The Moons shine
  |  First Published: September 2016

As the name implies, the Moons have been shining during the last few weeks with excellent catches reported. Personally I have landed over 50 mixed species including whiting, bream, trevally, flathead and school mulloway over the past three months.

For any reader that has not fished the Moons, the area we fish is roughly over a 2km radius, starting approximately 1km upstream of Lugarno old ferry ramp to Alfords Point Bridge.

This is a magnificent stretch of water that can be fished on all but the harshest of conditions, offering many deep and shallow water possies sheltered by the undulating steep hills that protrude to the water’s edge.

While it produces all year round, and is well known as a luderick hot spot, the light line breamers and whiting fishers do very well, especially just before sunrise or prior to sunset.

Tides do not matter that much, providing there is a fair clip to move your bait around. I have found that bloodworms and live nippers are the dynamite baits, but if you can pump some of the local squirt worms then it is impossible to miss out.

The best method has been to anchor on the edge of the deep channel which runs from south to north on the eastern side, and allow the bait to move freely. As soon as you land two or three fish, pull the anchor in and move 100m with the tide. Repeat this procedure and you’ll have a dozen good fish in the bottom of the esky in quick time.


Spots which I would recommend include the following

Bakers Rock

This is located on the other side of the river opposite Little Moon Bay. The rock is separated from the shore and can be seen on the low tide. It is just past a weekender boatshed called Why Worry. It has a pretty rugged bottom, so you should expect to lose a little bit of gear. You’ll find bream, flathead, whiting and luderick approximately 10m out from the shore.

Soily Bottom

This is the little settlement comprising approximately 20 houses, it is a good spot for the beginner as the tide runs a bit slower here. Anywhere in front of the houses is excellent fishing country.

Big Moon Bay

This is one of the main grounds. A top spot is the red gumtree right on the waterfront. This is a run-out ground and fishes best when you’re anchored close to the rocky shoreline.

Russell Jones

Russell Jones is a run-out ground at Manent Eddy underneath the overhead wires. Fish right in the eddy only 10m from the shore, and if you move out towards the centre of the river you’ll find a deep hole which has produced excellent results over the year.

Elsewhere, the fishing has been only ordinary with fewer numbers of fishos braving the rain and cold winds. This would have to be the worst month that I can recall as far as weather conditions go.


Luderick have been taken from all the recognised spots, but they are very fussy, often ignoring one type of weed to choose a lighter or darker colour depending on their taste that day. I did see a few taken at Muddy Creek Kyeemagh which were very undersize but still kept by their captor (where are the Fisheries officers?). On the plus side though, a boat and its owner were apprehended at Foreshore Drive boat ramp with 42 gemfish; the bag limit is only two. The boat and catch were confiscated and now the offender faces court charges. Well done to the Fisheries officers.


Elsewhere in the system we are seeing lots of silver bream just undersize being caught and released. They are proving to be a nuisance and tend to be a little costly when taking live bloodworms meant for bigger fish. I’ve found that by fishing the outgoing tide you tend to minimise their presence.

The upper reaches above Alfords Point Bridge are still being affected from recent rains and the water is still slightly discoloured. I would suggest you take clean saltwater with you and change your bait accordingly. You’ll notice by the colour of your bait if it has been affected.


The deeper parts of the Woronora River have been fishing well for school mulloway, with fish around the 5kg mark taken from the many holes and drop-offs. Good bream have been taken along the mangrove shoreline and oyster leases in Thompson Bay or small black crabs. I’ve mentioned before that this small tributary of the Georges River is often overlooked, but with a little berley and patience, you’ll find it will produce the goods. I’m sure the Woronora RSL Fishing Club will be only too glad to assist with any newcomers to this area.


Botany Bay has been a little on the disappointing side, with land-based anglers doing better than their boating counterparts.

The eastern side of Bare Island has been productive for good size luderick up to 42cm. Please ensure you take your own cabbage or weed as there is none on the island. Henrys Head has been successful for quality snapper, bream, tailor and rock blackfish and is one of the few spots that can be fished in the most conditions. Apart form the flat that is isolated and does not get to hammered.

Flathead have been a little on the slow side. The ever reliable Yarra Bay has been yielding a few for whitebait users. Bigger specimens have been plucked form the drift between Inscription Point and Little Yena, imperative to stick within 50m of the shoreline for best results.

Trevally are still around in good numbers but their size leaves a lot to be desired. Sutherland Point, the eastern side of the oil wharf near the Drum, the Dropover in front of the new runway and Molineaux Point have been providing the spoils, but the larger fish are to be found under Como Bridge and Captain Cook Bridge.


Cooks river continues to fish well with the Dog Leg Panel on the southern break wall providing good luderick during the day and school whiting at night. Make sure you don’t lave any rubbish around as this will attract unwanted creatures.

The floating pontoon next to the Kyeemagh Boat Ramp has proved a real surprise in the shape of big whiting taken at night. I did witness one fish going 51cm, and that’s a real honker. You won’t get much better than that.

The parking area has been kept in good condition by Rockdale Council and still offers a good alternative to Foreshore Drive. It is a shame there is no cleaning table.

If you would like to fish in comfort just outside your car, stick to the northwestern side, just above Cooks River Bridge. This area has been productive for good size whiting at night during the outgoing tide on blood worms.


The close offshore scene has been a bit on the tricky side, with fish biting one day and not the next. The 12 Mile Reef off Bond is harbouring good size longfin perch up to the 1kg mark, the odd kingfish around 80-85cm, a few snapper up to 2kg and some big morwong.

The Peak has big trevally on the chew, with fish in excess of 1.5kg. The best method has been to anchor on 60m Peak and berley them to the surface near your boat. Smoked trevally is good tucker – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Leatherjackets have been scarce, which has pleased a lot of anglers.

For the newbie trying to get to the Peak without a GPS coming from Botany Bay, take a line of 45° magnetic north from the Kurnell water tower. This should get you close to the mark. Keep your eyes open for the ever-present boats and you’ll be fine.

The Gai ground and middle grounds off Coogee have been fishing well for mowies and pan-size reds, while big trags have been taken at anchor on the full moon. This is a good spot blessed with deep water not too far from shore.

The deep hole between Yena and Tabbigai, around 1.5km wide, has been yielding a few big flathead, mowies and squire and is a great spot under the westerly wind’s influence. Paternoster rigs with 20lb fluorocarbon leader armed with peeled Hawkesbury prawns and strips of fresh squid are the go.


What the future holds in store for Botany Bay is anyone’s guess. It’s essential to put a bit more planning into your fishing trips. Lower the breaking strain of your leader a kilo or two. This will result in more bites as the fish become finicky. Use monofilament leaders instead of fluorocarbon if the water you are fishing is a little on the discoloured side. Take a container of fresh saltwater with you in order to keep your livebait in prime condition.

Berley one hour before and after slack water in order to keep a school of fish near your boat. Stick to the deeper water of estuaries as fish tend to get spooked easily in the shallows. You need to specialise rather than generalise, and concentrate all your efforts on a particular species. Ensure that the tide you are fishing coincides with any wind and not against it.

The day before and after the full or new moon are recommended times. I personally like the full moon if fishing at night for whiting in the Georges River.

Ensure your knots are tied properly. Half blood knot, hangman’s noose, figure 8 – they are all good.

You should also ensure your runners on your rods are not cracked, and give your reel a quick service. Do not use WD40 but stick to a silicone spray.

These are just a few tips that can help you succeed on your next fishing trip. Remember that 80% of anglers that go fishing return empty handed, so be a winner and not a loser!

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