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Be patient, the fish will find you
  |  First Published: February 2016



This month’s report will cover the entrance to the Georges River and surrounding areas which at this time of year fish particularly well for most estuarine species.

TOWRA POINT

This point was once graced with an abundance of ribbon weed growth but is fast becoming a very shallow sand flat. This has created different tidal movements of the bay, and some of our good fishing spots have completely gone from this point.

The sand flats however, do produce flathead, whiting and bream on the making tides. I would regard early morning fishing as the optimum time and live bloodworms, nippers and Hawkesbury prawns serve as the top baits.

Crabs are there but not as plentiful as in previous years due to the lack of weed growth.

TOWRA DEEP

Towra Deep is 150m south of the red channel marker right out in the middle of the entrance to the Georges River. This area is on mussel beds and fishes best by day on both tides. It can be a real hotspot on its day, with most bread and butter species found there. A long trace rig works particularly well in this area.

TOWRA WIDE

Best fished on the last three hours of the run-out tide by day for tarwhine, bream, whiting, trevally and flathead in line with Towra Deep and directly behind the red markers and 300m wide of Towra Point itself. It can produce good size schools of mulloway and pan-size reddies on local octopus legs.

TAYLOR BAR

This bar at times can become very treacherous and rough in adverse conditions, with the best fishing to be had from the shore. Excellent fish are caught on bloodworms and nippers. On calm days it is a very good drifting spot.

The bar extends well out to the channel marker and is a good spot for flathead, flounder and whiting. Taylor Bar is on the western side of the entrance to Georges River.

STINK POT

This little bay southwest of Towra Point is, in part, an oyster lease. It is very close to the marine park in this area so take care not to overstep this mark. During February you can get good flathead, big bream and both mud and blue swimmer crabs.

A shallow draft boat is suggested here and it’s only accessible half tide up. It is a real hotspot and is best fished at night with a small running sinker to the hook.

PELICAN POINT FLATS AND LEASES

This is another spot that is building up with sand and can only be fished on the high tide for any worthwhile catches.

The usual array of estuary species are caught here. You can collect pink and green nippers on this flat at low tide.

Just off the shallow marker pole good jackets are available, and mulloway and trevally often take a bait on both tides.

This can be a nasty area with a falling tide and a north wind blowing. Anglers often fish the drop-off near the cardinal marker for reasonable bags of luderick using quill floats on light tackle and good weed. A fresh squid bait at night often picks up a mulloway or large bream.

SOUTHERN END OF CAPTAIN COOK BRIDGE

This is a favourite land-based fishing spot in a southerly wind. To get there, take old Taren Point Road, which goes to the old ferry ramp off Box Road. There are limited parking spots so make sure your vehicle is parked wisely.

Cast towards the first pylon off the bridge. Fish as light as possible. There are nice weed patches which attract luderick and bream.

The old ramp is often used to launch kayaks, canoes and small tinnies but it can be very slippery on the low tide, so take care.

ST GEORGE SAILING CLUB FLATS

This is one of my favourite spots in the river and at times produces the largest whiting in the system. I have caught elbow slappers to 1kg and excellent bream. The best time to fish here is at dusk with the last two hours of the outgoing tide and the first two hours of the rising tide. Live nippers are dynamite and the bloodworm dominate the scene here.

There are three green channel markers close by and the best method is to line each one with the club with approximately 50m north of each one the desired distance. The depth of water is variable and the terrain contains cockles, shail and mussels. Move around this area until you find the fish. The action should continue until the end of March.

CAPTAIN COOK BRIDGE

I have written about this spot many times and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of fish taken from this area.

Firstly, the bridge offers excellent fishing on both tides from a boat. Fish as close to the bridge pylons as possible.

The deepest channel is both sides of the third pylon from the northern side and the famous Jew Hole is 150m west of the bridge.

It is essential to berley near the slack water period as this will attract the fish to your boat. If you’re fishing at night, make sure you comply with all regulations as it’s a very popular area with plenty of boats moving around.

A landing net is a must, and the top baits are bloodworms, nippers, Hawkesbury prawns, local prawns and fresh strips of squid.

SAN SOUCI RESERVE

This reserve is on the northern side of the Captain Cook Bridge and parking is available. This spot is an excellent area to take the kids out for a few hours in safety, and there is great opportunity to fish the Reserve wall, old ferry ramp, the discarded Fisheries wharf and the wharf next to the police station. While there may not be a lot of fish taken, the more experienced fishos always manage to take home a feed.

Small fry such as yellowtail and tailor are there for the taking, and there is always a good chance of bream and flathead. Plenty of octopus are available from the Reserve wall, and the nearby Rocky Point pontoon is a haven for squid jiggers and yellowtail seekers.

I’ve covered all of the main fishing grounds within a few kilometres of each other and if fished correctly there is no reason why you can’t take a good feed home. Still, I stress the fact that it’s time to start looking for new spots in the bay and look for locations which may increase our catches in the future. With the aid of the new Navionics app on my iPhone, I have found new trenches, sand flats, deep holes, structures, reefs, weed corridors and potential opportunities which need to be investigated. Over the next few months I’ll try to cover all these possibilities and report on the outcome.

While we are looking into new apps in our iPhone I recommend Total Fishing. Total Fishing is a comprehensive app that covers all your needs in a small package, and is sure to satisfy even the most hardcore angler.

JANUARY RESULTS

Plenty of trevally were taken at Molineaux Point, mainly from No. 156 and 157 marked on the retaining wall. The drums in the middle of the bay also provide excellent spots to find kingfish. Although most of them were undersize, the odd few legal ones were taken on white and pink Slapstix. Both sides of the oil wharf are productive for tailor at night. Float and suspend pilchard baits under a bobby cork to get into a few.

A few small sharks were also sighted but not landed. The downriggers fared very well with larger kings taken along the front of Cape Banks all the way past Shaky, Julienne and close to Long Bay. If you attempt this type of fishing, it’s vital to have at least one experienced crew member who knows what to expect and how to go about landing a big king – otherwise you will lose most fish. Live squid are the best bait, with squid strips coming in a close second. The Californian squid readily available from most bait shops also work well.

I’ve heard reports of good tailor trolled along the main wall and Yarra Bay early in the morning. The odd salmon has been around too, but I recommend trolling a little deeper as these fish don’t stay on the surface for too long.

The hot water outlet at Kurnell has been inconsistent, with chopper tailor taken at night on floating pillies near the full moon period. Pilchards floated on ganged hooks have worked the best.

The artificial reefs in Congwong have provided plenty of slimy mackerel, and while they provide a bit of sport, they also make great bait and aren’t bad on the plate if smoked in a bit of hickory dust.

Bream have shown up in good numbers, and have been taken around the Sticks, Silver Beach, the Towra weed corridors, the Logs and the Patches. There are some decent specimens among them, with the odd fish nudging the 1kg mark. Live nippers have been the most effective bait, and the best method has been to anchor and give your berley plenty of time to work. If you haven’t got the time to make your recipe, the new Gotcha berley logs are ideal. All you need is a keeper net. Place the log inside it and hang it over the side, and this will last for around four hours. Don’t forget to retrieve it when you’re moving, otherwise you’ll have no berley.

It has been a great month for mulloway, with Captain Cook Bridge and Tom Uglys delivering fish to 6kg. Como Bridge has also offered up fish over 1m. Not far away, the stretch upstream from the bridge to Gungah Point has provided plenty of activity as well. Land-based, it’s hard to go past the rock wall near the Big Dipper at Picnic Point and the deep hole near the railway bridge and Picnic Point.

Plenty of prawns have been scooped up at Coolum Beach, Cattle Duffers Flats, Burrawang Reserve, Lake Gillawarna Beach and the Mickeys Point to Alfords Point stretch.

Cooks River has been a little quiet, but school mulloway have been on the prowl under the March Street Bridge and between the moored boats near the road bridge at Kyeemagh.

I’ve heard a story about two anglers fishing from the wharf at Greenwell Point at 11pm, who were approached by a male person who asked, “What are you fishing for?”

“Mulloway,” they replied.

“What bait are you using?”

“Tailor.”

Straight away they were presented with a Fishing Inspector’s authority card and asked to pull the baits in, which resulted in the issue of infringement notices for possession of undersize tailor. It shows that you need to observe the rules no matter what time of day or night it is.

FEBRUARY PREDICTIONS

The bream run will continue and the size will increase. I expect the schools to move in the 4m depth along Silver Beach and be targeted during the incoming tide. A little patience is needed, but the fish will find you. Bream will also be available from Douglas Park flats to the sailing club during the last of the run-out tide. Live nippers will entice the fish best.

The stretch from Tom Uglys to Como Bridge will also be good, with the deeper parts of the channel the most likely locations.

Plenty of bream will be on the chew in the upper reaches of the Woronora River upstream of the Neales Inlet foot bridge, with the western shoreline the hotspot all the way to Shacklers and Needles. Small black crabs are the dynamite bait for larger bream, and if you’re using plastics I recommend the bloodworm Wriggler.

If you’re going offshore, look no further than the 40-50m mark between Botany Heads and Cape Banks. This is surely the most consistent ground for sand and bluespot flathead between 45-55cm in length. The golf tee in front of the green tank at Kurnell is a good starting place. Cocktail baits of prawns and squid or pilchards will do the job here, and if things are a little quiet, move to the pinnacle in 53m just a few hundred metres northeast for a feed of morwong, reddies and nannygai.

Hargreaves Reef, a little wider out, is the place to try if you’re after a feed of snapper. This flat reef isn’t fished much these days but it’s a real hotspot during February.

Alternatively, you can go just wide of the Wedding Cake Island at Coogee for a feed of reds or kings.

Although this is not part of my designated area, I have to mention the excellent run of bass in the Nepean River. Most readers would know I have a tackle shop at Narellan, which is very close to the Nepean River, and the latest reports of bass catches would make anyone sit up and take notice.

Douglas Park to Menangle Weir, the foot bridge at Elderslie, the grove bridge at Kirkham, Cobbitty Weir and Wallacia Bridge have all produced catches of up to 40cm per session. The best times have been early in the morning and late in the afternoon or night, with the barometric pressure over 1015 hectopascals. Water temperatures over 22°C are desirable, and soft shell cicadas in the darker colours have been simply irresistible.

• For all your fishing needs, as well as the latest info on what’s biting, drop into Gabe’s Boating and Fishing at Narellan (4/1A Somerset Ave), or Silvania (268/264-276 Princes Hwy). You can also call them on (02) 4647 8755 or (02) 9522 5100 respectively, or visit the website at www.gbaf.com.au.

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