January is a great month to target bream off the rocks, beaches, bays and estuaries.
What you will need to decide it where you are going to chase them and what type of technique you are going to use. For instance, are you going to use hard lures and soft plastics in the rivers and creeks or are you going to use bait? Are you going to fish for them from the shore or from a boat?
Maybe you prefer to fish a surf or rock gutter on a rising tide early in the morning or just as the sun sets. For January, whatever type of technique and bait or lure you decide to use will usually get a few bream in the bag for you.
The beaches from Boat Harbour to South Cronulla fish best at different tides, times of the day and days of the week. For instance if you were to try a fish out in front of Wanda Surf Club to South Cronulla on a Saturday or Sunday between 7am and 8pm you would be more likely to catch a swimmer than you would a bream, but if you were to fish between 4am and 7am or start fishing at 8pm and into the night you should catch a bream, a few whiting and even a mulloway.
If you like to fish more than a few hours, concentrate on the stretch from north Wanda to Boat Harbour. It may be a bit further to walk but you won’t have the crowds that you can experience on the weekends.
On an overcast day, that same stretch from the Wanda club to South Cronulla can be fished during the week with less chance of hooking up to a swimmer. One of the places I like to fish for bream mid-week after work is The Alley, especially as the tide starts to run out. The Alley has a combination of sand, rocks and a rip.
You will need to watch for the surfboard riders in the water and the pedestrians who can be walking behind you. My preferred baits are beach worms, pink nippers, bloodworms, half WA pilchards, strips of bonito or striped tuna and whitebait. I will use a paternoster rig or a running sinker down to a swivel with about half a metre of leader.
If the seas are quite large and you can’t fish the beaches of southern Sydney, it might be worth taking a drive over to Little Bay, near Maroubra. The small boat ramp nestled in the back of the bay is worth a shot for bream when the beaches are unfishable in big seas. Use a small ball sinker directly down on the bait of peeled prawns, nippers, strips of slimy mackerel, striped tuna or bonito. There’ll be no problems with swimmers or pedestrians, either.
Goo from Kyeemagh Bait and Tackle likes to chase bream at the end of Barton Street in Ramsgate and just beside the baths near the Coles supermarket. You are also in with a good chance of a flathead on soft plastics and chopper tailor on metal lures. Best baits are nippers, bloodworms, white bait and half WA pilchards.
Chasing bream in Botany Bay you need to keep four things in mind: structure, tides, rigs and baits. Fish places like the end of the Old or Third Runway, the Drums, Molineaux Point, Bare Island, the Oil Wharf, the Hot Water Outlet, the Sticks, the Patches off Towra Point, the cockle beds off Dolls Point, the breakwall at the entrance to the Cooks River and generally out in the middle of the bay. All have some kind of structure and are best fished when there is run in the water.
In deep water use a ball sinker directly down on the bait and in shallow water use a ball or bean sinker with a leader 1m to 2m long. Pink nippers, blood or tube worms, whitebait, half pilchards, live poddy mullet, fillets of pilchards and small strips of striped tuna, bonito or slimy mackerel all work.
The Georges and Woronora rivers also fish very well for bream this month. Try Bald Face Point, the Como Bridge, Cattle Duffers, Alfords Point beach and nearby bridge, Kangaroo Point, Tom Uglys and Captain Cook bridges and Woolooware Bay. You could also try Oatley and Kogarah bays on a rising tide. Baits and soft plastics work in these areas.
A couple of new small tackle and boat shops have opened in the Sutherland and St George shires. They are Yabbie Bait and Tackle in Toorak Avenue, Taren Point; Boatrite in Bay Road at Taren Point and Castwide on the corner of Wollongong Road at Arncliffe. And Andrew is the new owner of Beverley Hills Bait and Tackle.