Fun and Responsible Fishing for Kids on the Northern Beaches
Fishing is a fantastic way for kids and teens to connect with nature, learn patience, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The Northern Beaches offer some of the most scenic and accessible fishing spots perfect for young anglers. This article will guide you through popular places to fish, the best methods to use, safety tips, recommended gear, and how to fish with respect for the environment and others.
Popular Places to Fish
Beach Fishing on Manly Beach
Manly Beach is not just famous for its surf but also for its fishing spots along the shore. With easy access and abundant fish, it’s a perfect place for beginners and seasoned young anglers alike.
Best Methods: For beach fishing light spinning gear works best. Target species like whiting, bream, and flathead by casting soft plastics or using bait such as prawns, worms or pipis. Early morning or late afternoon are the prime times for beach fishing as fish come closer to shore to feed.
Pier Fishing at Palm Beach Wharf
Palm Beach Wharf offers a safe and accessible platform for fishing, with the chance to catch a variety of species including bream, tailor, and squid.
Best Methods: When fishing off the pier using a simple running sinker rig with prawn or squid as bait can be very effective. Keep an eye on the tide as higher tides often bring in more fish.
Safety is paramount, especially for young anglers. Always fish with a buddy, wear a life jacket when on a pier or rocky outcrop, and be mindful of the weather and sea conditions. Slippery surfaces and sudden waves can pose risks so paying attention to your surroundings is crucial. Fishing the ocean rocks is dangerous and shouldn’t be done on your own. If you do go with an adult be sure to wear a life preserver and cleats on your shoes.
Gear to Use
For young anglers, starting with a basic setup is best:
- Rod and Reel: A light to medium spin rod and reel combo is versatile for both beach and pier fishing.
- Tackle: A selection of hooks, sinkers, and swivels to suit different conditions and target species.
- Bait: Live bait such as worms, prawns, or squid is effective, but artificial lures can also be fun and rewarding to use.
Recommended Lures from ReproBaits Tackle
Success in fishing often comes down to using the right lure for the right fish. ReproBaits Tackle offers a range of high-quality lures designed for Australian waters making them a great choice for young anglers on the Northern Beaches. They are value priced and produce the goods plenty. Here are some top picks:
Bottom Bugs and Sea Bugs for Whiting Bream and Flathead
Whiting are fond of feeding on small creatures on the sea floor, making the Sea Bugs and Bottom Bugs lures from ReproBaits Tackle an excellent choice. These lures mimic the look and movement of the natural prey of whiting. Cast them near sandy bottoms and slow-retrieve for the best results. Cast them along pilings and rocky or grassy transitions for Bream and Flathead. Use them without a weight or with a jighead or ball sinker.
Slice Jigs for Tailor and Salmon
For those targeting faster, more aggressive fish like tailor and salmon, Slice Jigs provide the flash and action needed to attract bites. These lures work well when cast into schools of fish or retrieved quickly past rocky areas where these species often hunt.
- Paddle Tail Soft Plastics: Versatile and effective, these lures are great for a range of species, including flathead and bream, mimicking the movement of small fish or prawns.
- Popper Lures: Perfect for an exciting topwater fishing experience, poppers can attract larger species such as kingfish, especially around dawn and dusk when they’re most active.
- Vibes: These lures are excellent for deeper water fishing off piers or boats. Their vibrating action can entice species like jewfish and larger flathead, appealing to their sense of vibration and movement.
When using lures, it’s important to adjust your technique to match the lure’s intended action and the target species’ habits. Experimenting with different retrieval speeds and actions can make a significant difference in your success rate.
Fishing Etiquette and Environmental Responsibility
Fishing is not just about catching fish; it’s about respecting nature and those around us.
- Pick Up Rubbish: Always leave the area cleaner than you found it. Bring a bag for your trash and discarded line or tackle.
- Respect Others’ Space: Be mindful of swimmers, surfers, and fellow anglers. Avoid casting near people and don’t leave bait and tackle on nearby benches.
- Catch and Release: Consider practicing catch and release, especially for undersized or overpopulated species. This helps maintain healthy fish populations for future generations.
Fishing in the Northern Beaches can be a rewarding activity for kids and teens, offering lessons in patience, respect for nature, and the joy of the outdoors. By following these tips on locations, methods, safety, and etiquette, young anglers can enjoy a fun and responsible fishing experience. Remember, the goal is not just to catch fish but to create memories and foster a lifelong connection with the environment.