Prime time on the Bay
  |  First Published: February 2011

I love February: Everything’s on offer and the fishing can be red hot some days, with all manner of species turning it on.

Here’s a run-through of a normal February day on the water. This is my game plan at this time of year.

Everyone should have a game plan before heading out on the water so they have the right gear needed for the job at hand and all in good working order.

Around 6am we head towards the live bait ground to grab squid and yellowtail. While heading across the Bay we keep an eye open for birds feeding or fish working the surface – never drive past fish to find fish.

Tailor, bonito, salmon and even kings will hang wide from Towra Point, feeding on the large numbers of small baitfish that move into the Bay over the Summer.

Light gear is all that is needed and small metals will bring best results.

If fish are a little spread out, try trolling small bibbed lures in wide circles around the area. Some days you will find enough action here to keep everyone very happy.

Baitfish can be found in many spots around the Bay; it’s just a matter of spending time anchored up over shallow reef and kelp. Berley with pilchards for best results.

Spots I fish for bait include Watts Reef and the bottom end of Yarra Bay. Both produce well and are great for squid at times.


Bait on board, where do we go to have a good chance of hooking a kingfish?

Deep water and structure hold the key and there are loads of good spots all over Botany Bay.

I have caught many kingie across shallows while fishing for bream over summer so if you have live bait or squid, always hang one over the side wherever you are, you might just hook a ripper.

On a normal day I would try maybe three spots, spending around an hour at each with a good berley trail running, live bait or squid over the side. I’d also fish with unweighted baits down the berley trail because trevally, bream and the odd snapper are a real chance.


From 11am to around 1pm is a great time to target bream and flathead.

Lately I have fished at the anchor with good results from The Sticks to Towra. Just anchor across this area in around 5m on either tidal run.

I set up four rods with bream baits on the bottom – nippers or prawns are good. We use a ball sinker and a long trace.

While at anchor, try spinning with soft plastics for flathead because the bream will hook themselves. Work the area, then move the boat, re-anchor and start again.

I might move three or four times in one session and have found good results time and again.

The fish at this time of the year can be great with a little planning and the right gear. With the weather on your side, you will be in for a top day on the water.

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