Consistent Winter weather can be fantastic, with flat seas and no wind or just a lightly westerly blow. There are none of the Summer southerly busters that seem to rip up the coast and hit at 5am on a Saturday, just in time to stuff the weekend’s fishing.
I find Winter is just right. Sure, it’s cool in the mornings and the fingers struggle to remove the next pilchard from the block that is almost impossible to thaw but July can produce some outstanding fishing.
The odd kingfish is still lurking, not in big numbers so they’re a little hard to target but what a top season we have just had on all of Sydney’s water ways. The average size has increased and the numbers have been about to the end of May and all looks great for the future. I’d love to push to keep kingies as a recreational- only fish; in my eyes they’re right up there along with the barramundi as iconic Australian sport fish.
Early starts are not needed at this time of the year unless you are looking for tailor. Tailor hold around the reefs and along the Oil Wharf in the pre-dawn, just anchor around these spots and berley with chopped pilchards and if they’re around the fish will respond well.
We fish with two 3/0 hooks ganged together and baited with half a pilchard and not much lead, if any.
Tailor normally go off the bite as the sun rises and then it’s time to target silver trevally. Botany Bay holds good numbers of trevally most of the year these days but Winter is trevally time. These really are top little sport fish and damn fine on the plate.
To catch your share, fish light in a berley trail around structure. Spots to fish in Winter include The Drums, the Third Runway, Trevally Alley, the Oil Wharf and Bare island. The trick is to find them, because the schools move around a little at times. Spend about 30 to 40 minutes at each spot until you locate the best fish.
Around 10am it’s time to target blackfish. I have fished for luderick all my life, most of the time in the Hacking River. To find luderick you need to fish around structure a little different form that in the trevally spots, where you are in water around 10m to 15m.
Most times in the Bay I fish for blackfish in around 3m to 5m along the Container Wall or at the edge of Bare Island or Watts Reef. These spots will produce good numbers of fish at times. Berley of chopped green weed is mixed with sand to help the weed sink to the depth the blackfish are feeding.
The rig is a small stick float weighted just right and a No 8 hook for the luderick’s small mouth. The smaller hook presents the weed bait more naturally to the fish. The float keeps the bait off the bottom and feeding in your berley trail. Bites at times can be fast and furious so be vigilant in watching your float as it drifts away from the boat.
Luderick fishing is rewarding and just a great way to target another species this Winter so next time you are out on the water give it a try.Reads: 422