According to a quick internet search a honey hole (or honeyhole) is slang for a location that yields a valued commodity or resource.
The idea of a “honey hole” has probably had more influence on my fishing than any other. The amazing thing is I can pin point exactly where my fascination for this idea comes from. It was a small editorial written by Glen Booth more than 20 years ago that appeared in Modern Fishing magazine. It told a quick tale about how he and Steve Starling were driving to Bermagui to go Tuna fishing and stopped at small system they had driven past many times before. From there it talked about how skeptical Glen was that there would be anything worth catching. Of course as fishing stories go, the fish were on and they had a hot little session in a place most people wouldn’t have gone to.
A simple enough tale but for better AND worse it had a huge effect on me. Since then I think I have always sought out the “out of the way” places no one else might go. This includes competition fishing where I have always tried to find a honey hole to myself. Honestly, this has led to more disaster than anything in a comp situation. Maybe one day it will pay off in spades but so far, more often than not I have to put my tail between my legs and move back to the more “established” areas.
The flipside however is social fishing. I have found more honey holes in the last couple of years than ever before, especially bream ones down here on the south coast. The first one got shown to me but from there I realised that fish don’t seem to mind if a place is small or shallow or the water is dirty, and there is some truly epic fishing that gets passed by for reasons I don’t fully understand. I have a feeling it’s because fish caught from these systems taste bad compared to clean systems and as such anglers that do fish them are catch and release AND that they may be too small or out of the way for pros to be bothered (because lets face it they don’t care what it tastes like just how much it weighs). Unfortunately the “crown jewel” in these south coast systems did come under a bit of netting pressure in the last 12 months from pros and there were a few unhappy rec anglers who made there voices heard.
My usual scouting tool now is the paddle board as it easily gets on and off the roof and being in a standing position makes spotting fish easier. This way I can hit more than one to look at their potential in a morning. All it takes is seeing one decent fish and you know there will be more.
It’s not just the south coast either and it’s not just bream. I’ve been to spots on the Northern Beaches of Sydney that produce bass, redfin and yellowbelly and golf course lakes that contain giant herring. I’ve found tucked away backwaters on the Georges River and Port Hacking that have excellent fish (I have to confirm whats in the Georges River one because I got smoked on every hook up the one time I managed to go there (probably bream though). Wollongong and the Central Coast have plenty as well and I’ve said it many times before but things like Google and Bing maps will yield plenty. Just look for water that can’t be easily accessed by boat or may be overlooked by people on foot. If it doesn’t have houses close by that tends to help as well. It might take a few tries but eventually you will find a honey hole of your own.