Trevally, bream keep biting
  |  First Published: May 2012

By now the water should have cooled down a fair bit, causing a number of fish species to also slow down but this is far from the case for silver trevally, bream and snapper.

Anglers who regularly fish Botany Bay and Port Hacking often find that trevally and bream make up the bulk of their bags in May, along with a few pan-size snapper.

Recently I was invited out on a mate’s boat to fish with him and his two stepdaughters. Aaron had taken them out a number of times but they hadn’t caught a lot of fish so I decided we would target silver trevally and bream for the morning.

The girls liked to sleep in so we hit the water about 8am – not a problem for the top of the tide was at 10am, giving us two hours of the run up tide and the first two hours of the ebb and getting everyone back to the ramp around noon.

Once we anchored at The Patches off Towra Point in about 2m-3m of water I threw out a handful of chicken pellets, cast the baits out and placed the rods in the holders. I threw out another small handful of chicken pellets and sat back and waited.

In less than five minutes the first trevally came on board, was bled and put on ice. The hook was re baited with peeled prawn, cast again and put back into the rod holder and I threw out another small handful of chicken pellets.

We fished there for next 90 minutes and once the tide stopped we moved to another spot and did the same again until it was home time. We headed home with 12 silver trevally and four bream.


To be successful chasing bream and trevally you need to anchor, put out a small berley trail and fish as light as conditions allow. You can catch trevally and bream while drifting but you definitely get a lot more at anchor.

During the run-up tide I recommend: The Drums, the Yarra Bay artificial reefs, Trevally Alley, the end of the Third Runway and The Patches at Towra.

On the run-out tide I like wide off Towra, the Oil Wharf (remember to keep 100m away), the end of the wall at Trevally Alley, Bare Island, Henry Head and Sutherland Point.

Whether fishing from shore or a boat, every time I use bait I always have some kind of berley trail.

My main ingredients are chicken layer pellets and bread. You could also use prawn heads and shells, mashed pilchards or the frames of bonito or striped tuna. Just remember that the berley trail is used to attract the fish, not to feed them; less is better.

For bait I use prawns (always peeled), pink nippers, chicken marinated in parmesan cheese, strips of fresh mullet, pilchard tails and fillets, skinned strips of yellowtail, slimy mackerel fillets and bloodworms, beach and tube worms.

I use two rigs when fishing bait. One is a ball sinker sliding directly down to the top of the bait; the second is a sinker sliding down to a small swivel linked to a 1.5m trace.

Trevally and bream can be found off the rocks, beaches, inshore reefs and gravel patches, tidal and non-tidal coastal rivers, creeks and streams, brackish lakes and bays, harbours, inlets and lagoons.

In the estuaries they can be targeted over sandy flats and shallow weed beds in water from a few centimetres deep to holes and drop-offs in 4m-5m with weed, mussel or cockle beds. Breakwalls, points, islands, rock bars, ledges and rocky shores are other places they love to hang around.

It is the tidal flow that will dictate when the fish are on the chew.

Mangrove-lined shores attracted a huge variety of baitfish and crustaceans for trevally and bream to feed on.

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