TurtleTown

Spit bridge black fish

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Hi All, 

So im planning to do a bit of black fish fishing in Sydney as things slow down over the cooler months on SP’s, I’ve done a little back in Newcastle years ago so between the wealth of information on fishraider and my past experience I have some basic idea what I’m doing with rig/technique. 

But I have two questions,

locations : I’ve picked up a few from posts and thought I’d try balls head reserve (if I can figure out the track leading to the water) or spit bridge. With spit bridge what area is best (was thinking 3 but not sure) and what tide, rising or falling or both? For both locations.6CD9889E-678A-4F1B-9DA9-3F7B7BC5B723.thumb.jpeg.a42773f4d87fe76c4413160fdfb860b7.jpeg 

and bait: what is the best type of weed, string or rock lettuce for spit and balls head locations? 

Thanks for your prized information as I know spots are usually not given away easily hence choosing two quite well known ones to get me back in the swing of it.

Thanks

Dave

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G'day Turtletown I haven't fished the spit for them myself but have seen guys fishing at spot '2' on the run in tide and almost exactly between spots '3' and '4' towards the moored boats on the top of the tide.  I mainly fished for them at Cremorne Wharf, Taronga Park wharf(fishing no longer allowed there sadly) Bradleys Head(old stone wall)and  White Rock(see directions in this forum on Bradleys Head) Of the spots I've mentioned Cremorne Wharf is always worth a drift from the western side, you start your drift about 4-5 mtrs out from the centre of this side and you want it to drift towards the wharf. where there is a natural eddy. I found changing float depth frequently is more important at this location than any of the others from as shallow as 2.7 mtr's down to about 5 mtr's. Weed and cabbage both get fish here. This side accommodates about 3 Luderick fishers comfortably and you are out of the way of ferry/passengers. Berleying just a little with sand/weed is advisable but not essential as ferry movement/surge dislodges a bit of marine growth and I reckon the fish are on the lookout for food naturally after each ferry leaves. The north east corner of the wharf can produce a few as well, fish close to the wharf about 3-3.5 mtr's deep but only towards the top of the tide and its nowhere near as reliable as the west side. Most importantly when fishing most of the lower harbour wharves make sure your float(bottom ballasted floats best here) is weighted right down to no more than 1 cm above water(even lower is better) as you can easily see it and are always fishing close to it- there's no need for long drifts or very much float stem above the water and the fish will take it more freely without letting go.  About 60-70 cm of .20 gauge(2.3-3 kg) trace(leader)between last lead and hook as a minimum is also my recommendation. I've been using 5 and a half pound and six and a half pound Tortue for leader for over 40 years, it stands up well to all the half-hitches you use when baiting up and in my opinion is better than fluorocarbon for this reason. I would agree of course that the latter is more abrasion resistant and far less visible. Although exposed to Westerly winds the wharf  fishes well then and can be fished in a slight S/E also.  A landing net of 1 to 2 mtr's is long enough here as well.              At Bradleys Head you fish the old stone wall below and to the right of the mast of The Sydney.  Years ago, this spot had a wharf that jutted out from the wall that still remains and it was then one of Sydney Harbour's best Luderick spots. I'm not exactly sure if this wharf was destroyed by storms, misadventure, simply removed for maintenance reasons or something to do with the National Park, however, the stone wall that remains is still a good, productive spot and I reckon is a good place to regain your Luderick skills as there are always a few fish and sometimes a lot. Fish can be caught here on both tides and unlike  Cremorne, there is a lot more water movement and longer drifts are the norm. If you get your choice of wall  'corners' the right hand corner is the best and you can drift as far as 30-40 mtr's towards the Harbour Bridge and get fish anywhere up that stretch. I think this spot often see's bigger schools of Luderick come through as they travel around the lower harbour and I've fished there a couple of times with half a dozen other guys and seen everyone hooked up at the same time. On big high tides when there's a decent weed growth on the shore sometimes the fish will venture about half way along the western side  of the wall and can be caught fishing 'shallow' about 2.5 mtr's deep, otherwise fishing between 2,7 and 3.7 mtr's deep is the go. A landing net of 1.5-3 mtr's is an asset,or you can walk any big fish along the wall and simply wash them up on the small beach. Due to more tidal influence and 'run' in the water we usually use a lighter version of 'fixed' ocean rock floats(high ballasted) when fishing the stone wall as the fish bite more aggressively in this type of water, allowing a longer topped/stemmed float which is necessary for detecting 'downs' in both quicker drifts and longer distances. Black tipped floats are used when fishing here of an afternoon as you are looking towards the sun. A shorter distance between last lead and hook(about 50 cm) works well on bigger faster flowing tides here. Weed always seems to catch more fish than cabbage at this spot,I think that could be because there are several patches around the headland where weed constantly grows and very occasionally you can get a little of it for bait, but it's never very long as I think the fish get at it on the bigger tides of a night.  This spot is one spot that fishes ok in N/E winds and although a bit cold in westerly's also fishes well then. Avoid it in S-S/E winds over 15 knots as it's a bit more difficult to fish and there doesn't seem to be as many fish then either. If the Luderick aren't biting, a size 8 longshank baited with peeled prawn under your float produces some large leatherjackets here and at times there are Surgeons around that provide a bit of excitement if you hook one on weed. Hope this is useful info and if you need to know anything else that might help or want specific info on White Rock's Luderick spot  just let me know. Cheers and good luck.

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Hi awesome information thanks for that ! With Bradley’s head is the rock wall you refer to, is that the jetty like one going out right in front of the amphitheater (1)1FCC6F67-8D21-413E-B40E-8123FAE7E578.thumb.jpeg.dc9633ad019e5984f74e9b42c3cd701b.jpeg

I’ll stay away from white rock,s as I’ll be fishing alone and don’t want to take any risk getting washed in off rocks 

thanks again that’s invaluable information you’ve provided ????

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G'day again yes the spot marked 1 is the stone wall and the harbour bridge corner is the best for incoming tide,though fish are taken both sides of the front of the wall. Also don't be afraid to throw out as far as you can here as when the tide is in its lower stages they sometimes are well out from the wall,hence using the longer topped float for visibility. As I indicated in the original post, at this spot the fish are generally less shy, in fact the bite here is more like rockfishing than estuary Luderick fishing and when here most guys use their longer 12 ft(3.7 mtr)'rock' rods rather than shorter 9-10 ft(2.75-3 mtr) estuary variety, although any Luderick rod will do.    In reference to White Rock, it is a safe location that isn't affected at all by any swell(other than passing ferry waves!)and I used to often fish there safely by myself . I also took my Mum there a few times when she was in her late 60's(Mum had fun catching leatherjackets while I fished for Luderick in the crack)  and have taken kids fishing there on many occasions-(good spot for kids as there are heaps of small fish like sweep,mado,yakka and all the colourful ooglies that live around the kelp- just make sure they have non-slippery soled shoes!) There are a few weedy slippery bits walking around the rocks at high tide but in general it's as safe as anywhere around the harbour foreshores and you often don't have anyone even walk past all day. Once you clear your Luderick 'cobwebs' you would enjoy this spot(as most Luderick fishers do-( there are only a few of the harbour's Luderick-fishing-community that know about it and it's referred to as "The Hidey Hole", but a couple of mates and myself "discovered it" and call it "THE Crack"!) but it does require some specific info to fish successfully and is most comfortably fished by no more than 2 fishers at a time,in saying that we have squeezed 3 in a few times,due to the 'crack' only being roughly 2.5 x 3.5 metres long. It is also ONLY a run-out tide spot. If you(or anyone) would like specific info on fishing for Luderick at this spot just let me know and I'll put something on here as it is a quite 'unique' spot to fish for them as you really have to "use your rod" at this spot and the fish fight extra hard in the crack! Also a nice quiet area with an excellent view.  Cheers and best of luck

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I've fished all of those spots, 1 to 6. The most productive are 2,3 and 4. Rising or falling tide aren't that important, but movement IS, you need the float drifting right to left or left to right. Spot 4 used to be one of my go to places, then they built a little fishing platform there and it buggered it completely, it may have improved over time but I stopped going there. 2 and 3 fish well, mostly on the run in tide, although I've caught fish there on both run in and out. I've caught fish on the other side of the bridge at 1 and 6 but you need to cast quite far to get where the fish are. I've caught fish on both cabbage and weed at the spit. There are a lot of small fish around there but it pays to take your polaroids and look for bigger fish feeding in the shallows, they WILL take baits in as little as two feet of water in plain view. Also take a spin rod with a squid jig as you will see plenty of squid around these areas. I haven't fished this area for a while, as I don't live close and the parking is terrible but have caught plenty of blackfish there in the past.

Matt

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Well since your offering waz, I’d love the details about whites rock or “the crack” as it sounds like my kind of place, nice and quiet, I hate fishing with people watching or in crowds. Just isn’t fun for me. 

And thanks again, I really can’t thank you enough, the details you provided are the difference between a fun day and many frustrating ones trying to work it all out myself. 

Feel free to PM the info if you want to keep it quiet 

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Thanks macman that’s good info on the spit, will put it to work.

I agree the parking in that area is a pain would visit there more if it wasn’t as bad !

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White Rock Luderick Fishing-  White Rock(also known as White Wall if looking at it from the water) is a series of large, mostly pretty flat rocks or 'ledges' that sit about 300-400 metres around  the eastern front of Bradleys Head. I've already talked in Bradley's Head post of the other fish available there and also how to get to this little fished easily accessed location. Catching Luderick there is a more specialised pursuit as it is very different to most other Luderick spots. Firstly,although you can catch them (at various times) from any of these 'ledges', the go-to spot is always the most southern or right hand end of this group,which is under water on any  high tide. To fish this spot, you have to stand in the water, but don't let that deter you as it is a consistent producer of Luderick while the water is up, with the best fishing found when you are  standing knee to ankle deep on the rock.  When you are in the right spot, you should be facing southeast and looking back towards Shark Island and Rose Bay. Sitting underwater about a metre out and roughly a metre lower than where you're standing is a large kelp-covered ledge. It is 'undercut' and forms the northern side of the 'crack'. The rock you are standing on is also well 'undercut' and forms the western side of the crack. The space between these two rocks has a narrow (18 inch) wide crevice, this becomes significant almost every time you hook a Black Drummer, as they almost always flee up it and I've had countless anxious moments having about a metre of rod tip pulled down and along this passage- thankfully so far no broken tips. The other 'side' of the crack is formed by another smaller, kelp covered rock  much deeper down leaving an L shaped "gutter" less than 2 metres wide(I'll call it that for descriptive purposes) Most of the fish in the crack sit in the permanent shadow underneath the northern side,although due to it's small area you can get them along the western side at times also. The kelp plants provide food growth and cover for the fish and also some 'protection' for your line when battling one, There are a few important things to note. 1)When you first start fishing(when about knee deep) set your float between 10 to 11 feet deep as the fish here are generally closer to the bottom and changing depths even 6 inches can make a difference here as you want your bait 'visible' and not in the kelpy sides. At dead low tide you'll still be fishing no shallower than 8 feet under the float.     2) Bottom ballasted floats work best here as there is virtually no tidal flow, only water movement from boat-wave action or similar. 3) Try to only use ONE piece of lead under your float(sheet lead or a barrel sinker above your swivel) the reason for this? As kelp protrudes from each side and the gap between sides is narrow, you can sink your bait more accurately,making sure the weed or cabbage ends up below the float and not sitting on the kelp. I don't use the 'one lead' set up at any other location. You'll understand when observing the spot.The basic rig from rod tip down is a)sliding/moving stopper,tiny bead,float,tiny bead,single lead,swivel.45-50cm trace/leader no more than .20 gauge(3 kg) hook.    4) Weight your float as low as possible, if done correctly it should go under when waves roll in.  Many people have argued this point,but the fact is,in stiller waters like this spot and most wharves, you will get better, more enthusiastic downs as there is less resistance. 5) Don't stand in line with the outward direction of the gutter as the fish can spook,just stand a few feet to the left- it's also easier to keep your float in the best location from here. 6) Be patient when you get a down, I rarely strike until the float is at least 3-4 feet under,this is also typical of wharf fishing- I'm not saying you won't hook them,but you'll miss less bites- who cares if the fish swallows the hook deeply?-That's what disgorgers are for. 7) When fishing here DON'T BERLEY!! You will attract 'undesirable' species such as Black Spinefoot(also known as Black Trevally or "Happy Moments")Silver and Black Drummer,and the toughest of all(a prize in my books)Surgeon fish, which are awesome fighters and due to the terrain will bust you off or snag you 9 times out of 10. However,once you learn more about their fighting-style, Surgeons can be landed as they often tear off out of the crack,only to return to the school via the same 'pathway'. If you survive the initial burst of speed and go 'firmly-but-gently' you are a chance! 8) This spot is genuinely ONLY a runout tide location. Having fished there so long, I can say that confidently. You might get the odd fish as the tide comes in, but it is very hard to keep your bait in the right location and this is also when any surgeons and sometimes pigs(Black Drummer/Rock Blackfish)"invade" the crack. Both these species when there almost always beat Luderick to a well presented bait. If you don't mind losing a couple of floats, until about halfway up the incoming tide is the time to attempt landing one, good luck with that though!  The crack fishes well with either weed or cabbage, with weed favoured mainly. There are fish here most of the year, varying in size, With far fewer but much bigger versions around in September and October.  Hope this isn't "information-overload" and best of luck!  P.S Let me know how you go if you venture there

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Once again you've given the best information, ive found your other post with directions on getting there and have started a folder with all the information that's been provided so i can refer back to it easily. If every thing goes to plan i intend to have a look for some weed on the rocks or gullies around this weekend/next week and give the wall a fish next week or two depending on work, ill leave the crack for a while till I'm back in the groove as it sounds a bit more technically difficult but definitely a place i look forward to trying  once I'm more confident  

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Good idea to fish the stone wall until you're back in the groove as the crack is more 'technical', and far harder to land fish from, however once you've had some success at the crack you'll love the challenge of fighting fish there in a 'different' manner. You'll understand this the very first one you hook! All I will add is that you really get to know the limits of your 6lb line. Again best of luck when you go to either spot

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