Chasing a good feed
  |  First Published: December 2011

Summer on Botany Bay is all about warm mornings, kingfish and surface action but it’s also about catching a good feed.

All Sydney anglers love to catch small pelagics. Kings, tailor, salmon and bonito can be caught trolling lures, live-baiting or spinning with metals or soft plastics and, yes, they’re great fun.

But this month let’s look at our bread-and-butter species that anyone can head out and bag a few for the table, be it shore-based or out in your tinny.

Bream and flathead have kept many anglers busy over the years and many anglers would have cut their teeth on them as youngsters. I did, fishing the creeks down south and up north on Christmas holidays with the family.

Bream start to head down river to spawn in late November and school across Botany Bay and all our other estuaries.

These bream are relatively small, around 25cm to 30cm, and are the travelling fish that spawn and move up the coast each year.

To target these you can fish both tides any time of the day, as long as you have good tidal flow once you are anchored.

Bream love prawns, nippers, bloodworms and many other baits. Prawns work fine for me in the Bay.

Most of my fish are caught in water from 1m to 6m deep but you need to move about to find the bream. A light spin outfit spooled with 4kg mono, about a No 4 ball sinker, small swivel and a No 1 hook will do the trick.

Make sure you allow a good trace about 1.5m long. Cast out with the tidal run, sit back and wait.

I normally fish a few rods set up like this and move about looking for the results,

If I were shore-based in Botany Bay, my pick would be the Brighton Beach area because I can walk the beach and fish right along the drop-off that runs all the way along the beach.

Bream run from November to about May and then taper off as the water temp falls.


Flathead are about all year and are fun to target.

Soft plastics these days seem to be the pick method and I find shore-based anglers will do well again in the Brighton Beach area, in Yarra Bay and any other sandy beach.

Flathead are ambush feeders that sit along these drop-offs just waiting on small baitfish.

Cast your plastic and work it back with small flicking movements, allowing the lure to find the bottom after each flick.

Boat anglers’ best chances will come drifting in 2m to 5m. Flathead are a chance anywhere across the Bay.

I love lures like the Squidgy Wrigger in bloodworm, although small soft stickbaits will also bring good results.

With plastics, put in the time and effort and results will come.

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