Time and time again I hear of anglers not wanting to fish during the Winter, maybe because of the cold, because they or their kids are involved in sport over the weekend or maybe because they just couldn’t be bothered.
Many of these fair-weather anglers will also say that there are no fish around during the Winter but that’s sour grapes or ignorance. I was out on Botany Bay last Friday with Ken Newman from Engadine and in just under two hours we caught 27 silver trevally from 400g to 1.35kg on peeled prawns. And we didn’t launch the boat until 8am.
The main things that contributed to our catch were a berley of bread and pilchards berley, peeled prawns on 1/0 circle hooks and very little sinker weight. We fished about two hours before the run-up tide at Trevally Alley.
There were people in three other boats anchored close by that were not even turning a reel. They were not peeling their prawns, their rigs were so heavy they could have anchored the Queen Mary and they were not berleying.
So if you think fishing in Winter is a waste of time, you far from the truth. But I should be grateful to you because you’re helping to create less crowding on the water.
At this time of year the kingfish in Botany Bay are in only small numbers but those that are caught tend to be bigger but you need to have quality bait to tempt them.
There will be plenty of quality silver trevally around and bream will have started to return from the beaches and rocks. They can be found at The Drums, the ends of the runways, Trevally Alley, Bare Island, Sutherland Point, The Sticks, Dolls Point and the deep water off Towra Point.
Farther upstream, you should try places like the Captain Cook, Tom Uglys, Como, Alfords Point and M5 Bridges. Bald Face and Kangaroo points would also be worth a shot from the shore.
Cattle Duffers, Picnic Point, Soily Point and the entrance to Salt Pan Creek will also hold fish on the run-out tide. Best baits should be chicken soaked in parmesan cheese, strips of skirt steak, chicken gut, mullet gut, striped tuna and soft plastics.
The Georges and Woronora rivers hold plenty of luderick during Winter and you don’t have to get up early to get a feed of them. Bright, sunny days are the go for chasing them because it makes it a lot easier to see the float.
Flathead can be caught in the upper reaches of the Georges and Woronora rivers on live bait or soft plastics. You could also try drifting with pilchard tails and whitebait.
Port Hacking will be the place to go if you are after squid, leatherjackets, silver trevally or whiting. The sand flats and rocky shoreline of Port Hacking are very productive during the cooler months and luderick will also be feeding around the weed beds.
Offshore there will still be plenty of chinaman leatherjackets, morwong, silver trevally, cuttlefish and snapper. Try fishing Osborne Shoals, Merries Reef, Jibbon Bombora, The Balconies and the point at Marley. The 40m to 50m mark off the lighthouse at Kurnell is also worthwhile.
There will also be a few sand and tiger flathead at the 38m to 50m marks off Bondi and Maroubra. Salmon and tailor will be schooling up feeding on the small slimy mackerel, pilchards and white bait so don’t forget to pack some small metal lures and Rapala CD 7s and CD 9s so you can cast or troll for them. You could also try small Christmas tree lures.
Early mornings and late afternoons, bream, whiting and tailor would be worth a shot off the beaches at Wanda, Burning Palms, Bondi and Maroubra.
So next time you’re sitting at home dreaming of going fishing when the weather warms up, get out there and see what the cooler months have to offer. For more information or to ask me some questions check my new website, www.garybrownfishing.com.au or email me.