April — my favourite fishing month
  |  First Published: April 2015

What can you expect to find in the southern Sydney region during April? Well there’s bream, whiting, flathead, silver trevally, kingfish, tailor, salmon, bonito, luderick, drummer and leatherjackets. That’s why April would have to be my favourite month of the year. If you put the time and effort into your fishing, there are so many choices it’s sometimes hard to know what to target first.

My best advice would be to pick a species, and then decide whether you are going to fish in the estuary, off the shore, out of a boat, off the rocks, or from the beach.

Once you have decided what and where you are going to go, you will then need to decide whether you are going to use bait or lures, as I find it a bit hard doing both — especially when it comes to bream, whiting and flathead.

Now that you have decided what, when and how, you will need to decide at what time of the day or night you are going to go. After all of this you will need to decide what tide you are going to fish.

A friend of mine advised me many years ago that to be able to put this all together and make it a successful day, you will need to spend what they call ‘time on the water’.

Now it is not always possible to put in as much effort as you would like, as things do get in the way — work, household chores, taking the kids to sport, school and so many other interruptions.

If you are time poor, I would strongly think about going out with a guide or on a charter. The reason why these guys are so good is that they are able to spend that ‘time on the water’ taking out other anglers to show them how to put it all together.

Sure it costs money, but if you tally up how much you have spent chasing a feed of fish without much luck, you would probably find that you could have gone for a few trips with a guide or charter operator.

Say, for instance, you have gone beach fishing for bream, flathead and whiting, and on a couple of occasion you have come home with a fish or 2. When targeting these species, I would have to say that the beachworm is the number 1 bait, with pink nippers coming in a close second.

Sure, you can go and buy worms and nippers from a Macs Bait Bar or Gabes at Sylvania, but what about learning how to catch beachworms yourself? Not only is it great fun, it is very rewarding when you catch fish on the worms you have caught.

Don’t know how and where to go to catch beachworms, you say? Easy fixed, all you need to do is get on the phone and dial (0408) 283 616 and speak to Alex Bellissimo, or email him at --e-mail address hidden-- and book a beachworming session with him. Then, after you have been shown how to gather your own worms, Alex will show you how to catch bream, whiting and flathead on them.

Alex can also show you how to target bream, trevally, snapper, kingfish, drummer and luderick off the rocks, and the good thing is that he will supply all the gear and bait you need.

Okay, so beach and rock fishing doesn’t take your fancy. Maybe you would like to target luderick in the estuary? Scotty Lyons from Southern Sydney Fishing Tours runs luderick classes at Port Hacking. Scotty will show you how to make up a berley, let you know what type of place to look out for when getting weed, what type of gear and tackle to use, how to anchor up, how and when to berley, and when to strike when you get a down.

All of this is at Port Hacking. Yeah, but you want to target luderick when you go on a holiday up north or down south and you think that because you don’t fish in the Port you won’t learn anything. What Scotty doesn’t know about chasing luderick you don’t want to know. He will give you enough information and techniques on how to target the weed eaters and you will soon find yourself out there chasing them at your own favourite spots.

Scotty doesn’t just target luderick, he will also teach you how to target, bream, whiting, flathead, kingfish, salmon, tailor, silver trevally, mahimahi, snapper, morwong, leatherjackets and much more. Scotty is what I would call an all-round angler who can catch anything he puts his mind to. So why don’t you give him a call on (0418) 169 439 or email him at --e-mail address hidden-- and see what he can offer you.

Maybe you want to target kingfish, mulloway, bream, flathead, trevally, salmon and tailor in Sydney Harbour. Why don’t you give Craig McGill a call on (0412) 918 127 or check out his websitwww.fishabout.com.au/home and send him an email. Craig has been operating a guiding business in Sydney since 1993, and started off working 7 days a week on the water. He will teach you how to use both bait and lures, and the information gained will help you fish anywhere you want.

I have fished with all these guys at some time or another, and believe me, over the years I have learned a number of things from them. Alex taught me how to get my own beachworms, Scotty taught me a special way to fresh nippers so that you can use them after they have thawed out, and Craig taught me a couple of ways to rig a live squid.

Now someone who I haven’t had a chance to fish with yet is Dan Selby. Dan owns and runs Sydney Sportsfishing Adventures and caters for the experienced angler looking for that next big hookup, and novices wanting to learn the basics of knots, rigs and techniques, plus everything in between. I have been told that Dan has a wealth of knowledge on Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River, and is only too happy to share this with his clients.

You can learn how to use soft plastics, blades, hardbody lures and squid jigs, plus catching and utilising live baits. Target species include mulloway, kingfish, bream, bass, tailor, salmon, flathead, squid and estuary perch just to name a few.

So I would suggest you have a read of Dan’s page in NSWFM, check out his website at www.sydneysportfishing.com.au , or send him an email at --e-mail address hidden-- and see what he has to offer.

As I stated earlier, it’s time on the water that will make you a better angler, and these guys will reduce that time simply by going out with them.


Knowing how to hook-up a live squid is essential to catching big kingfish.


Happy customers from a Scotty Lyons offshore trip.


Rob McAdam with his first-ever kingfish of 57cm. Yours truly taught Rob how to target it with pink nippers.

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