Keep moving to find fish
  |  First Published: February 2013

Hopefully by now the water temperature in Botany Bay has started to sort itself out and be consistent, unlike what we have experienced over the past month or so.

A couple of days ago I was out on the Bay and the water was 19.6°-20.1° with plenty of trevally and slimy mackerel in the berley. Two days later, the water was 21.5°-22.9° and there were plenty of bream, flathead, tarwhine, flounder, blue swimmer crabs and kingfish.

To fish Botany Bay successfully you need to move maybe 6-10 times some days, while on others you might move only a couple of times to take home a feed.

You need about 10 different spots to fish (five for the run-in tide and five run-out spots), a bucket of berley, at least two rods, Hawkesbury River prawns, fresh squid, chicken in parmesan cheese and a handful of soft plastics and jig heads.

Some of my run-out spots are Molineaux Point, the end of the Third Runway, the middle of the Bay, the Sticks and the Oil Wharf. On the run-in try the artificial reef in Yarra Bay, the Drums, the main channel markers, Towra Point and Dolls Point.

Plan your trip around the tides. Say it’s low at 9am, so hit the water about 5.30am to give time to drive to one of your run-out spots, anchor and start berleying by 6am.

If the first spot started to produce fish I would then have about three hours of the run-out tide to work it. If it doesn’t produce fish in the first 20 minutes, move to spot No 2. If this doesn’t produce fish, move on.

Once the tide bottoms out, move to one of the rising-tide spots and repeat the process until about 1pm, giving about three hours of fishing the rising tide.

The main rigs are the ball sinker that slides directly down to the bait and the No 2 ball sinker that runs down to a swivel above a 1m-2m trace.


I have two types of anchors so I can anchor over sand or reef. There’s nothing worse than putting your sand anchor down too close to Molineaux Point and getting it stuck in the retaining wall.

A mate who dives in this area says that the number of lost anchors on the bottom is amazing.

One of the better spots in the Bay for kingfish is Molineaux Point, where I have found it’s best to anchor to fish for them. But every man and his dog can anchor up here and you may find that your boat moves around a fair bit on the anchor, causing your lines to tangle.

This is where you will need to learn how to bridle your boat with a springer line so that is stops this movement. See the clip on Anchoring Basics on www.purefishing.com.au for details.

When chasing bream at anchor by myself I always have the four rods permissible in use. They are all threadline outfits spooled with 6kg main line with 3kg fluorocarbon leaders and circle hooks.

I set the drag leave the rod in the holder until I get a run. It is then just a matter of tripping the bail arm or turn the handle of the reel and the circle hook will do the rest.

Some anglers leave the bail arm open so that the bream can ‘run’ with the bait without feeling resistance. This seems to work quite well provided the day is not too windy or there is too much current.

I place a rubber band on the spool. When the fish takes off with the bait the rubber band comes off, all I need to do is throw the bail arm back over.

Try to avoid ‘striking’ –great upward swish of the rod. Just lift gently but firmly and your tackle will do the rest.


Here is my recipe for the chicken in parmesan cheese bait popular on Botany Bay.

Slice 1kg of chicken breast fillets into 5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm strips, then drop 15-20 pieces into a plastic takeaway food container at a time and sprinkle with finely grated parmesan cheese. Put the lid on the container and shake. Repeat. A kilo of chicken requires about 250g of cheese.

Refrigerate for two days, shaking the container a couple of times a day. You should get 160-170 baits and can freeze what you don’t need immediately.

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