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It’s luderick time
  |  First Published: May 2015



If you are a luderick fan, there are plenty to be had in Botany Bay, the Georges River and the Woronora. Because of the large number of private dwellings on the waterfront, most blackfishing is done from a small boat. Therefore the rod should not be too long, about 2.7m, with a light and sensitive tip action. In the earlier days centrepins were all the rage, but these days a 4000 size spinning reel works very well and is more suitable for other applications.

Lines vary from fisho to fisho, but keen anglers use 3-4kg main line with 2kg trace, a selection of split shot from 00-1, and either a 10 or 8 sneck pattern hook. Floats must suit the conditions; calm water requires quill or fine pencil floats, while waters that move quickly need a heavier cork float. A landing net is a must, plus a keeper net to keep the catch alive over the side of the boat.

Luderick can be shy biters, often just sucking at the bait and then moving on. I like to use strong strand fine weed, which they seem to like better than the coarse variety. Most fishos prefer Botany weed and this can be still gathered in certain locations along the shoreline, from moorings, and around oyster leases. Berley is a must, and this is a recipe that works for me:

Mix a sugarbag of dry sand, 1kg of green weed cut very finely, and a third of a loaf of stale bread mixed into the sand. Mix all this together for easy carrying and then add water to suit.

There are times when luderick won’t take weed, so then squirtworms and bloodworms become their staple diet. Use the float rig as you would with weed and the results can be surprising.

Tides play a very important part in this sort of fishing. When fishing over flats that have a weedy bottom, you will find that a rising tide is best. You may start off fishing in relatively shallow water, but as the tide increases, adjust the float to suit the depth. On low tides, always fish the channel adjacent to the flats, as this is where the fish are.

Georges River is possibly the state’s best luderick possie and I’ve listed below a number of locations that can be relied upon to provide a feed:

Try the pylons of Captain Cook Bridge on both the northern and southern sides. The entrance to Cooks River and Muddy Creek are excellent on the incoming tide. Cranbrook, all along the retaining wall is worth trying. This is good country, especially on the small tides. Little Moon and Big Moon Bays are excellent, with the red gum right on the waterfront prized territory. Bakers Rock on the opposite side of the Moons can be seen on the low tide and is separated from the shoreline. Russell Jones and Blackbutt are household names amongst luderick fans, and Mickeys Point is regarded as the home of big fish during the run-in tide.

The bay itself has lived up to expectations during the past few weeks, and those fishing as light as possible, working the right tides, and using live baits have reaped the rewards.

On the southern side, Watts Reef has provided good catches of bream at night for anyone using live nippers and bloodworms, especially during a rising tide and north easterly winds. The hot water outlet has supplied copious quantities of chopper tailor at night, mainly around the 35-40cm size, and they have shown a preference for unweighted salted pillies.

The weed patches along the Silver Beach stretch have been fishing well for dusky flathead, with whitebait the best enticer. It is surprising to see so many small sand octopus caught in the same area. If you are lucky enough to land a few, cut their tentacles off and use them for bait. For mine, this is the best bait at present and will catch most species.

The Towra weed corridors have been a little disappointing, with the bream run failing to live up to expectations. Sure, a few were taken, but not as many as in previous years. The Kyeemagh to Ramsgate Beach stretch has been good, with tailor taken just on first light and flatties later in the day. Boat traffic has been at a premium in front of the runways and the better catches have been from late evenings during the week.

One surprising possie has been the small retaining wall adjacent to the foreshore boat ramp. This spot has produced mulloway, snapper, trevally and salmon, with pillies and squid doing the damage. Molineaux Point has been fishing okay without breaking any records, with numbers 156 and 157 on the reclamation wall being popular haunts. A few whiting have been taken from La Perouse Beach at first light on bloodworms.

On the Georges River front, there are acres of small cockney bream taking baits meant for larger fish, and they are extremely hard to escape. Avoid the deeper waters and stick to the shallower cockle beds for better results.

The Captain Cook Bridge pylons have provided plenty of chopper tailor at night, while class whiting have fallen for bloodworms just inside the channel marker at Baldface Point. The falling tide is best. Bream have made an appearance on the Kyle Bay cockle beds, with fish to 38cm taking nippers. Connells Point hasn’t been too bad for trevally, with the better catches taken in the deep water of the main channel.

Further up-river, luderick have made a showing around Lambeth Reserve and Blackbutt, but they are a day-to-day proposition. Prawns have been scooped up in the upper reaches, with some extra large specimen amongst them. Coolum Beach and Burrawang have been the hot spots.

At time of writing, I’m told that big whiting to 47cm have started to infiltrate the system, and they can be found in front of the San Souci Sailing Club during the first couple of hours of the incoming tide. You’ll need live bloodworms or locally pumped nippers. I cannot stress enough of the importance of using locally pumped nippers, as they are of a different colour and the fish love them.

You will also find big whiting on the sandflats at the entrance to the Woronora River, with night time the best. In the bay itself, the Sticks at Kurnell and the mussel beds along Silver Beach will be all the rage for big bluenose bream, and these should hang around for a few weeks.

I would also suggest buying the Navionics Apps for Botany Bay, as this will show you all the man-made trenches from Kurnell to Kyeemagh, bearing in mind that these have been made for the pipeline from the salinity plant at Kurnell. This is great information and can be relied upon to provide excellent catches.

If you would like to get some weed for luderick, try the drains in Yarra Bay, Little River Creek at San Souci, Muddy Creek, Salt Pan Creek near Davies Road at Padstow, upper Kelso Creek, and the little creek near Bankstown Airport.

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