Cracking the combination
  |  First Published: February 2007

Time and again I get asked, ‘Where is a good spot to fish for flathead, bream or kingfish?’ I am afraid it is not just a matter of going to a particular spot and starting to catch fish.

Successful fishing is a combination of things and if you get the combination correct you will catch fish regularly. This month you should be able to get all three species if you get that correct combination of time of day, outfit selection, type of bait or lure, weather, tide, rig and location.

Around Botany Bay, the Georges River and Port Hacking there are a number of places that produce flathead, kings and bream regularly but there are also a number of places that tend to produce only a certain species.

During the Summer I find that kingfish in Botany Bay and Port Hacking latch onto most things that are small and alive. You may have come across this when you have been pulling in a small snapper or whiting (remember to use only legal-size fish for livebait).

To consistently catch kingfish during Summer you need to downsize your livebaits. I find that yellowtail no bigger that 10cm are great and squid to 15cm and poddy mullet to 6cm are ideal. For the bream and flathead I suggest you try live or dead nippers, narrow strips of fresh squid, pilchards and small strips of skinned cowanyoung.

If you are going to use soft plastics you can’t go past stickbaits from 10cm to 22cm long. These can be worked around the marker buoys and poles, mooring drums and the Hot Water outlet in Botany Bay or the moored boats in Gymea, Yowie, Burraneer and Gunnamatta bays in Port Hacking. You should also cast them into schools of feeding fish.

Consistent places to try for kingfish in the bay are Bare Island, Watts Reef, the Oil Wharf, Henrys Head, the Hot Water Outlet, Molineaux Point, The Drums, the channel markers and the north-eastern side of the Third Runway. In Port Hacking try working the boats in any of the deep bays, Shark Island, Jibbon Bombora and Sandshoes.


For many years I used to exclusively use whitebait, strips of mullet, half-pilchards and live poddy mullet for flathead and I still do on occasion. But for consistency in catching flathead in the Bay and Port Hacking I turn to soft plastics.

These regularly catch flathead and they tend to be larger. The size and shape of my Summer soft plastics tends to vary from those I use in the cooler months. For the Summer I prefer 7cm to 15cm soft plastics and during the cooler months I go larger, even up to 20cm.

Consistent places to try for flathead in Botany Bay include the stretch of beach from Dolls Point to Brighton, Yarra Bay, Towra Point, Silver Beach and Woolooware Bay. In Port Hacking I work the edges of the weeds near the Ballast Heap, the sand flats at the entrance to Gunnamatta and Burraneer bays and up in the back of South West and North West arms.

Bream are a great option from the beginning of Summer to the start of Winter in Botany Bay and Port Hacking. You also get numbers of them in the Georges and Woronora rivers.

Bait tends to get more fish than soft plastics or hard lures. From Summer to Autumn I like beach and blood worms, pink nippers, fillets and tails of WA pilchards, striped tuna and bonito.


Good bream places in the Bay include The Sticks, the end of the Third Runway, the Oil Wharf, the Hot Water Outlet, Sutherland Point, the middle of the Bay, the cockle beds off Dolls Point and the breakwall at the entrance to the Cooks River. You could also try around La Perouse and Bare Island.

When it comes to gear I keep it simple. For kingfish I use my 10kg to 15kg threadline and overhead outfits. For bream I prefer a 2.1m medium- to fast-taper threadline outfit from 3kg to 6kg and for flathead I use a 2kg to 4kg outfit with soft plastics and a 5kg to 10kg outfit for live-baiting.

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