Joining the summer rush
  |  First Published: December 2013

Last weekend I had just pulled my boat out of the water at the ramp at the Hole In The Wall at Sylvania when another angler came up to me to ask what I had caught. After a four-hour session working the flats off Towra I had caught five silver trevally, one bream and one tarwhine. He stated that now that the weather was warming up he would now think about going for a fish. I was surprised – there have been plenty of fish about during the winter months, so why wait until so late in the year?

But it reminded me that many people do just that, staying off the water until the land and sea temperatures get warmer. I decided to finalise my next lot of trips to try to avoid the summer rush of anglers.

For those of you going offshore in the southern Sydney region you could try targeting snapper, morwong and pigfish off Maroubra at places like the Trag Grounds (33.56.070 151.16.240), the Twelve Miler (33.55.660 151.28.510) and the Wedding Cake Island off Coogee. South of the entrance to Botany Bay you could try places like the Kurnell Car Park (34.01.320 151.14.300), the Lighthouse (34.02.200 151.14.00), Jibbon Bombora and Osborne Shoals.

Try drifting over these spots, and when you first get a good-sized fish you will need to mark it on your GPS. If you get another good fish I would suggest that you hit the button again. This will give you two points which you can repeatedly drift over. If you do start to get a few fish you may want to drop anchor and start berley trail going.

Another thing you could to when travelling to these spots is to try trolling a couple of lures or soft plastics out the back for Australian salmon, striped tuna, kingfish and bonito.

Many years ago I used to catch bonito only for bait, but since Scotty Lyons convinced me that they are good eating I also keep a couple for a feed. Just remember that if you are going to eat them you will need to bleed them straight away and then put them on ice. This will tend to firm up the flesh. If you are going to keep them for bait I recommend that you either freeze them whole or fillet them, and before you freeze them you will need to cover the flesh with salt. This will toughen the fillet up.

Beach fishing for bream, whiting, trevally, tailor and mulloway will be another option during the month of December as the water and the weather hots up. During the summer months it’s good to go beach fishing after work for a few hours. This is because you have day light saving and there tend to be fewer anglers fishing at this time. The trick to this is making sure you are well prepared before you go.

If I am going to chase whiting off one of my local beaches at Cronulla I make sure that I have already gone out and either got a few beach worms or pumped a few nippers. The worms can be kept in the bottom part of the fridge lightly covered in dry sand and rolled up in wet newspaper. The nippers can be caught a few days before and all you need is one of those battery-operated air pumps or a few changes of fresh saltwater. In my garage I have a shoulder bag with a small tackle box, a bait bucket, knife and one 3.6m rod ready to go on top of the car.

Other beaches that are worth a shot are Maroubra, Coogee, Jibbon, Wattamolla, Garie, Burning Palms and Stanwell Park. If you don’t have time to get your own beach worms or nippers you could always ring up one of the bait shops in the shire and pre-order a few nippers or bloodworms. Gabe’s Tackle at Sylvania or Mac’s Bait at Blakehurst would be worth a ring.

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous you could grab a few lures and head down to the top end of the Woronora or Georges Rivers and chase a few bass during those last few hours of light. Nothing is better than getting a surface strike on a lure from a bass. Or if you get the chance you could drive out to the Nepean and have a shot out there.

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