It’s all hit bottom
  |  First Published: August 2001

What a month we have just had in Sydney! More rain than I can remember and enough wind to make it quite tricky to head out onto the water.

But Winter in Sydney can provide great bottom fishing out wide for snapper and morwong over the reefs and flathead as they start to school on the sand. All this happens in 40m to 70m on the drift, but I will anchor at times if conditions suit.

Botany Bay can be very productive with trevally at many spots like the Drums, the Oil Wharf, Watts Reef, Bare Island and Trevally Alley. The latter is a favourite because the wall provides shelter from the cool westerly winds.

Trolling slows up a little over the cooler months but tailor and salmon are about and still worth a shot; work the shorelines in 5m to 10m for best results.

Spinning with soft plastics will provide results on flathead, trevally and the odd bream for the angler who’s keen on putting in a little effort. The shore off Brighton is a good starting point, giving the angler a great sand drop-off to work along, while many timber poles in this area can hold fish.


But when the weather turns awful, as it has in recent weeks, your time is better spent on maintenance.

Clean out the tackle box and start afresh. After a season on the water your tackle will need a top-up ready for the times ahead.

Your reels may need servicing, and most major manufacturers have a team that looks after this. Just ask your local tackle store, drop off your reel and it will come back like new.

Then all that’s needed is to check the line for depletion and damage. Threadline reels should be filled within about 3mm of the spool lip and overheads within about 4mm for best casting and line capacity.

Refill with fresh mono line or put on a top shot. If you’re using braid, check the first 25m for wear and strip off the old line and if it’s a bit tired, why not reverse it.

In Winter you can also pick up good deals on all sorts of gear from your local tackle shop because they like to move stuff ready for the new season’s stock. So you may pick up a bargain or two.

Boat maintenance is most important. Who out there gives their outboard a run over Winter or puts the batteries on charge? Now is the time to do so.

I see too many boat owners turn up at the boat ramp on the first warm day heading into Summer and launch there boats only to find out the batteries are flat.

All boat owners should have their boats serviced over Winter by a reliable marine service centre. In my case, Hunts Marine, based in Sydney, Wollongong and Batemans Bay, can look after all my boating needs and have a team ready to handle any job my boat requires.

Wheel bearings on trailers may need looking at and I think once a year you should have these checked, it will save you sitting on the side of the road and stuffing up the start to your holiday. Have your service centre crew check your wheel bearing while they are servicing your outboard.

So get on top of everything and have it all ready for a great season ahead – it’s just around the corner.

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