Boomtime in March
  |  First Published: March 2007

I hardly know where to start this month! There are the surface fish like kingfish, tailor and Australian salmon, bottom dwellers like bream, sand whiting and dusky flathead – even mulloway and snapper. I’ll just have to let you know how to catch all of them!

Over the past few months Sydney has experienced some weird fluctuations in the water temperature, both offshore and in the estuaries, bays and rivers. Just recently I fished eight different spots in Sydney and Brisbane waters and the water temperature varied from 15.6 to 26.1C!

The first place was Botany Bay, where I was chasing kingfish. The northern side of the bay varied between 15.6 and17.1C, while on the southern side of the bay the temperature ranged between 20.2 and 22.4C.

Two days later I was in Port Hacking chasing kingfish and bream with soft plastics, and the water temperature varied from 19 to 21.2C. Next saw me fishing off the beach at Wanda for whiting with beachworms, where the water was a cold 16C.

A couple of days later I fished with Alex Bellissimo at Narrabeen, Collaroy and Dee Why, where the water temperature ranged from 22 to 23C. The final spot was in Brisbane Waters where the water peaked at 26.1C.

These changes in water temperature, resulting from many different factors, sometimes make it very hard to get amongst a few fish. So if you aren’t getting any bites, it may not be the type of bait, spot, rig or technique that you are using. It may just come down to the temperature of water you are fishing in.

If you don’t have a sounder that reads the water temperature, that’s OK – just buy yourself a thermometer and tie a piece of blind cord to it and just drop it over the side of the boat. If you’re fishing from the shore you can just hold it in the water for a few minutes.


For the month of March in Sydney you’ll be in with a great chance of catching a wide variety of fish species – if you find the right water temperature! Botany Bay will have kingfish working the bait schools near Bare Island, Henry Head, and the Kurnell Peninsula, the oil wharf, the Hot Water Outlet and the northern side of the third runway. Just recently there was a 20kg (weighed on certified scales) mulloway caught in Botany Bay at around 8.30am on 10kg braid and a 15kg leader. A great Australia Day catch.

Places to have a look at in Port Hacking would be the entrance to any of the deep bays, the moored boats, Bundeena Wharf and Salmon Haul Bay. You could also try Jibbon Bombora, Osborne Shoal, Merries Reef and Shark Island. Mr ‘Billfish’ caught a 4.98kg mulloway in Port Hacking during the day on a soft plastic, reinforcing the fact that you don’t have to fish for mulloway at night to have any success.

Bream, whiting and dusky flathead will be a good chance for those fishing off the shore from Dolls Point to the entrance to the Cooks River. The breakwalls at the entrance to the Cooks River will also be worth a shot, as will Bare Island, Monoilex Point and the groynes at Kurnell. Further upstream in the Georges River there will be dusky flathead, bream and whiting lying in wait for a feed. Look for a spot where there is a creek or river flowing into the main river, and fish it on the run-out tide.

At Soily Point and surrounds, and up to the old bridge pylons at East Hills, there will be schools of luderick feeding along the rocky and weedy shoreline. These same places will have mulloway on the prowl for feed, so don’t forget to work those hard-bodied lures and soft plastics along the edges. Fish them as slow as possible for best results.

If rock fishing is to your liking, try the southern end of Maroubra Beach and the northern end of Bondi, Garie and Stanwell Park for tailor, Australian salmon, kingfish, bream, snapper, silver trevally and drummer. The rock platform at the southern end of Coalcliff Beach is producing drummer, bream, silver trevally, yellowtail, tailor and Australian Salmon. Pilchards, whitebait and garfish are the gun baits. You could also try using peeled prawns, strips of tuna and pink nippers. Bread is good as bait and berley as well.

Lastly, the next time you’re out and you’re not getting a few fish, try checking the water temperature. You may have to move and find the warmer water areas to get the results you’re after.

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