Around southern Sydney the beginning of July is when my mind turns to luderick, drummer and bream off the rocks and in the estuaries.
Some of the bream will be heading out of the estuaries and bays to travel up or down the coast, while the luderick come into the bays and rivers to feed up and the drummer increase in size, so much so that some may be unstoppable.
In Botany Bay the luderick will be schooling up at places like Bare Island, Sutherland Point, along the Port Botany Wall, the eastern side of the Third Runway, the baths in Kogarah Bay, the entrance to Sylvania Waters and the Captain Cook Bridge. Upstream in the Georges River you could try the western side of Bald Face Point, Kangaroo Point, the entrance to Oatley Bay, around the mangroves in Oyster Bay, Caravan Point through to Coronation Bay, Como Baths, Lugarno, The Moons, Soily Point and the shoreline near Alfords Point Bridge.
The Woronora River is a tributary of the Georges River and sweeps up through a series of steep gorges. About 25% of the shore has houses and the rest is virgin bushland. Luderick can be found feeding under the pontoons, around bridge pylons, rocky shores and mangroves.
Places that are worth a look include the entrance to Bonnet Bay, the shore opposite Mangrove Island, the mangroves at Bangor, the old Woronora bridge and the back of North Engadine. Many of these places can be fished from the shore, it is just a matter of getting out the street directory and looking for the streets and fire trails that lead down to the shore.
In Port Hacking you could chase luderick at Cabbage Tree Point, Fisheries Point, Dolans Bay, Fishermans Bay, South Arm, North West Arm, Carruthers Bay and the Diversion Wall. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the tide is rising or falling, as long as there is some movement in the water.
Even though there will still be plenty of bream in the bays and estuaries I start to concentrate my bream fishing around the coastal washes using pink nippers, peeled prawns, mullet strips, abalone gut, fresh squid strips, cunjevoi, chicken fillets and striped tuna.
When fishing any of the washes off the rocks you always need to take care. I like to fish for bream and drummer around the Kurnell Peninsula, Cape Banks, Bare Island, Wattamolla, North Garie, Era, Burning Palms, North Stanwell Park and Coalcliff Point. You could also try Little Bay or Long Bay or the southern end of Maroubra or Coogee beaches on a rising tide.
When fishing for bream and luderick off the rocks I use a 12’ Mag Bream rod with a 5” Alvey filled with 6kg line. For the drummer I bring out my 12’ Ugly Stik Gold with a 6” Alvey been spooled with 18kg line. Most of the time the rig is as simple as a ball sinker straight down onto the hook. The sinker weight will depend on the water conditions.
When I chase luderick off the rocks or in the estuaries I use a float. From the rocks I use a highly visible cork stem float and in the estuaries I prefer a pencil float. I like fluorocarbon leader because it is harder for the fish to see it and it also sinks.
I always have a berley trail going. For luderick and drummer I chop up weed and cabbage off the rocks, mix it with sand and throw out a small ball every time I cast. For bream I use a combination of chicken pellets, bread and boiled wheat.
Remember, berley is to attract the fish and keep them interested, not to feed them.
So the next time you are sitting at home wondering what to do with yourself, get out there and chase a few of these prime Winter fish.