Get out and have a go!
  |  First Published: December 2006

Warm weather and great conditions go hand in hand at this time of the year and many anglers will have time to head out over the holidays with the kids.

Here are a few methods and tips when heading out for a day’s fishing that might help.

The first and most important is to just get out there and have a go, you will catch a lot more than you would have from your lounge chair!

The second is to have a plan. Decide on the time you hit the water and what you are targeting because many anglers just head out and hope for the best. I always follow some sort of plan but keep an eye open for surface-feeding fish like tailor and salmon because this is prime time for these fish to just appear as loads of small baitfish move into our bays and estuaries.

Small metal lures or small soft plastics cast into the feeding school and then a fast retrieve is the way to go, Work your plastics slower, adding small twitches to your rod tip as you work the lure back – salmon will respond to this method.

Trolling around the general area with small bibbed lures will also score good hook-ups at times, I fine that a lure down a littler deeper will pull the odd fish at times when spinning fails.

Surface action like this is a little hard to plan as it will happen at any time of the day, you just need to be ready because the window might open for only a short time. Early mornings or late afternoons are the more productive times for this type of action.


Bream are one species very easy to target. Just anchor in 3m to 7m somewhere with a good tidal flow. I find the middle of the bay just as good as anywhere, there are no special spots.

The bream rig is rather simple: 4kg to 6kg line and a long trace of about 2m with, say, a No 5 ball sinker above the swivel and a No 1 or 1/0 hook with nippers or bloodworms for bait. Cast out and place the rod in holder and sit back and wait. I normally set up to four rods and spread them across the back of my boat. Remember, you need tidal movement but fish no deeper than 7m.

Kingfish are big on the minds of many who fish the estuaries at this of year. For kings you need the best bait you can find. I like small live yellowtail or slimy mackerel and squid is also high on the list.

I use a similar rig as for bream but a little heaver at 15kg to 20kg. Just sink your bait to the bottom and lift say 2m from the bottom and wait. Deep water around structure will give you the best chance of scoring a kingie. Spots like the drop-off around Watts Reef, Bare Island and Trevally Alley and The Drums will produce.

Summer is flathead time and they can be found right across the Bay and all through the Hacking River. Soft plastics are by far the most rewarding way to target flathead as you drift the edges of sand bars and drop-offs and work the lures up and down to look like a prawn flicking up from the bottom. Flathead will lie in wait for food to come to them and then race from the bottom to smash your lure.

Small livebaits will also produce well in these areas. I prefer to anchor along a nice sandy drop-off and use small mullet or yellowtail.

Drifting with bait in the middle of the bay is also worth a try but you will cover plenty of ground between fish. Try working soft plastic as you drift, this way you give yourself a better chance than just dragging a bait on the bottom.

Visit wwwfishingsydney.com.au for fresh mini-reports to help plan your next day out.

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