Offshore holds promise
  |  First Published: October 2011

At last we’re heading into the warmer months and great fishing, but first we have to wait for the water to warm up.

Over the next month, I would fish offshore if conditions suited, anchoring in 20m of water off any headland and berleying with chicken pellets, pilchard and bread.

I’d give the berley time to work and fish light for best results. Trevally, sweep and the odd snapper should respond to the berley. Use simple baits with as little weight as possible to float down like the berley does – small pilchard cubes work well, as do peeled prawns.

Drifting over the sand you will still find good numbers of flathead but you might need to move about for best results. Tough bait is a must when targeting sand flathead, try mullet or salted tuna.

Fish in 50m out from Botany Bay. South from Port Hacking, the sand comes in a lot closer so I can start in 30m and again move around until I find the fish.

Snapper are top chance over the next month or so. Methods that work for me are to anchor and fish floaters in a good berley trail or to drift and fish the bottom.

Both methods work well over broken reef so spend time searching for good-looking spots in deeper water. As the warmer weather rolls in, the snapper move back into the shallows.

A great combo for bottom fishing and floaters is a 7’ snapper-style rod with a 6000 size baitrunner reel spooled with 10kg braid. This outfit covers all my needs offshore and come Summer will catch loads of kingfish when they move back into Botany Bay.

It’s also long enough for casting poppers, working soft stickbaits or dropping live baits over the side.

Rain has proved a little tough lately but on the days when we could head offshore we did well, with good numbers of fish on every trip.

We trolled and found bonito on most trips, the close reefs produced trevally and snapper and out wide the sand flathead were outstanding.

Botany Bay has slowed up a little and it seemed all that we could find some days were trevally – but once we found them, they were in good numbers and loads of fun.

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