Try blackfish and leatherjackets
  |  First Published: September 2007

A winter close to the coldest on record didn’t stop me and many other anglers chasing leatherjackets, bream, flathead, kingfish, john dory, tailor, salmon, whiting, drummer, luderick and trevally. Whoever said there are no fish around Sydney region is mad; you just have to work a little harder.

While the added warmth of this month might be welcome, it’s likely to produce some unsettling wind at times.

I would try chasing luderick at places like Soily Point, Lugarno, the Moons, Milperra, the Tom Uglys and Captain Cook bridges in the Georges River and the mangrove-lined shore near Bonnet Bay in the Woronora River. In Port Hacking I know close to 40 spots where you can catch luderick, with some of the best the Lilli Pilli baths, the western side of Yowie Bay, Gray Point, Deer Park, Rathane in the Royal National Park, Gymea Bay baths and Bundeena.

Leatherjackets are another September favourite. You need to find areas where there is combination of kelp, rock, rubble, sand and weed. Rocky drop-offs and submerged reefs would also be worth a look.

Use a No 8 to No 10 long-shanked hook and just enough peeled prawn to fit in the bend of the hook.

Botany Bay is lousy with silver trevally this month the only way you’ll miss out is to not have a bait in the water. To be very successful you should fish as light as the conditions allow. Those who persist with a short leader and heavy sinker might as well stay home. Fishing light is the only way to go when chasing trevally in Port Hacking and Botany Bay.

The flathead will be a bit slow this month so you’ll need to bring out the live bait or larger soft plastics. Try fishing in shallow water up in the back reaches of the rivers and close to the shoreline in the bays, where the flathead will be sunning themselves during the warmer parts of the day. This is why they have the nickname of ‘lizards’.

This month we should also see increasing numbers of tailor and salmon and feeding on the surface. They can play hard to get so you may need to downsize your bait or lure.

One effective technique is to cast the lure and allow it to sink for a number of seconds, then start an erratic retrieve or a slow one. Once you have worked out which one is working, stick to it.

Off the rocks you can chase drummer, luderick, bream and trevally. There will also be a number of squid around, so don’t forget the squid jigs. Use line as light as the conditions allow and to make sure that you have plenty of berley.

I have a number of berley recipes. Some are as simple as mixing bread and water together and bream and drummer off the rocks just can’t get enough of it. Send me some of your recipes and I will send you some of mine.

If you fish light and berley there are quality mixed bags available this month. Here are tailor, whiting, bream, trevally, jackets and squid.

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