Time to chase groper
  |  First Published: August 2007

This is the month when the winds usually pick up from the west. It’s when I dust off my groper gear and head down to local rock platforms and chase a few with red crabs and abalone gut.

But the way the weather has been over the past 12 months, who knows what I will be chasing in August in Sydney? We’ve just had the wettest June and Port Hacking, which usually takes just a few days to a week to clear up after rain, is still extremely muddy as I write.

I did manage to get out for a three-hour session on bream on Port Hacking and my tally was five bream for 2.72kg with the largest 36cm to the fork.

At the same time Carl Dubois was out in his kayak on Botany Bay chasing kingfish with soft plastics at the Hot Water outlet, managing fish of 62cm and 65cm. They brought his monthly haul to 12 kings from 55cm to 75cm.

On the same day Scotty Lyons was out with a class fishing places like the hot water outlet, the Drums, Molineaux Point and the end of the Third Runway for silver trevally, bream, a kingfish, yellowtail and a couple of dusky flathead.

This month you couldn’t go to far wrong if you chased leatherjackets, trevally, bream, flathead, squid, salmon, tailor and the odd kingfish in Botany Bay. There should be bream, flathead, mullet, luderick, bass and the odd mulloway in the Georges and Woronora rivers, while Port Hacking should produce plenty of luderick, leatherjackets, trevally, squid, a few bream, whiting, snapper and flathead. There may also be a couple of mulloway hanging around.

Off the rocks you should be targeting bream, trevally, drummer, luderick, salmon, tailor and those groper. The beaches should be producing salmon, tailor, bream and the odd mulloway and shark.


During the colder months you will need to have a constant berley trail if you are at anchor in your boat. From the shore I suggest you have a bag of berley hanging down in front of your spot or just throw out a handful of chicken or dog pellets every five minutes or so.

For bait I would be using chicken in parmesan cheese, mullet and chicken gut, strips of tuna, mullet and slimy mackerel, pieces or whole WA pilchards or strips of skirt steak soaked in tuna oil.

In Winter I find it is not necessary to get up so early to get a feed. Time your fishing to about two hours either side of the top or bottom of the tide and fish with two rods, one rigged with the ball sinker directly down onto the bait and the other with a leader of 1m to 2m. If you find that you are getting more fish on one than the other, make both rigs the same.

If you are land-based around Port Hacking try Gunyah Beach, The Basin, Warumbul and Wants Beach. From a boat try North West Arm, Watts Point and Fishermans Bay.

On Botany Bay try the northern side of Bare Island, Foreshore Drive and the sand spit at Dolls Point.

In the Georges and Woronora rivers, find a stretch of water flanked by a rock wall and concentrate your baits in the area where the rocks and mud or sand meet. This is where the fish will be feeding on rising and falling tides.

Beach and rock areas to try include be the southern end of Maroubra, the northern end of Greenhills, behind Waverley cemetery, McKenzies and Snapper points, Little Beach and Cape Banks. Have a look at www.garybrownfishing.com.au or email me at --e-mail address hidden--

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