World-class fishing on tap
  |  First Published: February 2006

This is another top month to fish around Sydney: I find that just about everything is on offer and some outstanding fishing can be had – world-class, in my book.

Just sit back and think for a moment. How many places around the world on the doorsteps of a nation’s largest city can you find fishing like we have at times in Sydney?

Early mornings are spent chasing bait – squid or small yellowtail at this time of year. These are needed if you intend fishing for kingfish, which are at their best in Botany Bay in February.

Plenty of times in the past I have listed the spots I fish that produce well each season but it’s worth listing them again.

The Container Wall, the Oil Wharf, Watts Reef, Bare Island and Henry Head have produced good fish for me many times but remember, it’s all in the preparation – the time spent catching your bait and having the right gear to complete the job.

It’s no good trying to tangle with an angry kingfish on bream gear. You may get lucky once or twice but most kings will blow you away in a flash. So, as with all species, it’s best to have the right tackle for the job.

I have tried plenty of different outfits over the years and I have found that the Shimano range of light game gear is spot-on for the work I do around Botany Bay and Port Hacking. The 600 or 500 Tekota with a Taipan Jig Spin rod for smaller kings up to 10kg is a top outfit, Spooled with Schneider 15.9kg (35lb), it’s the right rig for the job.

So you have the right gear and you have planned the outing so it falls on the right tides and all looks great, First you catch a few live baits or a squid and then head for the best spot.

What could go wrong? Your planning is spot on and all should fall into place. But remember, we are up against Nature and if the kings are not feeding or the school is on the other side of the bay, it all might fall in a heap.


So it’s best to fish more than one spot each outing. That why you will see my green boat moving from one end of the bay to the other at times. I follow a simple rule and that is with all the right gear and bait and anchored in one of the spots mentioned above, the fish still have to be there at the end of the day and at times they are fussy.

That why keen fishos are rewarded – they are out there week in and week out. These are guys who catch quality fish and some days they have to fish hard but they are rewarded from putting in the effort on each trip.

Remember, too many boats anchored in one spot can put the fish off. Try one of the other spots; your chances are far better if you are the only boat offering a live bait for that school of kings. Once they turn up, your chance of a hook-up are red-hot.

You should catch plenty of quality fish each outing – legal fish, because you will find that heading out to catch big fish each trip is just a little hard to do. Some days you will catch big ones because that’s the school that is feeding in that spot at that time. But try to repeat the same results a week later and I am certain the results will be a little different.

I find that by targeting just one species on your day out you are putting all your eggs in one basket. I normally find that each day I target three or four different species so if one species is off the bite you can catch the next one on your list. This method of fishing puts fish in my boat on almost every outing.

We all like catching the bigger fish but some days a feed of bream and flathead will provide you with a better catch and more fun on the day.

If you would like to learn how to catch and target different species, join one of my monthly fishing schools at Hunts Marine – one night’s instruction and a full day fishing all over Botany Bay. I will teach you the rigs the spots the right bait to use.

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