Luderick are starting to show up in Sydney at a number of places that can be accessed either by a boat or off the shore. You will also find the bream have started to come back into the rivers and bays and, for those of you who like a feed of squid, the weed and kelp beds will be a great place to start chasing a feed of calamari.
Over the years I’ve found that to be very successful on luderick you need to have fresh weed or cabbage and a small but consistent stream of berley. If you are going to target luderick off the rocks you could use either the fine stringy weed, green or brown cabbage and cunjevoi that grows on the rocks. Luderick love to graze on this bait as the tide starts to rise.
Most of the places that I fish for luderick off the rocks you will find small tufts of either green, brown or black cabbage. It is this growth that you not only use for bait, but you scape it off with the cleats or spikes on the bottom of your shoes.
It doesn’t matter whether you are fishing in a wash, gutter, a washout, off sloping rocks or a flat platform, you need to use a berley. This berley can come in many forms, but the one that I like best is a mixture of chopped up green and brown cabbage mixed into semi-dry sand. You should scrape some off before you start to get your gear rigged and then every time that you move about on the rocks.
For this berley to work you will need to have some kind of water movement, i.e. change of tide and swell. The swell and tide will carry the berley away from the rocks and hopefully bring the luderick into where your float is.
One thing you will need to check out is the NSW Fisheries web page and find out whether you are allowed to harvest these various baits from the spot you are fishing from. To check this out you will need to read up on the intertidal protection zones (IPAs).
Places that you could give a try are the northern end of Garie Beach, the western end of Jibbon Beach, Windy Point at Cronulla, Bare Island in Botany Bay, the point at La Perouse and the southern end of Bondi Beach.
Bridge pylons are another great place to target luderick in the Sutherland and St Georges shires and they come in all shapes and sizes, and it is these different shapes and sizes that will help form the eddies you’ll see when fishing these structures. You will also find that these eddies will scour out the bottom to form a hole, which can range from a very deep sandy hole or a slight depression.
Due to the fact that there are many different pylon shapes, you will need to work out which technique is better for each bridge. The Captain Cook Bridge at the entrance to the Georges River in Sydney is renowned for its luderick fishing during the winter months. On most days you’ll see a group of anglers walking along the base of the pylons fishing for luderick.
You could also try the eastern side of the Woronora Bridge, Bald Face, Soily and Oatley Points, Picnic Point and the rock wall east of the Alford’s Point Bridge.
Squid can be found while fishing off any one of the wharfs in the Port Hacking. Try Gunnamatta, Gymea, Lilly Pilly and Yowie Bays.
I use a number of methods to catch squid. One effective method is to cast out the squid jig and allow it to sink almost to the bottom, and then start the retrieve by giving the jig a few short jerks to gain the attention of any nearby squid. If you are fishing under bright lights you will be able to see the squid approaching the jig. If a squid comes at the jig at high speed, this means it is crazy about your jig and it will probably grab it. Get ready! As soon as you see the squid grab your jig, strike to set the hooks. Then steadily wind the squid to your waiting net. Don't let the line go slack or you may lose your squid!
I recommend using a net because the squid are often hooked by just one very skinny leg and as soon as you try to lift them out of the water they fall off the jig. I must confess however, that some of the time I can't be bothered carrying a net myself and I just hope for the best. With very large squid, I sometimes lean over and pick up the squid by grabbing it behind the head. Then I lift the squid out of the water by hand.
July will see an increase in the numbers of silver trevally, so don’t forget to take your berley with you. Trevally can’t seem to resist a steady stream of chicken pellets with some smashed up pilchards mixed in.
If you want to target a bream, flathead and flounder, I recommend that you get yourself one of those Alvey clear poddy traps and catch yourself some live bait.
The beaches from south Cronulla to Greenhills will be worth a shot in the early morning and late afternoon for tailor and salmon on either whole pilchards or garfish. The odd ray, shark and mulloway can be caught at night.
Bondi, Coogee and Maroubra beaches will be worth a shot with live beach worms for bream, trevally and dart on a rising tide.Reads: 1757