Rocks, flats productive
  |  First Published: June 2012

We’re now feeling the cool starts as we head out across Botany Bay but there is still plenty on offer for the keen angler this month.

On the rocks we should see drummer, luderick and still a few good bream around the washes and these will continue right into Winter.

The cooler months are my pick to fish the stones around Sydney – west winds and mostly flat seas provide great conditions for the rock angler.

But when thinking about fishing the rocks remember to fish with a mate and if you can’t swim, don’t fish the rocks.

Botany Bay has four main species to target for the boat angler and the shore-based fisho.


Flathead are easy species for most anglers and there are many great shore-based spots to fish.

At Yarra Bay right along the beach you will find a deep drop-off. Flathead love these edges and feed along the sandy drop-offs. Brighton Le Sands Beach is also worth a look and has a top drop-off to explore.

Kurnell’s Silver Beach is a favourite. With great weedy areas and large sandy flats, you can walk the beach or fish from one of the many rock groynes that protrude along the beach. Boat anglers can fish all of these spots with ease.

Flathead take many baits including prawns, nippers, worms, whitebait, pilchards and most fresh fish strips but live bait will give you the far greater chance of bagging a few. Small mullet or yellowtail are all you need.

Soft plastics are great for the angler that’s keen on walking along the beaches and spinning and you will catch more flathead if you put in the time walking and casting.

Most bait anglers set up in one spot and don’t move. This might be OK but if the fish are sitting on the bottom 100m along the beach from you, my guess is you will go home hungry.

Trolling works for me all year but over the decades that I have fished the Bay I have found good-sized tailor and salmon about in Winter.

There usually are no outstanding spots but think of structure and work these areas.

Productive spots include the Third Runway, Yarra Bay, the two headlands that run into the Bay, the Old Runway and there is a good one about 50m off Brighton Beach along that drop-off I mentioned. Tailor and salmon hold along this area from time to time and it’s a great spot if it’s blowing from the west.

Stiffy Minnows and Rapala CD 7s are two great lures that catch me loads of fish.


Trevally are the bread-and-butter Winter species for me.

They respond well to berley and many anglers will do well fishing around the Bay from the rock walls and beaches because trevally school in these areas.

Berley is simple: bread, chook pellets and pilchards. I’ve just posted a great little YouTube clip on a simple way to make a good berley mix ideal for the shore based or boat angler so jump on The Hook and The Cook face book page give us a like and check out our simple fishing tips and cooking tips.

Trevally love a peeled prawn or a small cube of pilchard.

Whether form the shore or a boat, set yourself up and berley the area you are about to fish, then cast lightly weighted baits into that area and add more berley every 10 minutes or so.

Boat anglers should anchor and berley and fish lightly weighted baits down the trail for best results.

The same gear will do for all these species –a light 4kg-6kg rod and a reel like the new Shimano 4000D Baitrunner with 4kg-6kg line.

So it’s time to rug up and hit the water – I get the feeling that there’s some great fishing ahead of us this Winter.

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