Cold days and freezing nights, who would want to go fishing during June? Me, as a matter of fact! Maybe not on freezing nights, I will just stick to daytime fishing. Many anglers will shy away from going out during winter to have a fish. If they’d rather stay home, that’s fine by me!
Winter can be one of the most productive times of the year to go for a fish, as you can catch bream, whiting, luderick, drummer, groper, leatherjackets, trevally, squid, octopus, mullet, garfish and snapper. I find that it’s just a matter of targeting a species.
Even though the species that are listed above can be caught throughout the year, the cooler water temperatures seem to really bring them on the bite.
Luderick will have started to push further into the Cooks, Georges and Woronora rivers. They will be schooling up at the entrance to the Cooks River and as far up as the M5 motorway bridge in the Georges River. In Botany Bay, the netted baths at Dolls Point, the northern and southern side of the Captain Cooks Bridge, the north-western corner of Tom Uglys Bridge and Bald Face Point are all worth a shot.
Further upstream you could try Oatley Point, the rock wall on the northwest side of the entrance to the Woronora River, Bonnet Bay, the old Woronora River Bridge, the Georges River State National Park, Picnic Point and the small beach near Kelso Park.
The ocean rocks will be alive with luderick and drummer, especially after a few days of rough seas. I have found that when fishing for luderick off the rocks you don’t need a lot of white water, just enough to create a bit of cover.
If there is no white water and you know that the fish are there, you need to make sure you have a small and steady stream of berley. The berley can consist of sand with chopped up weed, cabbage, or both. Sometimes I put in a bit of white bread. Luderick are mainly a weed eater, but they don’t mind peeled prawns, cunje, small crabs and white bread.
Places that are worth a look are the northern ends of Bondi, Maroubra and Coogee. When the seas are up a bit and you can’t safely fish these places, you could try the back end of Little Bay.
When chasing luderick one of the hardest things is getting green weed. There are a number of places that you can find green weed. Try looking in stormwater drains that empty into the saltwater, landlocked lakes and dams, run-off areas on the rocks and small creeks. I get most of my weed and cabbage off the ocean rocks. Some tackle shops in the St Georges and Sutherland Shire do sell weed from time to time.
I have had a few reports come in from Andrew at Macs Bait Bar at Blakehurst that a couple of his locals have been getting a few luderick and drummer while fishing off Bare Island and the small point just south of the bridge that goes over to the island.
Sutherland Point at Kurnell has been producing bream, trevally, squid, luderick, drummer and groper. Cast into the wash with a paternoster rig weighted down with a snapper sinker or a small running ball sinker down onto the bait. You could also try suspending your bait under a bobby cork or other float. I prefer A-Just-A Bubble floats.
Just recently while I was anchored up near the end of the runway I picked up a couple of octopuses while targeting bream and trevally. Many of you would like to get a few octopuses, but I don’t even let them in the boat. The reason I’m wary is because I once dropped one into my old boat and it scampered under the floor. The only way that I could get it out was to take the floor up when I got home.
For those of you who would like to target whiting, pump a few nippers or buy some from a tackle shop near you. If you are out west you could try Gabe’s Boating and Fishing at Narellan, Macs Bait Bar at Blakehurst or Brighton Bait and Tackle at Brighton-Le-Sands. They also sell live bloodworms.
For those of you fishing from the shore for whiting, try along the beach that stretches from the southern side of the Cook River to Dolls Point. As you drive along General Holmes Drive you will find a number of parking areas that you can stop at. It’s only a short walk to the beach. Closer to the Dolls Point end you will find a retaining wall that has a rail. Great fishing can be had from here. Just remember that you have a lot of walkers going by, so watch your back cast.
Trevally Alley, The Drums, The Sticks, wide off Towra Point and the sand bar at Dolls Point will be producing bream, trevally, flounder, whiting and the odd squid or two.
Leatherjackets are fairly easy to catch, easy to clean and great to eat. Places that are worth a try are the end of the northern wall at the entrance to Cooks River, the pontoon at the boat ramp in the Cooks River, the water between the main land and Bare Island, the kelp beds off Dolls Point, any of bridges from along the Georges and Woronora rivers, and the walkway at Lugarno.
The best rig I have found to use is the paternoster with a number 12 long shank hook. The best baits have been small pieces of peeled prawn and squid – just enough to fit on the bend of the hook.
Recently I took time out from chasing bream, whiting and flathead and targeted mullet with my Shakespeare Ugly Stik 6m pole. The bait that I used was white bread (no crust), some Pro-Cure Anise Plus Super Gel, flour and a bit of water. This was then moulded into a plasticine state. The rig is fairly simple: 6m of 5kg line, a float, a couple of split shots and a number 12 hook. If you have never targeted mullet before, you should give it ago. They are great fighters and perfect to eat and use for bait.
If you would like to try for mullet the next time you go out for a fish, try any boat ramp, breakwall or retaining wall, creek mouths, mangroves and at the base of bridges. This style of fishing can be done out of a boat or off the shore.
Leatherjackets can be the easiest and hardest fish species to catch sometimes. All I can say is keep it simple. In the estuaries use a paternoster rig with one number 10 or 12 long shank hook. Make the leader length to the hook no more than 15cm long. Add a small piece of prawn or squid, about 1cm in length. Lower the rig to the bottom and then raise about two turns of the handle, so that there is a bend in the rod. Wait for a bite and strike.
The best places to try for these fishwould be off a wharf, rock walls, beside bridge pylons and where there is kelp or rocky reefs.
Offshore fishing will be producing snapper, morwong, silver trevally, pigfish and leatherjackets. You could try the Peak, the Twelve Miler and the Kurnell car park.Reads: 1125