The weather lottery
  |  First Published: February 2011

With all the crazy weather Sydney has been experiencing over the past year, it is no wonder many anglers are going nuts trying to work out when their next outing should be.

But the modern angler has so many options to check out what the weather is likely to be that choosing a time for a fish shouldn’t be all that hard.

Recently I took out my daughter’s boyfriend, Andrew, and his father, Rob, for a mornings outing chasing bonito and kingfish.

Before going out I checked a number of websites for the likelihood of rain, the wind direction and speed. I also checked out my barometer at home.

The prediction was for 5-knot winds from the north-west and a rising barometer –perfect for trolling up a few bonito and kingfish.

We left home at 6.30am under clear skies and not a breath of wind and hit the ramp at Sylvania at about 7am with the wind blowing from the south-east at about 15 knots with a build-up of clouds in the far south.

Even though the wind was up and rain clouds about, I decided to troll up and down the section of channel from the Captain Cook Bridge to Towra Point, where bonito had been working the bait schools a few days before.

Caught three and lost two before the wind picked up to 15 to 20 knots, when moved to Port Hacking to get out of the wind.

An hour later, about 9am, we were trolling in Gymea Bay, Lilli Pilli and at the entrance to Burraneer Bay. Although the wind picked up to 25 knots or more, Rob managed one very undersized kingfish.

February should, however, give us more stable weather in Sydney but who knows what will happen.

So my advice would be to still check the forecasts before you go out and then while you are out there, keep an eye on the weather and any cloud build-up. If you have any doubts, don’t go or change your plans to go somewhere more sheltered.


When out in the bay trolling for bonito, kingfish and tailor, keep a lookout for those diving birds. You can troll deep-diving lures from 3.5 knots to 5 knots along the edges of the school the birds are working or cast small 4g and 7g lures.

Try where the current lines form at places like The Sticks, wide of Towra Point, the ends of the runways, Sutherland Point, Henry Head and the channel from Towra Point to the Captain Cook Bridge.

In Port Hacking troll around the moored boats in Gymea Bay, the entrance to Yowie Bay, upstream of the Lilli Pilli sand bar and along the main channel from the end of the 8-knot zone at Lilli Pilli to the entrance of Gunnamatta Bay.


This month there should be flathead, bream, silver trevally and whiting over the sand flats at Towra Point, Silver Beach at Kurnell and along the shore from Brighton to Dolls Point. For extra pointers on where to go pop into Fergo’s Tackle World at Taren Point or Gabe’s Tackle and Bait at Sylvania.

Up in the Georges River there will be flathead, whiting, flounder, tailor and mulloway. Try the Captain Cook, Tom Uglys, Como, Alfords Point and the M5 Bridges about 90 minutes either side of a tide change.

Small poddy mullet work well, catch them with a small piece of bread or prawn on a No 8 to No 12 hook or in one of those plastic bait traps.

To keep them alive buy a battery operated aerator and a 20L bucket.

Bass and estuary perch will also be taking lures up in the back reaches of the Woronora River and from downstream from the weir at Liverpool to the bridge near Bankstown airport.

The land-based angler could always fish under the bridge for mulloway and bream.

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