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The unluckiest prawn
  |  First Published: September 2014



In the Sutherland Shire, September is one of those months that I call a ‘crossover’ month. It can be a month when the weather can’t make up its mind on what it’s doing from day to day, and the water temperature can vary from cold to warm depending on whether you are fish in Botany Bay, the Georges, Cooks or Woronora Rivers and the Port Hacking.

On some days an angler might fish in South-West Arm in 17°C water and find their baits and lures coming back in untouched and cold. At the same time, North-West arm could be around the 20°C mark, with anglers’ offerings getting smashed every cast.

This is why, during this changeover cycle in the weather, you need to move around a fair bit to locate those warm pockets of water. Seeing that most of my fishing during this time of the year is in depths from 4-15m, and my Humminbird detects water temps down to about 1m, I need to rely on other things to give an idea of the water temps down towards the bottom.

One way is to turn up the sensitivity on the sounder, and this will sometime show the thermocline in the water. This layer of warm water can be located mid water or on the bottom. Another way to find out the temperature is to lower a thermometer down or, if you don’t have one, you can try feeling the bait, lures and/or fish to see if they are cold. If they are, you can make a move to find the warmer water.

TREVALLY AND TAILOR

The locations to fish over the next month will depend on the species of fish you want to catch. Most of the usual places in Botany Bay and the Port Hacking will hold silver trevally and tailor. In Botany Bay, these include spots like Trevally Alley, Bare Island, The Oil Wharf, the Sticks, Wide off Towra Point and the end of the Third Runway. In the Port Hacking you could try Lilly Pilly and Gunnamatta baths, Kitcheners Reef and the channel near the Ballast Heap.

The main couple of things you will need to remember when targeting trevally is to have a small but steady stream of berley, peeled Hawkesbury prawns or pilly tails as bait, and fish as light as the current will allow.

SQUID

Squid are another option during September. They went through their breeding cycle in July (Sydney), and because they are a quick growing species they will be on the chew. Squid just love to hang around weed beds and areas that have plenty of kelp. This allows them to change their colouring to match the surroundings so that they can pounce on their unsuspecting prey.

Most of the time when I go chasing squid I use jigs that range from 2.5 to 2.5 in weight. There are a number of techniques that you can use when targeting squid and the couple that I prefer to use are as follows:

1. Cast out the jig and allow it to slowly sink to the required depth. Then lift the rod up vertically a couple of times and allow the squid jig to slowly sink. Repeat this back to the boat or until you have hooked a squid.

2. Cast out the jig, allow it to sink to the required depth and then very slowly wind the jig back to where you are. The slower the better.

For more information go to YouTube.com and search for ‘Squid retrieves with Adam Royter’.

Place that are worth a shot for squid include the break wall from Trevally Alley to the northern corner, from the small beach at La Perouse, the point around from the sailing club at La Perouse, off Bare Island, over the area called The Patches at Towra Point, off the Groynes at Kurnell and Dolls Point, the Kurnell Peninsula and the end of the Third Runway in Botany Bay.

In the Port Hacking from the shore you could try Lilly Pilly, Gymea and Gunnamatta baths. From the boat all you need to do is find a some ribbon weed with sand nearby. Places like upper North and South West arms, Lilly Pilly sand flats, Gunnamatta Bay, Jibbon Point, Kitcheners Reef and the channel near the Ballast Heap are likely spots.

LUDERICK

Another fish species worth targeting in this changeover month is luderick. I was out recently with Scotty Lyons on one of his Luderick Fishing Classes on the Port Hacking to take a few photos of what the customers caught. For most of them it was their first time targeting luderick. Not only did they learn how to mix up the berley and apply it, rig up their outfits, how to care for the fish to keep to eat and collect the green weed/cabbage, they also all caught a few fish.

I managed to get out a couple of days later to use up the leftover weed and I managed to get a few luderick of my own. While out on the water I did notice that there were quite a number of garfish and rather large mullet about, which indicates it would be worth berleying up with some white bread and having a go for them during this month.

Gary Newman from the Sea Bees Fishing club sent a great story on the big bream he caught while fishing down at Narooma while on holidays. He said he had caught a few prawns in the Dalmeny Creek the night before and they were still just kicking when Gary and his two sons went down to the wharf the next afternoon for a fish. As Gary was carrying all the fishing gear for his two sons his youngest, Mathew, had the duty of carrying the half dead prawns. While carrying the bucket Mathew tripped on one of the boards and a lot of the prawns fell through the gaps in the boards and they sank to the bottom in waist deep water.

To Gary’s amazement they stayed in a group on the bottom. Maybe they were shell shocked?

Seeing as the prawns weren't moving much and weren't affected by the strong currents you find running past the wharf, Gary raced over to the unit where they were staying across the road, grabbed a pair of goggles and swimmers, raced back and jumped in. Low and behold, he was able to scoop up quite a few prawns by hand.

It was the second time he had caught those prawns. Unlucky for them but lucky for Gary, as it was on one of these prawns he caught his biggest bream.

If you have any fishing reports or stories you’d like to share, send me an email so I can put in up in my reports. I promise that I will not give out the exact location of where you caught them. My email address is --e-mail address hidden--

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