First of all, I would like to wish all the readers of NSW Fishing Monthly a Merry Christmas and I hope that Santa fills your stocking with many fishing presents. December for me is one of those extremely busy months where I have my wife Leanne’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas nights out, the last of the fishing classes for the year, Christmas Day, and yes, plenty of time spent on the water fishing.
What to target during December? You could troll hard-bodied lures and soft plastics for kingfish in Botany Bay and Port Hacking. Or maybe have a go at downrigging for them? What about setting up a live bait under a bobby cork off the rocks?
Places that are worth a look at are the end of the third runway on a run-up tide, or the oil wharf on a run-out tide. You could also try the end of Monoliex Point, or the mooring drums. Trolling the deep edges of Yarra Bay is always worth a shot, as is dropping a live yellowtail or squid off the back of Bare Island.
In Port Hacking you could try downrigging squid, slimy mackerel and yellowtail in the main channel, around Shark Island, and the bommies at Jibbon. Southwest Arm is always worth a shot for kingfish during December, and you may come across a mulloway or two.
Dusky flathead in both Port Hacking and Botany Bay will definitely be on the chew. Try working the dropoff at the end of the main channel near Dolls Point, Towra Wide, Yarra Bay, the end of the first and third runway, and Silver Beach at Kurnell. Soft plastics like the new 4” Gulp Nemesis on a 1/8th jig head would be a great lure to use. Blades will also work a treat in these areas. Maybe you could berley up a few live poddy mullet or small yellowtail and try drifting near the Captain Cook marker.
The Georges and Woronora rivers will have dusky flathead, bream, whiting, mullet, mulloway and flounder. Try using strips of fresh mullet, whole Hawkesbury River prawns, live poddy mullet, bloodworms and pink nippers. Places that have been producing a few fish are the entrance to the Woronora River, Como Bridge, the Moons, the entrance to Salt Pan Creek, Milperra Bridge, and the shoreline along the Georges River State Park.
Offshore you could try drifting for sand and tiger flathead from the 35-50m mark. I have found a paternoster rig where the sinker is not at the bottom of the rig, but the second dropper up, and a 4/0 Owner circle hook at the bottom works best. Try catching a few slimy mackerel and salting them; they make a great tough bait for flathead.
Silver trevally will be found at their usual haunts: the end of the third runway, Monoliex Point, Yarra Bay fisheries artificial reef, Bare Island, Sutherland Point, the oil wharf at Kurnell, Dolls Point and at the end of the Cooks River breakwall. All these places seem to fish better on the run-out tide, but don’t let that stop you trying the run-in. Berley with a mixture of chicken layer pellets, bread and mashed up old pilchards.
The two main rigs I use for silver trevally are a running ball sinker down onto the bait, and a ball sinker down onto a swivel and a 1-2m leader. Best baits are peeled prawns, strips of squid, pillie tails and pink nippers.
December is a time when the whiting will increase in numbers in Port Hacking and Botany Bay. I have found that to be successful you will need to use either bloodworms, pink nippers or small strips of freshly caught squid.
In Botany Bay the stretch of shoreline from Dolls Point to the Cooks River, Silver Beach at Kurnell and Fishermans Beach in Yarra Bay, and in Port Hacking Lilly Pilly, Gunnamatta Baths, Swallow Rock Drive and Gymea Bay Baths work well for the shore-based angler.
For the boat-based, you could try Towra Patches, Towra Wide, Silver Beach, and Yarra Bay in Botany Bay. In Port Hacking, just about any of the sand flats will produce whiting on either bloodworms or nippers. The bigger ones tend to bite better during the dark or on an overcast day.
You could also give Maroubra, Coogee, Wanda, Greenhills, Garie and Stanwell Park beaches ago for bream and whiting during the day, and early morning or afternoon for tailor, salmon and the odd mulloway. Whole pilchards or garfish on a set of ganged hooks would be the go.
Offshore reefs are producing snapper, morwong, pigfish, silver trevally and leatherjackets. Places that are worth a shot are just east of Wedding Cake Island (S 33.55.544 E 151.15.900) off Maroubra, the Twelve Mile (S 33.55.660 E 151.28.510) and what they call the Kurnell Car Park (S 34.01.320 E 151.14.300). You can try drifting or anchoring up at the Wedding Cake or Kurnell Car Park, but it is very deep at the Twelve Mile.
Over the past month I have had a couple of photos sent in by Melissa Baker out Camden way of her two sons Adam and Stewart, who went for a fish on Absolute Ocean Charters from Broome www.absoluteoceancharters.com.au
They managed to catch a number of different species like Spanish mackerel and black snapper.
Even though Gary Baker did catch a number of fish, he is a bit camera shy.
Don’t forget, if you have a fishing experience that you would like to share with me, send me an email at --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 1489