Try something new
  |  First Published: July 2017

Are you at a loss as to where to go to chuck a line in? Have you gone to all your usual spots and turned up nothing? Maybe you now need to think out of the square and try something different from what you have always done. Ever thought about chasing luderick? No? Maybe you should think about it!

Many anglers think that chasing luderick is for older people, but anyone can enjoy it. I have been chasing luderick in the estuaries off the shore and out of a boat, off the rocks and even out of a boat fishing back into the washes off the coast.

Luderick are a year-round proposition, but tend to be around in bigger numbers and sizes during the cooler months of the year.

In last month’s Botany Bay report I stated that the luderick had started to move about in the Cooks, Georges and Woronora rivers.

Over the past month, the Port Hacking has started to fire up on the luderick side of things.

Try the western side of Salmon Haul Bay, Kitcheners Reef, the Lilli Pilli Baths, Yowie Bay Wharf, Gunnamatta Bay Baths, southern Jibbon Point, Bundeena Ferry Wharf and the Warumbul picnic area in the RNP for land-based fishing.

For those who have a boat you could try the old Fisheries Point, the Ballast Heap, Costens Point and the diversion wall just upstream from Grays Point.

When fishing for luderick, the two most important things are fresh green weed or cabbage, and make sure that you berley.

Leatherjackets are the scourge of the soft plastic angler and anyone who fishes with whole prawns as bait.

Even though these fish devour the plastic or suck out the flesh from the shell of the prawn without you knowing it, there are plenty of places that you can go to get yourself a feed of leatherjackets.

What’s good about chasing leatherjackets is that you don’t need any high-tech fishing gear. You can just use a handline if you wish. I prefer to use my Shakespeare Ugly Stik 3-6 rod, a paternoster rig and a number 12 long shank hook.

The bait is either a small piece of prawn or squid. The main thing to remember is that you need to have tension on the line so that you can feel the bite.

Squid are also around in the southern areas, both inshore and offshore close to the coast. You will also start to see plenty of cuttlefish backbones about as the snapper and other fish species start to feed on them.

Places that are worth a look are inside Jibbon Bommie (when it’s calm), Shark Island, Salmon Haul Bay and the Balconies.

I usually fish with two rods when squid fishing out of my boat. I rig one up with a paternoster rig and substitute the hook for a squid jig and put it in the rod holder. This is set so that the sinker is just off the bottom, and you know when you have a squid on when the rod doubles over. The other outfit I work around the boat, allowing it to sink towards the bottom. Then I work it back towards the boat.

Tailor and salmon have been caught off the beach in Bate Bay, Wattamolla, Garie and Stanwell Park. Bryce from the Sutherland Shire managed to get amongst a few tailor using strips of squid for bait.

He was actually targeting mulloway off the beach from Wanda to Greenhills. Peter Wade had a good session on the whiting using blood worms that he bought from Mac’s Bait Bar at Blakehurst.

Snapper are being caught off the close reefs south of the entrance to the Port Hacking River. If you have the time, you should take the trip down to the Humps when the seas are calm and there are no predicted winds from the north. Whole pilchards, pilly tails, fresh squid, banana prawns and strips of tuna are the go-to baits.

You could also try working lures like ZMan 5 and 7” Jerk ShadZ on 1/2 to 1oz TT HeadlockZ jigheads. Sometimes I will add the Pro Cure Bloody Tuna Super Gel Scent to the plastics if the snapper are playing with the plastic.

There are still whiting being caught off Wattamolla, Garie and Stanwell Park beaches. The best bait by far has been bloodworms.

If you don’t have any though, you can try using small strips of fresh squid. Mixed in with the whiting are bream and dart, plus salmon and tailor.

The last hour of the tide and the first two hours of the run-out are producing the best catches.

Anglers who have been fishing into the night for mulloway have been getting smashed by sharks.

When targeting bream during the cooler months of the year I find that early morning when the tide is high is the best time to concentrate on the edges with hardbodied lures and lighted weighted soft plastics.

Later, when the sun is higher the bream will tend to feed in the deeper areas of the Port Hacking when the sun is higher in the sky.

This is when I will change to using shiny blades. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting on some scent and casting it out and allowing the current to slow move the blade. You will be surprised how many times bream will just pick it up and take off with it. My theory is that they smell the scent and come over for a look then see the blade twitch and think it’s a mussel or shell and grab it. Remember when using these blades during winter, slower is better.

• If you have been out lately and you would like to see yourself in the magazine, just drop me an email to --e-mail address hidden-- with a picture and short explanation of how and where you caught your fish and I will endeavour to get it into the magazine.

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