Worm up for best bait results
  |  First Published: March 2016

Even though January and February may have been a bit slow at times in the southern areas of Sydney, there were some great bags to be had and throughout March you will surely see an improvement in the number of anglers getting out and finding good bags of fish.

Scotty Lyons from Southern Sydney Fishing Tours has caught a number of silver trevally to 40cm while anchored up and berleying at the Sticks, the end of the third runway, trevally alley and on the southern side of the Bare Island bombora. The most effective bait has been peeled prawns, pink nippers and half pillie tails. Berley with chicken pellets and smashed up old pilchards to increase your catch rate.

I’ve been out chasing dusky flathead, bream, trevally and whiting in Botany Bay and the Port Hacking River and my best captures have been on live pink nippers, blood worms and fillets of pilchards. Places that would be worth a look at in Botany Bay for those fishing out from a boat include the end of the old runway, the third runway, the fisheries markers in Yarra Bay, Henry Head, Sutherland Point, Watts Reef, Sliver Beach and the deep drop-off at Towra.

Anglers who fish from the shore should try the northern side of Tom Uglys Bridge, the north and south side of Captain Cooks Bridge, the hand rails off Dolls Pont, the breakwall at the entrance to the Cooks River, the breakwall at Fishermans Beach in Yarra Bay and Bare Island. The Point at Kurnell would also be worth a shot on a rising tide.

Even though the Port Hacking River has been a bit on the dirty side due to the rain we have experienced, the fish have been on the chew. Daniel from Bundeena fished off the spit at the end of Maianbar and caught three whiting, two dusky flathead and one trevally. All were caught on pink nippers that were pumped at Maianbar.

Other places that you could try from the shore in the Port Hacking River would be Jibbon Beach during a southerly wind, Wanda through to Greenhill beach during a northeast wind, Gymea Bay baths and the wharf at either Lilli Pilli or in Bundeena Bay.

Boating anglers should try the southern side of the southwest arm, the drop-off at Lilli Pilli, the entrance to Yarra and Gymea bays and just inside the heads at Jibbon.

The rocks off Cronulla, Boat Harbour and Marley are worth a shot for bream, trevally and drummer. Berley with bread and smashed up old pilchards to get them on the chew. Further south, Garie, Stanwell and Era beaches have produced salmon and tailor early in the morning or just as the sun goes down. Whole pilchards or garfish on a set of ganged hooks have been effective.

My preferred baits are blood worms and pink nippers, but if you are not into pumping for your nippers, you could always take a run over to Mac’s Bait Bar at Blakehurst and pick up a few. While you’re there, pick up a few blood and beach worms. They also sell IQF pilchards. They are situated on the northern side of Tom Uglys Bridge and are open every day. Their phone number is 9546 1341.

Peter Wright from Como chased mulloway from the northern side of the bridge during February and managed a few. He recommends fishing on a rising tide with mullet fillets during March. You could also try Bald Face Point, Kangaroo Point and off the shoreline on the southern side of Lugarno.

If you get a chance, head down to the beach at Wanda and chase a feed of fish. I was down there recently and managed to get a few whiting, bream and a couple of large dart. All the fish were caught on beach worms using a paternoster rig. Stanwell Park and Garie beaches would also be worth a shot.

For those that prefer to fish on the northern side of Botany Bay you could try Maroubra and Bondi beaches in the early part of the morning before too many people get up. Try the afternoon for salmon and tailor while using whole pilchards.

Jeremy Reid, who was fishing in the southern highlands at Fitzroy Falls Dam near Robertson, managed to get a nice carp using corn for bait. If you don’t mind fishing for trout and carp, Fitzroy Falls Dam is worth a trip. Take along a couple of rods, a can of corn, a comfortable chair and a few lures and you too could help clean out the carp from the dam. You’d also be in with a chance of landing a trout.

Offshore fishing has been a bit of a hit and miss affair – you will need to do the hard yards to find the fish one day and the next they’ll be just about jumping in the boat. Snapper, morwong and pigfish have been caught off the close inshore reefs north and south of the entrance to Botany Bay. Try drifting Osborn Shoals, Hacking Wreck, Boat Harbour and the Kurnell Cark Park.

I will be busy holding talks at a couple of BCF stores this month. Catch me at Taren Point on 9 March, and at Warrawong on 30 March. I will also be running a lure only class at Windybanks Bait and Tackle during March. If you are interested in coming along send me an email and I will send you the details.

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