Plenty of scope for a session
  |  First Published: March 2013

This is a favourite time to fish. You can chase bream in the estuaries, off the beaches and rocks and there will be luderick swimming in rocky washes grazing on cabbage and on that stringy weed that grows along breakwalls and stormwater pipes.

If bream and luderick are not to your liking you could target silver trevally, mulloway, tailor and salmon in the bays, off the beaches and around the rocks. Leatherjackets and whiting will also be around in numbers.

Don’t get me wrong; you still need to put a fair amount of planning into your outing to make it successful.

Here’s a list of what you ought to think about before you target flathead, bream and silver trevally.

Decide on your target species before you go. Are you going to use bait or artificials? What time of the day or night? Where to and how long to get there? Are you going alone or do you organise for a mate? How long are you going for?

Say I’m chasing flathead from the shore in Port Hacking with bait when the tide is about half-way out. I would start at Maianbar so that I could pump about 50 nippers for bait.

My 2.1m rod would have been pre-rigged at home with a No 1 ball sinker sliding down to a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook. The main line would be 2kg-3kg braid with a 6kg-8kg nylon leader.

In my shoulder would be a small tackle box with 00-No 2 ball sinkers, a few spare circle hooks, a couple of squid jigs, pliers, knife, scaler and a pocket camera. You never know when you may come across that flathead of a lifetime and you want to release it but need proof of your catch.

As the tide recedes you should walk to the water’s edge and cast your bait into the deeper holes where flathead will be lying in wait for small baitfish coming off the sand flats.

Once the tide starts to come back in you will usually get about another 90 minutes until you have to walk back to your car. If you are taller than me, you will be able to stay longer!


Bream are a good thing off the beach at Stanwell Park. My preferred baits are beachworms, bloodworms and pink nippers, but you could always try pilchard halves or whitebait.

Pump the nippers at Maianbar about an hour after the tide has started to rise from low to give you enough time to pump 50 nippers, get into the car and drive down to Stanwell Park to fish the last two hours of the rising tide and the first two hours of the ebb.

If this four hours is around dawn or dusk I get the best results, but if it’s an overcast day it doesn’t seem to matter what time you go.

Use the same shoulder bag, with a tackle box containing swivels and bean, ball and star sinkers to about No 4. Circle hooks should range from No 2-2/0.

I would have two 3m-3.6m outfits, one with a paternoster rig and the other with a sinker, swivel, leader and hook. A length of PVC tube put into the sand allows me to fish two rods at once.


For silver trevally I have my boat organised the day before and I schedule my 4-5 hours of fishing time during a falling tide.

I never drift for trevally; I always anchor about 8m-10m up-current of where the fish should be, then start a berley trail of chicken pellets and mashed bread.

I usually have the maximum four rods per person out, two with ball sinkers down to the bait and the others with sinkers above a 1m-2m trace.

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