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Help/ Advice for RNP - can't land any legal sized fish


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Hi team, 

Love this forum long time lurker first time poster. I've tried searching for this advice which is how I came up with my usual fishing trip, but I think I'm in need of some more targeted advice to help me land some legal sized fish, targeting (whiting/bream) 

I've been casual fishing for many many years, but I've been taking it much more seriously the last 12+ months, and I absolutely love the RNP and nippers. 

My biggest issue is I've fished this area maybe 12-15 times over the last 12 months and I just don't seem to have much luck catching any legal size fish.

My usual outing - usually on weekdays or morn on a weekend is to do the following 
1. go to maianbar and pump for nippers
2. then try fishing various spots but focusing in a few areas
3. I've tried various tides - generally I'm quite mobile too so if a spot isn't working I keep moving. 
image.thumb.png.fbe0013b926074fd30cd9210d399cdd8.png
 

What do I catch currently
- Undersize whiting - 20-25 cm size
- Undersize bream - 16-23 cm size
- Undersize Flathead 15-20 cm size
- Lots of croaker fish deeper in the cabbage tree Basin - not sure the exact name but it has stripes and croaks as you try to unhook it.  

I've had a few keepers but very very rarely. 

What do I use?
- 2-4kg corky rod
- 8 pound line + 8 pound fluro leader 
- Size 4 extra long shank hook
- Small bean sinker in the basin/ medium bean sinker on the Simpsons bay side

How do I hook my nipper 
- Currently through lots of trial and error I feed it through the tail, push the hook out the chest plate and do a half hitch on the tail - they stay on quite well, so I don't feel like this is the problem. 

Questions
1. Any advice that can help me in this area to land some legal sized fish, anything I'm doing wrong or something obvious I am missing?
2. Are there any other spots in the RNP that is better suited for me to use my pumped nippers that I might have better luck landing bigger whiting/ bream? 
3. I've tried runout/ run in tides - If there is something obvious here I probably don't know it. 
4. Any other advice you may have?

Thank you!


 

 

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Hi fishingkent,

First off look at any post by Yowie who routinely fishes the area you are with nippers, with great success (albeit by Boat).

I am not a hacking local, but a couple of things you can try are ditching the sinker and fishing weightless, or alternatively using small lures - either plastics, poppers or hardbodies. I often find when plagued with small fish you can often attract a better grade of fish with them.

hope this helps.

mike

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Hey Fishkent,

Don’t feel bad! I can identify with your problem. I’m a bit hit and miss also ......I’m in a kayak though. Can only suggest trying moving to earlier or later time slots ....ie. near sunrise or nearer to dusk. And be mindful that Bate Bay is still subject to commercial fishing ( for bait fish primarily I think) and I wonder if it impacts on the general supply? I could be wrong but I often hear of locals saying the Hacking is hard work relative to Botany Bay for example. 
Good advice also from Little_Flattie.

Carol (aka jecaseka)

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Oh, and check out the Hook and the Cook YouTube channel - Scott did showed a land based excursion with Gary Brown....had a bit of a comp comparing bait versus lures.....good video and not far from where you’re fishing.

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Fish at high tide (early morning or late afternoon) right where you pumped the Nippers at low tide, light line 3kg max, no sinker if possible, small long shank hook.

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I feel your pain.It's good to know I'm not the only baitfeeder on the hacking.

  If you pray hard and long enough the Hacking master jedi Yowie will jump on and share his secrets from the last 100 yrs or so he's been fishing the hacking.

  Be nice to him though as the poor bugger does have a bung knee and I like him for some unusual reason.😂

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If you are using fresh bait and moving around hunting for fish then just keep trying and you'll get there. Also maybe try some worms if you are after Whiting and small pieces of WA Pilchard or chicken thigh for the Bream.

I use this site https://tides4fishing.com/au/new-south-wales/sydney Which, as well as wind and wave forecasts, shows the prime time each day when the fish theoretically should be biting. It's a bit like the Angler's almanac.

As someone else suggested check out Yowie's reports as he seems to do really well around the Hacking.

Good luck.

 

 

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7 hours ago, jecaseka said:

Oh, and check out the Hook and the Cook YouTube channel - Scott did showed a land based excursion with Gary Brown....had a bit of a comp comparing bait versus lures.....good video and not far from where you’re fishing.

I actually discovered this area through their videos - great content and tips I just can’t pull anything remotely close to what Gary was pulling in that video. 

6 hours ago, noelm said:

Fish at high tide (early morning or late afternoon) right where you pumped the Nippers at low tide, light line 3kg max, no sinker if possible, small long shank hook.

I did try that once a few months ago and it was all small whiting - but I might try it again now since it’s warmer now and might be better suited for the bigger fish.

5 hours ago, GordoRetired said:

If you are using fresh bait and moving around hunting for fish then just keep trying and you'll get there. Also maybe try some worms if you are after Whiting and small pieces of WA Pilchard or chicken thigh for the Bream.

I use this site https://tides4fishing.com/au/new-south-wales/sydney Which, as well as wind and wave forecasts, shows the prime time each day when the fish theoretically should be biting. It's a bit like the Angler's almanac.

As someone else suggested check out Yowie's reports as he seems to do really well around the Hacking.

Good luck.

 

 

Thank you that’s a great tip I’ll check this out.

 

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Hi FishKent

Welcome to fishraider. A very detailed post and your asking the right questions.

For what it worth here is my feedback.

1. Its not clear in your post if your running your bean sinker directly to the hook. If you are, for estuary fishing i prefer a sinker to a swivel, followed by 1 metre of trace to the hook. This allows the bait to move freely with the water, sittint on the bottom and occasionally coming up into view.

Fish like flathead sit on the sand looking up, so long as your bait is grounded (sinker directly to hook) your chances on flathead are compromised.

2. When casting for whiting i like to have a rod out with a bait. With another rod in my hand. The one i am holding i usually will cast out and then do a slow retrieve. Again this creates some action on the bait which and the sinker dragging on th sand creates some action/sand cloud givin the imitation of bait trying to hide. Have caught many whiting on the retrieve.

3. Seems as though you do most of your fishing in a small geographical area around Bundeena. Generally speaking this is not one of the best areas to fish as there is a sand bank some 80 to 100m out which creates unusual tidal movements in this area. Are you able to travel? Windang is not too far from you and there is good fishing to be had at the mouth where the river meets ocean.

4. Other good spots near you include the lilli pilli baths, the beach at boat harbour and the beach at Cronulla.

5. Fish can sometimes be inexplicably picky, try mixing up baits such as fresh prawns, worms etc

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Hi Fishkent.  Love fishing ph for big flathead and jew by boat but it can be a tough area.  The striped fish your catching are trumpeter and are one of my fave livies for big flathead in the port. 

Ph has blessed me with 5 flatties over 80cm with the biggest being 97cm all caught on 1kg pretest line.  My favorite area is from the dropoff from the balast heap upstream to sw arm which would require you to cross the channel from fishermans bay.  I prefer bottom half of tide but when fishing comps you don't have much choice.  Nippers are a great universal bait.  Use lightest possible sinker and 50-60cm trace.  If fishing flats fish rising tide from low.  Cast out and use slowest possible retrieve with lots of pauses to cover ground.  Don't give up you are on the right track and it should soon come together.   Good luck.  Ron 

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8 hours ago, GoingFishing said:

Hi FishKent

Welcome to fishraider. A very detailed post and your asking the right questions.

For what it worth here is my feedback.

1. Its not clear in your post if your running your bean sinker directly to the hook. If you are, for estuary fishing i prefer a sinker to a swivel, followed by 1 metre of trace to the hook. This allows the bait to move freely with the water, sittint on the bottom and occasionally coming up into view.

Fish like flathead sit on the sand looking up, so long as your bait is grounded (sinker directly to hook) your chances on flathead are compromised.

2. When casting for whiting i like to have a rod out with a bait. With another rod in my hand. The one i am holding i usually will cast out and then do a slow retrieve. Again this creates some action on the bait which and the sinker dragging on th sand creates some action/sand cloud givin the imitation of bait trying to hide. Have caught many whiting on the retrieve.

3. Seems as though you do most of your fishing in a small geographical area around Bundeena. Generally speaking this is not one of the best areas to fish as there is a sand bank some 80 to 100m out which creates unusual tidal movements in this area. Are you able to travel? Windang is not too far from you and there is good fishing to be had at the mouth where the river meets ocean.

4. Other good spots near you include the lilli pilli baths, the beach at boat harbour and the beach at Cronulla.

5. Fish can sometimes be inexplicably picky, try mixing up baits such as fresh prawns, worms etc

This is so helpful.

 

I vary it up between swivel/no swivel. That makes total sense to always use one though - if I have trace it’s much shorter than what you are saying - I will try that next time. Great tips. 

I can travel and have a car so that’s no problem but windang is probably just a bit too far for my liking but your other suggestions Lilli Pili is much closer than RNP for me. Do you know if it’s possible & legal to pump for nippers there?

I didn’t know about the beach at boat harbour I’ll try that too - any specific spots there that you recommend I focus on or just try walking up/ down the beach.

I only restrict myself to this spot since it’s the only spot I know that is legal to grab nippers and I assumed it was a good spot for big whiting.

 

Lots for me to think about here - thanks again appreciate the tips.

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7 hours ago, fishkent said:

 

I didn’t know about the beach at boat harbour I’ll try that too - any specific spots there that you recommend I focus on or just try walking up/ down the beach.

No, that’s far too random and a good way to waste time. Learn to ‘read the beach’, looking for structure and water movement. Fish will concentrate in channels and gutters and fish will feed near features like the eroding edges of sandbanks where the sand is tumbling into the water. There are plenty of articles on the net about how to read the beach - it’s not difficult and doesn’t need fore-knowledge of the area, maybe just a trip at low tide when the structure of the beach is easily visible.

if I was you I would give yourself a circuit breaker and fish the beaches a bit. The water you have access to sounds a bit like the area where I live - I have fished the flat water areas a lot with very poor results, but I always get a handful of good fish off the local beaches. No problem getting legal fish, if your definition of a good result is maybe a couple of bream and a flatty or whatever. 

Edited by Volitan
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9 hours ago, fishkent said:

This is so helpful.

 

I vary it up between swivel/no swivel. That makes total sense to always use one though - if I have trace it’s much shorter than what you are saying - I will try that next time. Great tips. 

I can travel and have a car so that’s no problem but windang is probably just a bit too far for my liking but your other suggestions Lilli Pili is much closer than RNP for me. Do you know if it’s possible & legal to pump for nippers there?

I didn’t know about the beach at boat harbour I’ll try that too - any specific spots there that you recommend I focus on or just try walking up/ down the beach.

I only restrict myself to this spot since it’s the only spot I know that is legal to grab nippers and I assumed it was a good spot for big whiting.

 

Lots for me to think about here - thanks again appreciate the tips.

Makes sense that you like to fish close to where you pump nippers.

Sometimes to get good fish we have to do things that are very tiring and time consuming ! When i go live baiting i wake up 2 hours earlier, burley, catch yakkas and slimeys and then head out fishing.

What im getting at is it seems you live close to Bundeena? Pump the yabbies and then head out for your trip somewhere else ! Or, pump them the night before and keep them alive with an air pump set up.

Agree with Volitan - dont just cast anywhere on the beach randomly. Look for gutters and channels. Do some homework on how to read them. A pair of polarised sunnies will help too differentiating deeper water with shallower water. Try to get a high vantage point where you can look down on the beach before you walk down.

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8 hours ago, GoingFishing said:

Makes sense that you like to fish close to where you pump nippers.

Sometimes to get good fish we have to do things that are very tiring and time consuming ! When i go live baiting i wake up 2 hours earlier, burley, catch yakkas and slimeys and then head out fishing.

What im getting at is it seems you live close to Bundeena? Pump the yabbies and then head out for your trip somewhere else ! Or, pump them the night before and keep them alive with an air pump set up.

Agree with Volitan - dont just cast anywhere on the beach randomly. Look for gutters and channels. Do some homework on how to read them. A pair of polarised sunnies will help too differentiating deeper water with shallower water. Try to get a high vantage point where you can look down on the beach before you walk down.

I actually live in the inner west - so NLP is already a trek for me - I’m not tied to this place other than for its nippers. I think that’s a great idea for pump in one arvo and keep them for a few days to fish with later. 
 

 

Some good news to report is I went to Darook Park yesterday and caught a 29cm whiting on worms. Everything else was throwbacks even picked up up some snapper in the drop off. All worth it for me for that one whiting.

I’ll try the beaches that were mentioned here l next time and see if I can pin point the gutters. 
 

Thanks everyone for the great tips. 

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Hi fishkent.

The sand between North Cronulla and Wanda is covered in beach worms. 

Put some stinky fish heads in a stocking, drag it through the inch deep water as it is running back out and look for V's in the water. This is where the beach worms are sticking their heads up for a whiff of that sweet sweet rancid seafood smell.

Put some pliers around the V at sand level and pull. You will have a beach worm, sometimes 50cm long!

Cut them up in to inch long pieces, thread on a small gape long shanked hook and you can catch anything. There's really nothing in the sea that won't go mad for a bit of beachworm.

Off the beach just there you can get bream, flathead, whiting, tailor, jewfish, salmon, dart and I guess anything else that is on a beach. All of these can be taken on worms.

If you want, use a big strong hook and get a few 10cm long worm sections and poke them once in the middle on to the hook so you have 5cm of worm either side. That can be your big jewie or snapper bait.

You can find pippies too if you walk along with no shoes. 

Try the beach worms they are better I think than nippers for whiting, and go back and hit the sandflats and see if your luck doesn't change. 

If you see someone with an Alvey walking parallel with the beach, searching entire gutters each cast it's me. But you probably won't see me around. I've never seen anyone else with an Alvey down there. 

 

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@fishkent , if you live inner west, you have heaps of places to fish, with dead baits like prawns, chicken, salted pilchards.

You've got five dock bay, hen and chicken bay, spots in Drummoyne, Balmain, the city, Lane cove river all a lot closer. Go to different places. 

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Do the signs still say do not consume fish west of the bridge because they're full of carcinogenic dioxin?

The nasho is really a nice clean spot and you feel miles away from Sydney.

 

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9 minutes ago, Steve-o said:

Do the signs still say do not consume fish west of the bridge because they're full of carcinogenic dioxin?

The nasho is really a nice clean spot and you feel miles away from Sydney.

 

I agree. Though there are lots of good spots east of the bridge accessible by land

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1 hour ago, Steve-o said:

Do the signs still say do not consume fish west of the bridge because they're full of carcinogenic dioxin?

The nasho is really a nice clean spot and you feel miles away from Sydney.

 

You can check DPI site for warnings. Far as I know it's in limited quantity. 

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