It’s trevally time
  |  First Published: March 2015

Trevally are at their top from March onwards but can be taken in lesser numbers all year round. These tough fighters like pink nipper bloodworms and Hawkesbury prawns both peeled and whole.

Not many anglers go out to catch trevally but at times they will give nothing else a chance to take a bait. When they are like that, it is nothing to get your bag limit in quick time.

They are both a day and night fish. Some schools of trevally are very large and often congregate along Brighton Beach where large catches can be made. The aptly named Trevally Alley at the end of the Port Botany container wall is however the hot spot and can always be relied on to provide a feed of blurters.

You will also get them in lesser numbers just about anywhere in the bay including the oil wharf at Kurnell, Watts Reef, Towra Point and larger specimens all the way to Picnic Point in the Georges River. Again, use the same rod and reel as for bream and the same rig. Trevally will take a bait either tide, day or night but prefers the deeper waters during the day and anywhere close to structures at night.

In slack water, I use a rig that has resulted in many fine catches. Use no trace and tie a 1/0 9555B hook with a No. 0 ball sinker running directly above the hook. About 30cms up the line above the hook and sinker, tie a no. 10 swivel to avoid twisting or kinking of the line. I have found that a size 6, 30ft. green luminous bead behind the hook is a great attractant. Place a nipper or whole prawn on the line and cast as far from the boat as possible. I like squirting a little Ultrabite on the bait, which I find is irresistible to the fish. This setup will sink slowly and quite often the trevally will rise up to the bait and take it quickly. If you can get fish in this mood large catches are assured.

A little berley during this method of slack water fishing will keep the school in the area. Quite often the bite of a trevally is just a slight pick. When you feel this, just turn the handle of your reel 2-3 times and lift the rod and you will feel the weight of the fish. Do not strike hard as this will only pull the bait away or tear the hook out of its soft mouth. Most fish will be lost at the boat, so make sure you use a landing net and place the fish in a salt water ice slurry to preserve their eating qualities.

Last month produced excellent catches of bream from Watts Reef with specimens to 1.2kg taken. Watts Reef is the shallow reefy area between the Kurnell Oil Wharf and the Captain Cook Reserve. Because it is shallow, fishers ignore it and in doing so they are missing out on a bundle of good fish. The secret of Watts Reef is to fish it at night – in the daytime you will only get rubbish but at night big bluenose bream are on the prawn and best results are on pink nippers.

To find the spot, line up the blinking red bell buoy with the remains of the old pump house on the oil wharf then come out from the large pine tree on the Kurnell Reserve. I’ve caught over 100 fish in one session prior to the bag limits being introduced. These days, the spot is not as good as it was, but will improve steadily till the beginning of June.

Another possie, which has been fishing well, has been the small groin along the swimming pool on Silver Beach at Kurnell. It is a good general spot and on bright moonlight nights and this wall produces top catches of tailor, flathead, flounder, whiting and bream. This wall is made up of broken rock so watch your step. Make sure you take a landing net with you if fishing this spot.

The late mail is also for the Cooks River Breakwall. The end of the southern wall has been fishing particularly well for school mulloway, bream, trevally and tailor. I like night fishing or at first light hours and the run-out tide will carry your bait out.

One right out of the box and probably the most under-rated river in Sydney is the Woronora River or ‘Wannie’ as it is known to the regulars. Members of the Woronora RSL Fishing Club make outstanding catches, which would make you sit up and take notice. Fishos who give it a miss and try the bigger Georges River are missing out on bream, blackfish, whiting and flathead catches.

And in the upper reaches you can catch estuary perch. When a fresh is on, a lot of perch are washed downstream are often picked up by bream fishers. The Wannie is for small boats only and the entrance to the system has been dredged to deepen the channel. The key to success in the Woronora is the right bait; it is useless in fishing there without those magical estuary baits. Pink nippers or bloodworms are great baits and keeping your line weight down to 4lbs.

Spots to try include The Needles, Shackles, Bonnet Bay, Swains, The Hummers, Jannali Reserve and don’t forget to take your dillies as there are many mud crabs to be taken along the mangroves.

March is a top month for the Georges River and many fish will be taken by those willing to give it a go. Whiting (sand and trumpeter) will be taken in the channels, as will bream, school mulloway and flathead, not to mention the good run of blue swimmer crabs that move onto the flats at half to full tide.

It is in this month also that you can expect a good run of luderick, and given a fair run of weather with a little discoloration in the water, you should have little difficulty in bagging these fine fighters. Selecting a spot is one of the handicaps of angling, so if you try the following, I’m sure that you will be well rewarded.

Como Bridge down to Bald Face has many spots often ignored by the boatman, but if you wish to fish tides that suit, many fine species can be caught on most outings. On the making tide in the main channel at Caravan Head 30m out from shore, you will catch all the species mentioned. This spot also sometimes produces on the first hour of the falling tide, but make sure that you fish with at least a 1.5m of trace and use pink nippers or bloodworms. Always carry a landing net, because some very large whiting come out of this stretch of water and fish to 500g are common. You must remember that fish do move to better feeding grounds like cattle.

Experienced fishos get the best from a given spot, then they move on until the spots start to produce again. On a falling tide, the Connells Point area on the mussel beds for some reason produce excellent bream. It is advisable to fish at least 60m out from the shore. Fish this spot to suit the run, but the last half of the falling tide is best.

Moving over to Bald Face Point now, and this area can only be fished the last two hours of the falling tide because of the hard right turn that the river follows coming down from the Como area. Fish the point at least 50m from the eastern shore. The depth of water is very good and quite often good mulloway will be taken if you wish to live bait this water.

On the slack water, large tailor are hooked so a 3-hook rig with pilchard bait fished with no weight will quite often reward you.

If you intend to try for crabs, the making tide at the entrance to Oyster Bay is very good. Try setting crab traps while you are fishing for other species. Use mullet whole as your crab bait with deep cuts into both sides of the fish.

Over the next few issues we will be looking at the hot spots on the close and wider grounds off Botany Bay and share with you the secrets of success experienced.

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