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First time taking my new boat out in Sydney Harbour, need spot recommendations


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Hey all,
New user of the site here. 

A little background, I've always loved fishing and usually go regularly over the summer but if i'm honest I never really have any idea what I'm doing. I've always had poor quality gear and just go off the beach or rock wall in random spots around Sydney. Rarely catch anything but enjoy it none the less.

Recently decided I would wanted a boat so I could start fishing some different spots and get a little more serious about actually catching something. I did some logbook trips with my old man and got my license. Purchased an old 12' De Havilland Seabird with a 15hp Mariner. Boat is in good shape and I'm excited to start getting out as much as possible. 

While I've been out on my old man's boat a lot over the course of my life he wont be with me this weekend and it's my first time heading out with another mate. Was planning on potentially putting the boat in at Five Dock as it's a ramp I've been to a few times. 

My question is, where should I head for this first time? Heading straight into the harbour is a little intimidating. Would be nice to try for some flatties or bream. Maybe some squid if they are around. Preferably somewhere pretty chill as I am a bit nervous about the whole thing. After this first trip I may put up a post looking for someone more experienced to start coming along on trips. 

Thanks! 

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Welcome aboard.

There are plenty of guys on the Forum who will help you out. You can have a look at the forum search engine there may be some help there.

Good luck with your new boat.

Cheers.

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@cavepan , for some reason, @Rebel sent me a message about this.

Id avoid the harbour unless its a quiet day, as it can get pretty hairy , even in a 15' fibreglass runabout, with the ferries, bigger boats, wind, etc.
i could potentially join you via my boat, but I fish mostly Saturday or Sunday afternoons after lunch most of the time due to my time frame (1:30-2pm) , buy if you are up to meeting me on a bit of water, Im happy to point you in a few places. Drop me  PM . Not sure where you are located, Im in Merrylands West

I usually launch from Silverwater depends on tide as its a bitch a low tide or Drummoyne - Five dock bay, some days Im lucky to get a park there.

I use and always have used cheap fishing gear, from Kmart or specials from, a shop. Nothing fancy.

 

So, as a Parra river, Lane cover river person for fishing, as i go to hawkesbury now and then if I have a day off from work.
id suggest buy a book "fishing guide Sydney Haweksbury" 
https://www.biasboating.com.au/Fishing_Guide_Sydney_To_Hawkesbury_p/4129.htm?gclid=CjwKCAjwzvX7BRAeEiwAsXExoy4gRNjSZjI3SeD384J6w4REszefvd18Tq_N30dwsr3DnQJdgTchaRoCEcgQAvD_BwE
or see if a shop or a local tackle shop has it, or search online .

ive got an older copy and its well worth the money.


also, do a search on the forum in the search bar option.

However, to start you.

Lane cove river, if you look on a nav chart there is a large flats area across from Ignatius College, those flats can be really good for decent flathead, bream, trevally, the  odd blue swimmer crab, the odd luderick, usually anchor up near a marker next to the channel, burley up , toss lines out and relax. If one marker doesnt yield, move up or down a bit. that entire areas, and the flats and channels can be good.

thats my main haunt :D

Parramatta river, a few places, iron cove river, off drummoyne - Fern Bay area.

Live prawns bought from Extreme fishing in Guildford are good value at 50c each, need a bucket and aerator though. they also have excellent fresh prawns, squid, as well as frozen.

drop us a line and pass me some details so we can talk on the phone.

Cheers, Dave.

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G'day Dave, 

Thanks for all the info, I sent you a PM with my number etc. Good call on the Sydney Harbour side of things. Does freak me out a bit as a first time trip. Would definitely be keen to meet up. We were planning to go early Saturday morning trying our best to avoid a busy ramp. My worst nightmare is having anyone watch me trying to reverse a trailer haha. Maybe we could scoot out, and tee up with you later on.

Sounds like i don't need to be ashamed of my Kmart gear after all. That being said I am going to invest in a better combo in the coming weeks.

 

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2 hours ago, cavepan said:

Sounds like i don't need to be ashamed of my Kmart gear after all. That being said I am going to invest in a better combo in the coming weeks.

Never be ashamed on here @cavepan 

As you learn more about fishing you will buy different tackle and try it all out.

Good luck and just enjoy yourself🎣

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2 hours ago, mrsswordfisherman said:

Never be ashamed on here @cavepan 

As you learn more about fishing you will buy different tackle and try it all out.

Good luck and just enjoy yourself🎣

I remember, a while back, I launched from Bayview to fish Pittwater, there was tournament boats coming back. On the other side of the pontoon was a nice bass boat. Just two rods and reels in that alone , I reckon were worth more than my entire boat! 

 

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Some good advice from Dave. I launch from Roseville boat ramp (4 berth), lots of parking, toilets and a 2 berth wash down area, BUT, without a NPWS all pass it costs $8. There are lots of spots to try in middle harbour for fishing that are safe and accessible. See if you can google YouTube clips on fishing in sydney Harbour, there are heaps. I put one on “kingfishing in Sydney Harbour - natural focus” (not plugging my clip, but you’ll see lots of very recognisable spots with fish being caught and landed).  If you fish mid week, there is not a lot of pressure and plenty of time to practice backing and launching. Sundays are generally busier than Saturday and public holidays a nightmare.

if I can help further, feel free to get intouch

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Well, last night after all this boating chat I decided to go talk a walk around a shop and ended up dropping 200 and something bones on a rod and reel, fair bit of coin for me but hopefully it lasts. I got an ugly stik 6'6 4-8kg and a Daiwa 3000 BG reel with some 12lb mono line. Hopefully that's a good all rounder for me.

Had a yarn to Dave yesterday about some of the spots he mentioned. Look forward to catching up on the water. Also speaking to a mate he mentioned the hacking could be a good option, around lilli pilli. Not too hectic in there. He suggested grays point ramp as entry point. Thoughts on the hacking for a beginner?

Pickles, when you say middle harbour are there any spots particularly you would suggest? The idea of getting out in the harbour in this little thing concerns me a bit with ferry and larger boats cruising around. That is just my lack of experience talking though, I'm sure it would probably be fine. Was wild to hear my friend who made a small plywood boat with an old 5hp was taking the thing out in the harbour. 

 

 

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@cavepan, middle harbour does not have ferries but the odd big cruiser making HUGE wake waves, but you will be ok, I've seen plenty tinnys around there. 

Lots of spots , refer to the book I suggested or maybe someone here can point you.

 

@Pickles, yes, and for $8 for the day, it's a good ramp. I find it hilarious that you see people pull up in brand new 4wd, big boat, and they grumble about an $8 parking fee.

I've fished a bit in there but with little success, but then again , I'm a lousy Fisher. 

If the weather and swell is ok, I anchor up near dobroyd head and get wrecked by small sharks😁.

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1 hour ago, cavepan said:

Was wild to hear my friend who made a small plywood boat with an old 5hp was taking the thing out in the harbour. 

Growing up on the Parra river, I had my first boat at 10yr (8ft Dinghy) with a 6hp, my brother and I would often venture up the harbour with the odd trip to Clifton gardens, sure was fun when a ferry came past, boat used to go twice as fast down the wash.

The great thing with a small boat is you can avoid the main channels and hug close to the wharfs and shoreline and the worst part is near the harbour bridge as it can be like a washing machine. Once past there you can skip into Taronga zoo and fish around there.

I like to fish round Cockatoo island and up to goat island before the harbour bridge, not as rough and a quick drive from the Gladesville bridge.

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6 hours ago, jeffb5.8 said:

Growing up on the Parra river, I had my first boat at 10yr (8ft Dinghy) with a 6hp, my brother and I would often venture up the harbour with the odd trip to Clifton gardens, sure was fun when a ferry came past, boat used to go twice as fast down the wash.

The great thing with a small boat is you can avoid the main channels and hug close to the wharfs and shoreline and the worst part is near the harbour bridge as it can be like a washing machine. Once past there you can skip into Taronga zoo and fish around there.

I like to fish round Cockatoo island and up to goat island before the harbour bridge, not as rough and a quick drive from the Gladesville bridge.

Will be interesting once my 9 foot long former jet boat converted outboard with 30 HP goes then 😁

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7 hours ago, cavepan said:

when you say middle harbour are there any spots particularly you would suggest? The idea of getting out in the harbour in this little thing concerns me a bit with ferry and larger boats cruising around.

@Pickles is spot on with the middle harbour suggestion. 
 
Our first boat was a tinny around 12ft, and we took it out around middle harbour loads. 
I would definitely recommend avoiding the harbour, it's not so pleasant being on a small boat in a washing machine.

We considered the (invisible) line between grotto point and middle head as our limit, and just stayed upstream from there.
(As one day we learned the hard way that even the wake from the ferry could be a bit of a challenge in a small boat, and both the ferry wake and any incoming swell tends to flatten out further in from grotto point. hehe lesson learned after a bit of bailing and picking a safe break to turn around in).

From roseville boat ramp, there's a huge area to explore that is easily accessible with a small boat, most of the area is reasonably sheltered and easy going unless it's particularly poor weather. And even then if you're REALLY keen, you could go further upstream from the ramp, or hug the shorelines which are mostly quite steep and protect you from the wind (depending on the direction it's coming from). 

A few places I'd suggest giving a go:
- bantry bay: seems to fire at random times of the year, but some huge fish lurking here from time to time, and it's quite sheltered also
- seaforth bluff: where fishos regularly catch kings
- around spit bridge: it's very hit & miss and can have a bit of a current depending on tides, but a lot of fish move through here. 
- clontarf drop off: there is a huge drop off here which can be worth a shot
- balmoral: super popular with people fishing the wharf, you have the added advantage of being able to be out a bit deeper and away from the crowds. 

I've marked these on the map below. 

(worth having a browse of the maps on Navionics also, where you can see depths and plenty of fishing spots marked also: https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en)

There are some very deep sections to middle harbour, some spots as deep as 30m, who knows what's lurking down there...

 


image.thumb.png.0a4b1245b7fc4c283614c3698a3f45f2.png
 

 

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