Don’t eat the bait!
  |  First Published: April 2013

Let’s look at what’s about in Botany Bay and how to come home with a mixed catch.

Everyone wants to catch kingfish and they’re not that hard to find or catch, as long as you follow a few simple rules.

Fresh bait is a key and live bait is so important. Yellowtail, slimy mackerel and squid are the baits mostly used by all anglers along the Sydney coast. Like many anglers, I catch my bait on the day for best results but at times I have caught many good kings on frozen squid.

On some trips, after using squid for a kingfish session I find I have a few left over. Most clients will take them home to eat because they are great in the pan but some days I’m left with them so I freeze them down to use on future trips and have had great kingfish results on frozen squid.

Give it a try; it may save you time on your next outing to get a quick start.

Kings love structure, so anchor in deep water and set your baits a few metres off the bottom. In 10m, set them at 8m; in 20m try 15m and 10m – mix it up for best results.

Rain can send Botany Bay kings back offshore and this has happened over the past few seasons. Last year the Bay water would start to clear and then rain again would push muddy water out to sea along with the kings.

The start of this season has also proved a little tough as well but we have a few months to go so fingers crossed for no more rain.


Bream are worth targeting right to the start of Winter. They school all over Botany Bay to spawn between January and the end of May.

I usually fish baits with my clients and do well most outings on prawns, chicken, nippers and bloodworms.

I anchor in 2m-6m and cast a simple rig that I have used for many years, 6kg mono, No 5 ball sinker and a 1.5m with a size 1 hook. The bait just sits on the bottom until the bream hook themselves. Move about for best results.

Flathead love the warmer water, actively moving about, spawning and building up an appetite.

Soft plastics are the most productive method with 80mm-100mm curl-tail grubs my favourites. All colours work but my favourite is the bloodworm.

Live small mullet or yellowtails are deadly and any fish strips or prawns worked on the drift will produce. Because 95% of the Bay is sand, just start drifting and you’ll find them.

Tailor and salmon move into the Bay to feed on bait schools. Early morning once the sun hits the water is the best but action can show at any time; look for feeding seabirds and spin with small metals or troll with small hardbodies.

Hit the water with a game plan and keep an eye open for action that unfolds quickly and you’ll go home with fish after a fun day.

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