Bay has a silver lining
  |  First Published: December 2012

Botany Bay, Port Hacking and Georges and Woronora Rivers should be starting to fire again now – if the warmer current has made it into these areas.

Tailor and silver trevally have increased in size and numbers throughout the Bay and Port Hacking and I don’t mind a feed of either cooked under the grill or just on the barbecue in foil.

Both species respond extremely well to a small but steady stream of berley.

Whether I am fishing from the Bay shore, a boat or the ocean rocks, mashed or chopped pilchards are the main ingredients in my berley. I also add to the mix some bread that had been soaked in a small amount of tuna oil.

When I am bait fishing for tailor from the rocks I rig a whole pilchard or garfish on ganged hooks. Try those Alvey Quick Trick ones so you can easily make up your own combination of 2, 3, 4 or 5 hooks in a gang.

When using ganged hooks there’s no need for a wire trace for tailor, even though they have razor-sharp teeth. I tie a 10kg leader or main line to the top gang or the swivel that I fit to the leading hook.

For silver trevally I will go the complete opposite, with line or leader as low as 2kg.

I run a ball sinker straight down the line to the hook or to a swivel tied to a 1m-2m trace.

Best baits are blue pilchard or garfish tails, peeled Hawkesbury prawns, chicken pieces covered in grated parmesan cheese, pink nippers or a variety of worms.


Flathead should be on the chew just about everywhere in Port Hacking, Botany Bay and the Georges and Woronora rivers.

When bait fishing for flathead I prefer to anchor and berley but if I’m using soft I like to drift around and cast for them. You could also try trolling a couple of bibbed or bladed lures.

Whiting and bream should increase in numbers this month, too.

Again, when using bait for both it is essential to have a small but consistent berley trail to increase your catch rate.

And you should give surface poppers or walkers a go for bream and whiting. When the fish are on the chew the visual takes by both species in the shallows can be spectacular and addictive.

I find that a slow and steady retrieve will work one day and the next you might need to use a quick and erratic one.

Just try a number of different retrieves until you find the one that is working on the day and then stick with it.

The only problem you may encounter is when a large tailor or flathead engulfs the lure and bites it off the leader.

Keep those pictures coming in and you might find yours in my next report.

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