice ran into another guy that was a leather jacket catching machine and he was the one that showed me the short dropper rig .

When the wharf was still there & the blackfish were on, the rocks on the left used to get quite crowded, very rarely do I see anyone targeting them anymore

I also remember moving my gear back for when the cockatoo ferry was about to dock  as the whole wharf & pylons would be covered in a mass exodus of workers disembarking & it would be all over in less than 5 minutes 

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Same as Luna park wharf and Milsons point , there used to be dozens of guys fishing for yakkas off the wharf and a long line of them fishing under the bridge for tailor- haven’t seen anyone there for years . Since the rivercat started the weed supply at Putney dried up and finding Parramatta river weed is difficult - I used to be able to get a bucket full in a few minutes at Putney  - now nothing 😭

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