Ask and find out
  |  First Published: April 2012

Over the past year I have given a series of talks at BCF stores at Nowra, West Gosford, Campbelltown, Warrawong, Penrith, Auburn, Taren Point and Tuggerah, with another at Bankstown on May 30.

The themes have varied, from beach and rock tips to estuary bait fishing and lure fishing from a boat and the shore.

I’m asked a variety of questions and I thought I’d give a few examples and answers here.

Edward Zafra at Auburn and was given a packet of TT jig heads and Berkley soft plastics after he asked where he could fish with soft plastics in Sydney Harbour. I think I said to work Pier 1, where Edward later managed to catch four nice bream.

Paul Router from Como used to live in Queensland and use a cast net (illegal in NSW) to catch his live bait and wanted to know how to catch poddy mullet from the shore or a boat.

I suggested he start by berleying with a small amount of moistened bread or breadcrumbs kneaded into a something about the size of a golf ball. Start by throwing three or four balls of berley into the water and as the poddy mullet show up, just one ever five minutes so you don’t feed them, just keep them interested.

I’d use a No 12 to No 10 hook about 50cm to 1m under a very small bobby cork with one or two split shot 10cm above the hook baited with bread, prawn, sausage pudding or squid – just enough to sit in the bend of the hook.

Or you could use a poddy mullet trap – the ones from Alvey are great. Make sure that you don’t put too much bread in the trap.

Place it parallel to the current so that the top is just covered and stand back and let the little guys swim in. When you pick it up, place your hands over both ends so they don’t fall out.


At the Taren Point talk Cameron Bailey asked where in Botany Bay he should go and what type of fish could he catch using blades.

I suggested he work parallel to the beach from the baths at Brighton to the sand bar at Dolls Point in 2m to 3.5m of water. On a falling tide he should place his boat in the deep water and cast back towards the shallows and vice-versa on a rising tide.

‘The Sticks’ or ‘Goalposts’ are markers about 6m apart 750m off Silver Beach at Kurnell. This area is about 5m deep and good for tea-bagging blades up and down, as long as you are not drifting too fast.

Or drift off the end of the Third Runway parallel to the yellow markers and cast back towards the runway, bunny-hopping the blade off the bottom back to the boat as slowly as possible.

You could also try tea-bagging blades around The Drums, just north-east of the end of the Oil Wharf at Kurnell.

Work the northern shore in Yarra Bay. Locate the weed patches through polarised sunglasses and work the blades along the edges.

The end of Towra Point is always worth a shot with blades; work the edges of the weed beds and broken shell areas.

At West Gosford Nicholas Stewart asked about some spots to fish from a kayak or from the shore with lures, especially for bream.

I suggested the entrance to Erina Creek in the shallows and the drop off just out from the entrance and Koolewong Shore as a great place to cast surface lures from a kayak.

There is a maze of oyster racks, channels and weed beds in the oyster leases above Pelican Point..

Shore-based from the rail bridge west of Pelican Island is also good and you could also work the flats opposite.

Cockle Broadwater is a great spot from a kayak. Fish the shallows and the drop-off.

Nicholas also asked about plastics to use in 5m of water or less.


He was thinking of getting some 80mm and 100mm Squidgy Wrigglers in bloodworm and wasabi or Berkley 2" Shrimps in banana prawn. He is leaning towards the Squidgies because many of the Gulp Shrimp had crooked tails.

I too have had problems with bent tails but have cut the tail parts off and rigged them backwards so that the head is facing away from the jig head. I get plenty of fish doing this. Gulp Shrimps now come in trays so that they stay straight.

At West Gosford Terry Vandeleur asked about combating sideways sweep when fishing in reasonably rough water from the beach. Is there any alternative apart from using more lead?

My suggestion was to cast slightly up-current and start walking along the beach, keeping pace with the bait. This can be achieved only if other anglers you are fishing with do the same thing.

Otherwise, try those grapple sinkers with the wire legs.

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