Coping with westerlies
  |  First Published: September 2013

The start of Spring will hopefully bring warmer weather, higher water temperatures and more hungry fish. We can only hope.

Over the past few years around here September hasn’t always heralded the kick-start many anglers require to get out and have a fish. Maybe this year will be different.

In recent years we have experienced plenty of westerly winds during September. These flatten the sea to a point where there is barely a ripple on the water close to shore and there is very little whitewater for the rock angler in which to chase drummer, luderick, bream and trevally.

On these flat days, you need to remember that a small but steady stream of berley will help to attract the fish to where you are fishing.

I have had times when the bream, luderick, trevally and drummer have been just over a rod length’s cast away.

Places that would be worth a shot when the conditions are like this include Kurnell Point, Bare Island in Botany Bay, Wattamolla and the north point in the Royal National Park, north Garie Point and the northern end of Stanwell Park Beach.

On the northern side of Botany Bay you could try places like North Bondi, Ben Buckler, Tamarama and behind the Waverly Cemetery. Just remember to take plenty of berley.

If the rocks are not your cup of tea you could try chasing salmon on the beaches at Bondi, Maroubra, Greenhills, Wanda, Garie and Stanwell Park.

Whole pilchards and garfish would be the go and you are after a mulloway, try these same beaches after dark. Strips of mullet, slimy mackerel and squid would also be worthwhile baits.

When the westerly blows, if you have a boat that is seaworthy and plenty of experience, you could fish back into the washes that you would normally cast to from the shore.

I find my 3.6m rod and lightly weighted baits are essential to catch a few fish from the boat in close.


Trevally and luderick are mainstay species in Port Hacking and Botany Bay this month.

Trevally are usually pretty thick in the Bay and it is simply a matter of finding a drop-off, anchoring, setting up a berley trail of bread, pilchards and chicken pellets and the trevally will come.

Just remember to fish as light as the conditions allow. I use a ball sinker running straight down to the bait or to a swivel and a 1m-2m leader.

There are a number of places worth a shot for luderick from the shore in Botany Bay. Try the inside point of Kurnell, Bare Island, the groynes at Kurnell and Dolls Point, the Cooks River breakwall, Captain Cooks and Tom Uglys bridges, Lugarno and Soily Point in the Georges River. In Port Hacking try around the baths at Gymea Bay and Gunnamatta Bay, the wharf at Lilli Pilli, Bundeena, Salmon Haul Bay and the pint the surfers call Sandshoes.

Scotty Lyons runs a class in Port Hacking on how to target luderick, covering gear, berley, locations and how to clean your catch.

Other fish on offer during the start of Spring include dusky and sand flathead, bream and leatherjackets.

Reads: 1887

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