Prime time for a hot bite
  |  First Published: December 2008

Botany Bay at this time of the year is prime time with lots on offer and the water temperature is hanging around 20° – for our southern water, that’s just about right.

This should mean the start to the Summer run of kingies, improved bream activity and, let’s hope, loads of surface action.

Bonito are one fish that I haven’t seen in the Bay in numbers for quite some time. For this to happen all we need is loads of bait to turn up and the bonito should follow, providing loads of fun for spin fishos and fly anglers.

Small lures are the key in spinning for all surface species that enter the Bay, so it’s time to stock up so you are ready for the action. White is a favourite colour for me, along with chrome, and a good set of sharp trebles hanging off the rear is a must.

Summer surface action will normally start in November and continue on and off until about Easter, it’s all to do with water temperature and the amount of food that’s in the Bay each season.

In Botany Bay we have four main pelagic species, kingies, salmon, bonito and tailor.

Tailor can be caught all year but will feed on the surface only in the Summer months when the small bait enters the Bay.

Trolling deep diving lures in Winter is a proven winner as Tailor feed on larger baits like yellowtail at that time of the year, so keep this in mind for next winter.

Salmon, bonito and kingies will feed on surface bait on first light so it’s important to keep an eye open early morning when heading across the Bay. A run-out tide can produce good results on first light and again late in the afternoon.


Bream also start to school as the water warms. It’s their breeding time and the vast shallows of our southern estuaries are the feeding grounds and provide great results.

I have found that if you anchor and fish a rising or falling tide and be prepared to up anchor and move around a little, you will do well.

Nippers, bloodworms, chicken gut, striped tuna, peeled prawns and lots more will all work on bream. The rig that works well for me was shown to me years ago by Chris, a fisho who has fished the Bay for the last 40 years and spent every Summer targeting bream. The rig is very simple: 4kg to 6kg line, a No 5 ball sinker, a swivel, a trace about a body length and a No 1 hook. Remember you need good run in the water.

Bream have a legal size of 25cm and a bag limit of 20 per person.At this time of year I have found most of the bream we catch in Botany Bay are from 23cm to 30cm –only a smaller run with the odd bigger fish mixed in, but these are the fish that travel along our coast, spawning as they move along.

I caught one Bream in Botany Bay a few year ago that was tagged at Nowra. This fish was about 28cm long and was tagged two years earlier now that’s a fare swim for a little bream to travel.

The Summer months can provide great fishing but you must be ready to change your methods, move around and be ready for whatever happens out on Botany Bay.

Listed on my website is a fresh weekly report on what is on the bite and what I have caught over the last few days, or you can email me and I give you two spots and how to target each species and which bait or lure to use.

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