Tough fishing calls for tough anglers
  |  First Published: August 2013

August can be an extremely hard month of the year to fish in the southern region of Sydney, but this shouldn’t stop you from getting out there and giving it ago.

Sure the days can be cold and the nights can be so cold that you wished that you had never come out; don’t mention the winds and seas that can come about in a blink of an eye. But even through all this doom and gloom there are plenty of fish species on offer. It is just a matter of picking the right time to go and the correct fish species to chase.

Many anglers wouldn’t think of targeting dusky flathead during the cooler months of the year. There are not as many about during the cooler months, but they are still there to catch.

August is the time of the year when live baiting is a prime way to target dusky flathead. Live yellowtail and poddy mullet would be my first choice, then small squid and slimy mackerel, next would be live nippers and blood worms. If fishing off the beach near a creek or river mouth, I would also try using beach worms.

In August you should try upsizing your blades and soft plastics when targeting dusky flathead and the retrieve should be slowed down to a point where there is only a small hop off the bottom occurring. You could also try adding a bit of scent to your blade or soft plastic.

Another fish species that is not only a great fighter, prolific during winter and great on the plate is the luderick. Most of the time it is just a matter of getting hold of some quality green weed or cabbage, set up a small, but consistent berley trail and waiting for that float to go down. Places in the Port Hacking that would be worth a shot would be North and South West arms, the Lilly Pilly, Gymea and Gunnamatta baths. Bundeena rocks might also be worth the trouble.

Drummer would have to be one of my favourite fish species to chase during the cooler months of the year. With drummer I find that if you keep it simple the fish will come. Try using bread as berley, you will be surprised how well it works on drummer and luderick off the rocks. You could also try using peeled Hawkesbury or Clarence River prawns, cunje and brown or red crabs. The rig is very simple: 6-10kg line with a small ball sinker directly down onto the top of the bait. Then cast it out into the wash and wait for the arm stretching to start!

Silver trevally don’t rate very high with many anglers, however they are another one of my favourite fish species to target during August. They love a berley trail, with peeled prawns, nippers and cubes of pilles and they are not too bad on the plate. When the kids were young it was great to see how much fun they had catching trevally on 3-4kg line. They are a great fighter right to the end, but to consistently catch trevally you will need to have a small but steady stream of berley.

Last, but by no means least, there are usually plenty of squid around during winter, which can also be caught year round. So the next time that you go out for a fish during those cold and maybe windy days during August, don’t forget to take a few squid jigs with you and maybe you too can come home with a decent feed.

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