Dusting off the luderick outfit
  |  First Published: April 2016

By now the luderick will have started to increase in numbers, both in the estuaries and off the rocks. That means it’s time to start dusting off that luderick outfit, checking the guides on your favourite floats, and restocking your tackle box with sinkers, swivels, hooks, beads and so on. And most of all, you should be on the look-out for some of that quality green weed and cabbage.

Just of late I have been out chasing a feed of bream, whiting and flathead and I’m always on the lookout for luderick. Even though they are there year round, I have found that over the years the numbers start to increase from the end of March and start to die down around September.

If you are looking for somewhere to try shore-based fishing for luderick you could try the Cook River breakwall, Bare Island, the groynes at Kurnell, the north and south sides of the Taren Point bridge, the entrance to Oyster Bay, Bonnet Bay in the Woronora River, Soily Point and Picnic Point in the Georges River.

In the Port Hacking River, you could try Gymea Bay, Lilly Pilly and Gunnamatta Bay baths, Old Wallys wharf and the boat ramp in Yowie Bay. Swallow Rock Drive is also worth a shot.

For the boat angler, all you need to do is look for a stretch of shoreline that has a bank (it can be rock or mud), weed bed and sand on the outside. To start with, I recommend taking a walk along the foreshore at Dolls Point or the southern side of the Georges River at Lugarno. If you check these places out it will give you a bit of an idea of what to look for.

If you are going to fish off the rocks, I would firstly make sure that you have god footwear and the conditions are only slight. Just enough wash is enough. Too much wash and it gets dangerous.

Whether you are fishing off the shore in the estuary, out of a boat or off the rocks you will need to make sure that you have berley. Sure you can catch them without berley, but if you want to keep the bite going you will need to have at least a 20L bucket of berley. I mix chopped up green weed, sand and about six slices of white bread for my berley.

Dusky flathead are still in good numbers in Botany Bay around the end of the third runway, Yarra Bay, Silver Beach at Kurnell, Dolls Point to Brighton, Woolooware Bay and upstream from the Como Bridge to the bridge at Alfords Point. At this time of the year I find that small whitebait, strips of fresh mullet or tuna and poddy mullet are the go.

If you are after a few big dusky flathead in the Port Hacking I would try the entrance to South and Northwest arm, Gymea and Yowie Bay and the run-out off the eastern side of the sand spit at Maianbar.

Tailor and Australian salmon have been feeding on large schools of whitebait downstream of the Captain Cook Bridge and out into the bay towards Yarra Bay. Small metal slicers, poppers and 5-6” plastics are the go.

When in the Port Hacking I would keep an eye on the diving birds as they usually means that the baitfish have been driven up to the surface by the feeding salmon and tailor. If you don’t get a bite straight away I would suggest that you allow the lure to sink and then start your retrieve.

Offshore there have been large numbers of sand flathead from the 40-50m mark from Coogee to Jibbon Bombora. Try using half pilchards, strip of slimy mackerel or soft plastics. The reefs off the back of Kurnell Point have been producing snapper, morwong, sweep, pigfish and silver trevally. Remember to anchor up and berley.

If you are after a few whiting I would try working the beaches from Bondi and down to Gare, as most of them are holding whiting. The best bait by far is the beachworm, followed by bloodworms and pink nippers. You can get bloodworms from bait shops, but if you want to source your own bait you’ll need to pump nippers or catch your own beachworms. If you are looking for someone to teach you how to get beachworms, I recommend a session with Alex Bellissimo, who runs Rock and Beach Charters and Tuition. There’s more information at www.bellissimocharters.com.au. He is brilliant!

In other news, I was going to hold a Lure Only class at Windybanks Bait and Tackle in March, but it has now been moved to Saturday, 21 May. If you are interested in coming along send me an email and I will send you the details.

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