This is ALF EPISODE 632. Check out our archives for more information on lure fishing and Sydney Fishing Spots

Luke’s Sydney Fishing Spots #1: Narrabeen Lakes

  • Narrabeen is a small lake system in the northern suburbs of Sydney that offers opportunities to fish for a range of species such as mulloway, tailor, trevally, bream, whiting, bass and estuary perch. That said, Luke’s favourite target in Narrabeen is the flathead, which are found up to around 85cm in this system and fish particularly well during the spring months.
  • A 7’, 2-4kg rod with a fast taper is perfect, coupled with a 2000 size reel. Don’t go too light on the leader – 8lb is about the minimum you’d use as flathead have a habit of wearing through thin leaders, though a 2-3kg braided mainline is perfect.
  • Sand drift can close over the mouth of the lake at times, but even when it’s open the system is not strongly tidal. The best flathead fishing starts around late October and because of the low tidal movement it’s simply a matter of getting out the water whenever you can – no need to fuss about getting the right tides.
  • The Lake can be fished from boat or kayak, but is also a good place for the land-based angler, particularly towards the back of the lake in the area between Middle and Deep creeks. There is good wading in this area with sand banks that hold quality flathead. There are great wading spots near the caravan park too.
  • Soft plastics are perfect for this system and Luke likes the Pro Lure Grubtail (60mm) on a 1/12 oz jig hook with a #2 hook.
  • 90% of the time Luke will retrieve his Grubtail with what he calls a “slow, long pull”. This involves drawing the lure very slowly so it doesn’t lose contact with the bottom and dragging it from shallow water into deeper water along drop-offs where there are weedbeds. It’s critical to always be in touch with the lure at all times.
  • When the long, slow pull technique isn’t working he’ll revert to the more traditional lift and pause technique. If the flathead are aggressive then he’ll use a slightly heavier jig head and use short, sharp hops and drops.

Luke’s Sydney Fishing Spots #2: Lane Cove River

  • Luke has been fishing this system from a kayak since 2009. It’s such a diverse and versatile fishery that he can go right up into the system around Fullers Road in search of bass and estuary perch, or anywhere between Epping Road and Woodford Bay for a ton of species like bream, flathead, mulloway, tailor, trevally, kingfish, salmon and more. Luke has caught all of these species in quality and quantity within 500m of the boat ramp.
  • The best fishing in the Lane Cove River is from November through to late May or early June. Winter and early Spring fishing is a bit tougher with the cold water. When fishing the flats for flathead, especially on the drop-offs, a runout tide is perfect. For bream along shorelines the last half of the run-in tide is best. Jewfish are best around the turn of the tide.
  • Kingfish and salmon are opportunistic species in the Lane Cove River – if you see a bust up, go over and throw a lure in. Bream, flathead, mulloway and whiting tend to be resident species and are more reliable in specific types of structure.
  • The Pro Lure Grubtail (60mm) rigged on a 1/12oz #1 TT Headlockz jig head is the perfect lure in this area, and Luke has caught all of the above species on that one lure. He’ll switch to a 1/8 or even ¼ oz jig head if the water is 6-8m or deeper.
  • For the kayak and boat anglers there is a lot of structure and the fish can be quite spread out. For the less experienced angler, there are flats within 200m of the Burns Bay boat ramp, and plenty more as you travel up the river system. These hold quality bream and flathead and are forgiving places to fish where a slight mis-cast won’t result in lost lures.
  • More experienced angler may prefer to target the myriad of hard structures in the system where accurate casting is a necessity. These include docks, poles, boat hulls, moorings, rails and natural structures such as rocky shorelines.
  • A good sounder is helpful but even just looking at Navionics or Google maps will show you where likely drop-offs and fish holding contours can be found.
  • Jewfish are best targeted in 4m or deeper areas adjacent to rocky shorelines where it drops off quickly. Anywhere downstream of Epping Road is worth a look.
  • For the land-based angler grab Google Maps or Google Earth and identify some spots. There is a great spot on the NW side of the Figtree Bridge with easy casting onto a big open flat. Don’t fish right next to the bridge as there are a couple of boulders that will claim some lures. Rockwalls upstream of this spot are excellent for lure casting.
  • For the adventurous, do a bushwalk to Blackman Park where the water can get to around 10m deep and tends to eddy around boulders. Quality mulloway from the shore are a good possibility here.

Luke’s Sydney Fishing Spots #3: Parramatta River

  • The Parramatta River is just a short cast from Lane Cove River and fishes in much the same way and for the same species as those in Lane Cove. Kayak fishing is Luke’s preference in this system and he likes to launch in the Putney area.
  • There seem to be less kingfish and salmon in this system than Lane Cove, but more jewfish, flathead and quality bream.
  • Big whiting are an attraction from the Parramatta River system during winter and Luke loves to target them with the Pro Lure V35 in either matt brown or camo colours. The technique Luke uses is very sharp, very short hops of the vibe, keeping it extremely close to the bottom. Bream, flathead and pretty much any other species can be picked up as bycatch when doing this. In front of the boat ramp in Hen and Chicken Bay where the water drops into 2-3m of depth over a mud and shell bottom is a great place to start.
  • An attractant such as Pro-Cure or Berkley is a great addition to the vibe and will increase strike rates.

Luke’s Sydney Fishing Spots #4: Rock Ledges

  • The rock ledges from Long Reef and Curl Curl in the north down to Malabar in the south offer phenomenal fishing, especially considering they’re adjacent to such a large human population.
  • The first consideration is safety. The rock ledges are not the place to be if there is a swell running, particularly if it’s a large southerly. Be sure and wear an inflatable floatation device as well as solid footwear. On sandstone, granite and smooth-rock ledges wear footwear with metal cleats to ensure you get a safe footing. Avoid wearing cleats in the more volcanic rock that is very porous, as they can get caught and trip you up. These rocks are rarely slippery because of the texture of their surface, so any solid footwear is fine.
  • Always have a “Plan B”. A great thing about rock fishing around Sydney is that when it’s too rough to hit the ledges there is always a sheltered bay or inlet just around the corner where you can try your hand at some light line fishing for bread and butter species.
  • Use Google Earth to find likely ledges and access points, noting the weather direction and looking for places that are sheltered. Ledges that drop vertically into 10m or so of water and then shelve to 20m or more are great for the larger pelagics. Shallower, more bouldery areas are great for smaller species and demersals.
  • Luke loves early morning fishing from the ledges. From January onwards it’s tuna time, with mack tuna, bonito, occasional northern bluefin tuna on the chew. Salmon, kingfish and so on are also around. In March through April cobia and other northern species make an appearance.
  • 15-20lb braid and a Surecatch Knight metal jig is about all that’s required to target the pelagics. Luke like to fish these on a fast burn from the instant it hits the water surface, but his mate likes to let the lure sink close to the bottom and then burn it back. Both techniques work on their day.
  • Winter is the time for really big kingfish off the stones – Luke usually live baits them, but they are a genuine option on lures too. Poppers and stickbaits are great, but Luke has been doing well with the Marine Duplex sinking stickbait and the Pro Lure Ultragar.
  • For the ledges, Luke uses a G Loomis Pro Blue 6-10kg fast taper rod with a 4000 size Daiwa reel 20lb braid, 20lb leader. This is his go-to outfit that is still fun on smaller fish but gives him a good shot if larger mack tuna, kingfish and the like grab his lure. For really big fish he’ll switch to a 4500 or 5000 size reel with straight through 20lb Tortue monofilament or 30-50lb braid on the same rod.
  • It’s also worth taking a light outfit similar to what you’d use at Narrabeen and Lane Cove. This is handy if the ledges are too rough and you want to duck back into more sheltered water to fish for smaller species.

Luke’s Sydney Fishing Spots #5: Georges River

  • On the south side of Sydney and emptying into Botany Bay is the Georges River system and Woolooware Bay, which is a min-blowing fishery. From Dolls Point to the eastern side of Woolooware Bay and upstream contains bridge pylons, docks, racks, boat hulls, moorings, sand flats, weed beds and numerous other fish holding structures. The system is fishable from boats, kayaks and the shore.
  • All of the species available in Lane Cove are available in the Georges River, but a stocking program by fisheries over a decade ago has created an amazing mulloway (jewfish) fishery in the Georges system. Luke rates this system above Sydney Harbour for jewfish, with 10-25kg fish on offer.
  • The gear for jewfish varies with location. For example, on the Captain Cook bridge pylons a 1/8 to 3/8 jig head and large hook is required. Luke fishes a lot with soft plastics for mulloway. The Pro Lure Fishtail is one of his go-to mulloway lure, in all sizes from 80-130mm with appropriate jig and hook sizes from 1/0 to 4/0 with exposed barbs (not weedless).
  • Persistence is the key to mulloway fishing, you’ll need to put a lot of casts so don’t get distracted by other species if you’re serious about mulloway fishing and want more than just the occasional fish as a bycatch.
  • A bycatch of flounder is common during the spring months when lure fishing the Georges system.
  • Wind-blown banks are a good place to fish in this system, which might seem counterproductive when land-based fishing as you’re casting straight into the wind. However, the fish are often in the stirred-up water close to shore.
  • For the kayak angler, Woolooware Bay in the racks is brilliant for big flathead and bream, but there is no shortage of other structure that holds quality bream. The Pro Lure Clone Prawn is deadly on these fish, as is the previously mentioned Grubtail.

Luke Kay Sydney Bream Fishing Bio

Luke Kay

Sponsored Tournament Angler

Luke is a talented tournament angler with plenty of runs on the board and a reputation for being able to find the better-quality bream from whatever location he’s fishing – but especially in his back yard on Sydney Harbour and Lane Cove River.

Luke Kay Sydney Bream fishing IG

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