Trevally, jackets or snapper?
  |  First Published: June 2006

With the winds from the west ripping right to the bone, only a handful of anglers will head out early, leaving you plenty of great spots to try.

This is trevally time in Botany Bay and many of our Southern waterways, these little silver bullets keeping many anglers happy right through Winter.

Trevally can be found in a wide range of locations around Botany Bay. Plenty of anglers are now picking them up while spinning for bream around the navigation markers and I have also caught a few right up the shallows spinning for flathead in less than a metre of water.

But deep water around structure is their normal feeding ground. The aptly named Trevally Alley is the top spot in Botany Bay and plenty of boats are anchored there most days. Nippers or peeled prawns and small cubes of pilchards seem to work well but all must be fished in a berley trail.

One fish I look for as the water starts to cool is the leatherjacket. These little tasty fish school around structure in good numbers can be found in Port Hacking and Botany Bay. You need to fish just off the bottom using a dropper or paternoster rig and a No 10 hook.

The sinker is normally just enough to hold bottom, depending on the amount of tidal flow. I normally use a No 5 ball and nippers or peeled prawn. In Port Hacking, I find very consistent results on jackets in South West Arm, just fish one of the many rocky drop-offs.

Most of the marker poles in Botany Bay will hold leatherjackets and the Container Wall is worth a try. Just fish where the rocks meet the sand.

At times the jackets feed under the trevally schools away from the rocky edges so try a bottom rig under the feeding trevally and you might score a bonus.


Offshore it’s snapper time and south of Port Hacking there are plenty of great spots to target reds either drifting or at anchor.

Snapper hold around reef and gravel beds. I usually anchor over the right type of bottom and berley with pilchard cubes and fish floaters, no different from fishing for trevally back in Botany Bay, but if the current is too fast your berley will float on top. I like a trail that drifts down around 45° away from the boat; any faster and you are better drifting that spot.

I fish floaters on most outings and prefer it to drifting because it produces plenty of fish. I find the 4500 Shimano BaitRunner spooled with Schneider mono of about 6kg to 8kg is very effective for this.

When the current is running too fast to fish floaters, drifting the deeper reefs will produce plenty of snapper. For drifting the gear is a little heavier, such as a Shimano Taipan Jig Spin rod with a Tekota 500 reel spooled with 10kg braid. I also use this versatile gear to target kings in Botany Bay or troll for salmon and bonito, and even up north on the reefs.

For snapper bait it’s hard to go past blue pilchards, slimy mackerel, squid and striped tuna but I have caught plenty on nippers and peeled prawns so mix it up a little to get results.

And with the snapper there’s no need for early starts, just hit the water at 7am and head south for a day’s fishing or kick off at 2pm and fish to dark, which can be very productive.

• What about Weipa in October? I’m looking for a few to join our trip from October 22 to 28. Give me a call or check out www.fishingsydney.com.au.


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