Jewfish, flatties and bream
  |  First Published: November 2007

Jewfish, bream and flathead are the main targets this month. Here’s how to catch them.

Two of the best spots for the jewies are the Georges River and Captain Cook Bridge.

The Captain Cook Bridge is great example of what structure means to a mulloway. Whether you are fishing a falling or rising tide, there will always be some sort of eddy forming near the base of each pylons. The southern and northern ends of the bridge produce mulloway, especially the northern end.

To fish these spots land-based you need a rod about 3.5m long with plenty of power in the butt to enable you to steer a hooked fish away from the pylons and lead it to shore. The best rig to use here seems to be a fixed paternoster baited with squid, mullet or fillets of yellowtail.

From a boat you could try the third pylon from the southern side, positioning yourself about 10m upstream of the pylon on a run-in tide. This will get you over some very snaggy terrain, so I suggest you use a running or fixed paternoster rig.

At the same time you should float a lightly weighted bait out the back in a berley trail.

On the northern, upstream side of the bridge it pays to be about the same distance out and deploy a running paternoster rig with a live bait with another rig set up with a 1m to 2m leader below a ball sinker.

Position your boat so you can cast back towards the pylons. Try live yellowtail, squid or pike or fresh strips of these. A 15kg main line, No 4 to No 6 ball sinker above the swivel and a 1m to 1.5m 20kg leader should do the job. Berley with small cubes of pilchards, chopped yellowtail, mullet or garfish. Don’t use too much.

Set a heavy drag on the reel and place the rod in a sturdy rod holder. I have seen a few outfits go over the side so be careful.

An hour either side of the change of tide is best, especially at night, early morning and just before sunset. If there has been enough rain to discolour the water you could try during the middle of the day.

You can catch mulloway here year round, but October to April are the better months.


Now let’s focus on bream in Botany Bay, especially around the airport runways jutting out into the bay.

Run on the rising and falling tide swirls around at the end of the Third Runway. A sounder is a great help to find the small drop-offs where you should anchor outside of the yellow markers. This area fishes better when the high tide is between 1.5m and 1.8m.

I prefer baitrunner-style reels here to allow the bream to pick up the bait and swim off.

Some of the better spots include the north-east corner of the Third Runway, just on the end of the drop-off on a falling tide and the starboard marker on the western side on a rising tide.

Use a No 2 bean sinker above a swivel, a No 1 to 1/0 hook and a leader of 1m to 2m or a running sinker right down onto the hook when the tide is not running fast.

Another place worth trying is around the outside of the The Drums, the big mooring buoys in the centre of the bay. When anchoring you will need to have the wind and the current going the same way.

Berley with pilchards, bread and chicken pellets. If current is running too fast, use a berley cage to get it down near the bottom. The berley trail needs to be steady but only slight, you need to attract the fish, not feed them.

Best baits include halves or fillets of blue pilchards, peeled prawns, pink nippers, chicken gut or strips of fresh squid.

You can catch bream here year round but November to the end of May seem to be most productive.


Flathead frequent the drop-off on the northern side of the sandbar that stretches almost from the eight-knot channel at Lilli Pilli baths over to eight-knot channel at Rathenes. The flat is just covered at low water, then it drops off into about 20m. The area is best fished in the middle four hours of the rising tide.

It doesn’t seem to matter at what time of the day, as long as there is a fair amount of current running over the edge of the drop-off.

A running paternoster rig with a live poddy mullet, yellowtail or slimy mackerel works well here. Strip baits are also good value. Another worthwhile rig uses a small piece of foam or a small, lightly inflated balloon to keep the bait off the bottom away from hungry crabs.

You could also try trolling the edge of the drop-off with deep-diving minnows or drifting over the edge and jigging plastics.

From the shore, fish off the sandstone retaining wall rather than the wharf. A rising tide is best, particularly a couple of hours before the top. Use pink nippers, live prawns or poddy mullet on a long leader.

For more information about how and where to fish in these areas, call me on 0422 994 207 or visit www.garybrownfishing.com.au.

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