Make sure you’re prepared
  |  First Published: October 2013

If you are anything like me you would have spent some time during September going fishing, but you would have also gone through your tackle boxes and replenished your swivel, sinkers and hooks for the season ahead.

You should also have spent some time servicing your reels, or getting your local tackle shop to do that for you if you weren’t confident of doing it yourself.

I thought I had everything covered on my most recent trip. I ventured out for a fish on the rocks in the Royal National Park with Scotty Lyons and Paul from the TV show The Hook and the Cook.

After a 30-minute hike through the bush to a place called the Cobblers, we rigged up our gear ready to target trevally, bream, drummer and maybe a tailor or a salmon.

The bread berley had done its job and the fish started to come on the bite. Trevally, small drummer, leatherjackets and groper started hit the rocks.

Then I hooked a quality drummer, only to find that I couldn’t lift it out of the water on 6kg line.

Out came the reel with the 12kg line on it. A quick cast had the peeled prawn out in the strike zone and it wasn’t long before it I got smashed by another large drummer but I missed the hook-up.

When I tried to wind in to re-bait my hook, I couldn’t even turn the reel. Have you ever tried to hand wind about 40m of 12kg line onto a spool? It’s not much fun.

If you want to catch a feed of fish, make sure that you check and service all your reels before you go. Don’t do as I did and regret it!

This month we should see the water start to warm and there will be a crossover of Winter, Spring and Summer species available. Trevally, bream, drummer, groper, luderick, tailor, salmon, whiting, flathead, flounder and bonito will be some of the main targets.

And if you are going to a rock spot that you haven’t been to in a while, I suggest you make sure where you are going and don’t rely on your memories of about 15 years ago. You may find yourself bush bashing to get to your destination.

In the Royal National Park there are plenty of beach and rock spots. You could try Jibbon Beach and Jibbon Point at the entrance to Port Hacking, the Cobblers, the Water Run, the Balconies, Marley, Wattamolla, Curracurang, North Garie Point, Garie Beach, Era and South Era.

You could even take the trek into Burning Palms.

I would suggest that you take in plenty of bread for berley, whole pilchards, prawns, freshly caught squid, mullet and bonito fillets.

Those who prefer to fish calmer waters from the shore could try the wharfs at Gunnamatta, Yowie and Gymea bays. You could also try the wharf at Lilli Pilli, but you will need to get there early to avoid the crowds.

Pilchards, strips of mullet and squid are good bait. If you berley at any of these spots you will be in with a good chance of catching your own mullet and squid.

If you mainly fish in Botany Bay, try off Kurnell Point, Bare Island, Silver Beach and any of the groynes along the shore from Dolls Point to Brighton-le-Sands.

The Cooks River breakwall is a great place to swim out a live bait under a bobby cork on a run-out tide for kingfish, salmon and tailor.

While chasing the big ones here I suggest you have another line out for bream, whiting, flounder and flathead that feed during the run-out tide.

For the land-based angler you could also try fishing at the base of the Captain Cook, Tom Uglys, Como and Alfords Point bridges for bream, flathead and mulloway.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether the tide is running in or out at these bridges.

Bald Face Point and Oatley Point are also great places for the land-based angler in the Georges River.

Rods about 3m-3.6m long enable you to cast your bait out onto the sandy bottom.


In Botany Bay you will still find plenty of trevally finding their way up your berley trail.

The bream will have started to school up at places like Molineaux Point, Watts Reef, the Oil Wharf, the Drums and in the deeper water off Towra Point and the kelp beds out off Dolls Point.

Trolling metal lures, deep-diving hardbodies and soft plastics around the shore in Yarra Bay and the end of the Third Runway would be a great idea in the morning and late into the afternoon.

Two of my favourite baits for fishing in Port Hacking and Botany Bay are pink nippers and peeled prawns. You could also buy a few bloodworms from Macs Bait at Blakehurst or Gabe’s at Sylvania. They also sell plenty of prawns, pilchards, whitebait, pink nippers and slabs or mullet and tuna.

The Georges and Woronora rivers will start to fire up now, especially during those hot afternoons when the cicadas start making a noise. When they start to sing the topwater bite will come into its own for bream, whiting and even flathead in the shallows.

On another note, a couple of kayak friends have been selected to attend the inaugural CAN kayak fishing competition in China. There will be 10 kayakers from China, Australia and New Zealand competing at Shengzhong Lake in China. All the best to Andrew Death and Stewart Dunn, hope you bring home the winner’s cheque.

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