Delighted anglers in Southern Sydney
  |  First Published: October 2016

This month’s report is all about readers who sent photos to me, letting me know about their fishing exploits, suggested techniques, baits and places to go to try your luck out in Southern Sydney.

A few months ago, Michael Brown contacted me. He’d been fishing with his wife Michelle and his mates’ daughters up at Forster. Not only did the girls get amongst the fish, Michelle got in on the action as well. They drifted adjacent to the oyster leases and drop offs near Cockatoo Island, and caught plenty of dusky flathead while using prawns for bait.

Now for those of you with a boat to fish in the Port Hacking, Woronora and Georges rivers, or Botany Bay, try whole prawns for bait next time you’re out. Drifting for flathead, I prefer to have a running ball or bean sinker on the swivel, with a leader of about 45cm, and a number 1 or 2 long shanked hook. This way, the hook can go right through the body of the prawn and the bend comes out in the head. With a live prawn, I would use a 1/0 Owner circle hook and pin it through the bottom part of the prawn’s tail.

Try drifting the stretch of water just downstream of the Woronora Bridge, in the middle of the channel on the downstream side of the 8 knot area at Lugarno, between the Tom Uglys and Captain Cooks Bridge, in 5m of water off Brighton-Le-Sands Beach and along the outside edge of the groynes at Silver Beach, Kurnell.

Phillip Snell took his son Charlie and eight year old daughter Matilda for a fish, at Lakes Beach on the NSW Central Coast. He was so proud of what they achieved, it brought a tear to his eye. Matilda was minding Phil’s rod as he was packing up and heard her yell she had a fish on.

To his surprise, a salmon was jumping out of the water as Matilda reeled it in. The sambo played every trick in the book, but Matilda stood her ground. Scared, crying and out of breath, she was pulled around the beach like she was walking a naughty dog.

Matilda screamed for joy as she handed back his brand new Jarvis Walker 750 beach combo, with blood, sweat and pink glitter. The sambo was caught on a half pilchard and long shank hook. Phillip remarked that it was truly one of the best fish fights he’d ever seen.

Charlie’s first Aussie sambo was caught using a Shakespeare Tidewater 6000 spin, on a Wilson Foreshore 10’6” with 4.5kg mono. Charlie was using a half pilchard on a 3/0 long shanked hook and was able to land the salmon with the waves – a terrific effort.

Another time, Charlie caught a bream just over 1kg on a half pilchard, off Lakes Beach in Budgewoi. It was one of the coldest days during the east current. His dad, Phillip, refused to fish. But that didn’t stop Charlie and his mate Jye. Between catching fish, they also went for a swim.

Whether you’re fishing off Coogee, Maroubra, Wanda, Cronulla or any of the Royal National Park beaches, you’ll be in with a chance to catch yourself a few bream, salmon and the odd tailor using half pilchards. You’ll need to find yourself a deep gutter and work your bait right through ­– fish may feed on the edge rather than deeper parts of the gutter.

Next time you fish these beaches, use a set of ganged hooks with either a whole pilchard or garfish, with a running ball sinker on top. Cast into the surf and slowly wind back in. To stop the bait from twisting, rig it so the top hook is pinned through the eye.

As a writer for over 22 years, it’s always great to hear from the readers of the magazine on what their fishing exploits have been. Readers or subscribers to the magazine make me and other writers keep our monthly reports coming out, in the hope that it helps you get onto your own fish.

Over the coming months, get yourself amongst some fish. Send them to me at --e-mail address hidden-- along with a few words about where it was caught, the type of bait and what tackle you used.


Michelle Brown was stoked with this dusky flathead she caught on a prawn.


Matilda will be dreaming about her salmon for some time.


A great sized salmon for fish number one – well done, Charlie!


Even though Charlie’s biggest fish was covered in sand, it weighted in at over 1kg.

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