Stay home or fish?
  |  First Published: June 2014

Now that it has turned really cold, a thought occurs to many anglers: “Do I stay at home or do I go for a fish?”

“Go for a fish” is my choice. During the winter months you tend to find fewer anglers getting out on the water, and for me this is a great time to get out for a fish.

The question is do I go out chasing bream in the estuaries or off the beach and rocks? Maybe I should go and target luderick over the weed beds in the Port Hacking or along those rock walls near Soily Point in the Georges River. What about chasing salmon, tailor and bonito off the rocks at Kurnell or Bare Island? Or should I just go and anchor up on a run-out tide off the oil wharf in Botany Bay and berley up silver trevally, bream and snapper?

Decisions, decisions… but the solution is easy. I will do them all!

Three-day TRIP

Just recently I had a window of three days to get out and chase a few fish out of the estuary and off the rocks, so here’s an insight into what pre-planning I went through and how we went over those three days.

After looking over the weather forecast for the three days we decided to chase bream and silver trevally in Botany Bay, with the possibility of getting a few squid. The second day would be devoted to chasing luderick on a falling tide in the Port Hacking and then the third day would be chasing salmon, tailor, bonito, bream, trevally and drummer off the rocks in the Royal National Park.

In the few weeks leading up to the three days I restocked the tackle boxes in the boat with sinkers, swivels and hooks. Made a visit to the local tackle shop and stocked up on a few kilo packets of Hawkesbury River prawns, a few blocks of pilchards and some whitebait. I also went to Coles and brought a couple of kilos of uncooked tiger prawns. I also took time out to visit the local bread shop to grab a couple of bags of bread for berley.

Next I made sure that I had topped up the Alvey reels with some extra line, organized my Alvey shoulder bag, safety footwear, spray jackets and rods. I also pre-rigged my luderick rods so I could start fishing as soon as I had anchored up.

Day one we anchored up on the western side of the oil wharf off Silver Beach at Kurnell on the start of the run-out tide. It wasn’t long before the berley trail of bread started to do its job and a few silver trevally, bream and undersized snapper started to come in. We also tried fishing the end of the third runway, Monoliex Point, the drums and Sutherland Point where we managed to get a few squid as well. I have found over the years the trick to successfully fishing Botany Bay is to be prepared to move out a bit to find the fish and make sure that you have a small, but steady stream of berley going out the back of the boat. If you can’t get hold of some bream you could always try using chicken layer pellets or mashed up old pilchards.

Day two had us chasing luderick in the Port Hacking. We made a quick trip to gather some weed and cabbage off the rocks at Cronulla, and made up some berley with moist sand, chopped up weed and cabbage and a little bit of bread mixed in. Even though we had a perfect run-out tide, boy – did we have to work hard to get a few fish! The places we tried were the Ballast Heap, the entrance to Little Turriel Bay, Yowie and Gymea Bays, the Fisheries Point and Bundeena. On the way back to the ramp at Yowie Bay we did manage to pick up a few more squid for bait while fishing off the rocks.

We vacuum sealed our squid (along with those caught the previous day) and stored them in the bottom section of the fridge. We still had leftover pilchards, prawns and whitebait as well.

Day three had us up early so that we could arrive at our chosen rock platform near Bundeena as the sun was coming up. Upon arriving the first thing I did was check out the water and wave conditions while my mate mixed up the berley. Once we decided it was safe to start fishing the berley was the first thing to enter the water. It took about 20 minutes before the first fish started to come up the berley trail and then it was a reasonable procession of silver trevally, bream, salmon, tailor and the odd six-spined leatherjacket and groper.

At the end of the morning’s session we had no bread, pilchards and squid left so it made it much easier on the walk back to the car.

Now I do realize you may not be able to get to fish for three days in a row, but you should still plan and prepare for your outing a few days before you go. Do this, and June will see you out there fishing a lot more even though it may be cold.

If you would like some more information on where to go for a fish, all you need to do is send an email to --e-mail address hidden-- and I will get back to you.

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