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It’s the spice of life
  |  First Published: September 2006



Cool mornings and beautiful days are the norm when fishing the waters around Sydney at this time of year and the variety in the catch is enough to keep most anglers happy.

Luderick are at home in the cool waters that flow into our estuaries and are a great little sport fish. I enjoy targeting them and the gear that is needed is a little different from that for most fish.

Most anglers prefer a long, soft rod over 2m and a small centrepin reel spooled with 5kg line down to a float that is weighted just right so that just its tip is above the surface. A small swivel and a 3kg trace of about 1m and a small No 10 hook complete the rig. The lighter trace will break first to prevent you losing your floats.

Bait is also a little different. Green weed grows in stormwater drains and along the ocean rocks. It does take a little time to find it but it’s worth the effort – or some tackle shops will sell it.

Berley is a must when fishing for luderick and it’s simple to make. A bucket of damp sand, a handful of finely chopped green weed and a few slices of bread mixed together is fine. Just add a handful to the water as you fish.

I prefer water that is moving so your berley travels along and the luderick will move into the berley to feed. Allow your float to just drift along with the tide and watch for it being pulled down – you then strike to set the hook. This is very addictive fishing so give it a try.

Trevally also love colder water and these little guys pull better than most for their size. To find trevally, just fish deeper water around structure and again berley is a must,

Chicken layer pellets are part of each trip when I fish Botany Bay or offshore. Pellets, chopped pilchards and a little bread are combined and I then add small amounts while fishing,

Try fishing with floaters. A floater rig means that you are fishing with just enough lead to allow your bait to sink down and follow the berley trail, Try a No 1 hook and a small 0 ball sinker sitting right on top of the hook. For bait I like pilchards, nippers and prawns.

SALMON START

Salmon are just about to start along the coastal waters and they will move right into our bays and estuaries. To find salmon you will need to spend a little time motoring around just looking for them and at this time of year, larger schools can be found feeding up and down the coast.

Salmon are also a great chance along our beaches and plenty of anglers cast lures or whole pilchards into the surf early mornings or late afternoons.

Once I’ve found salmon, I find a small metal lure or soft plastic cast into the feeding school and retrieved at speed works well.

Salmon fight cleanly so light tackle or fly is all you need. I find 6kg mono or the new Schneider braid ideal for this. Braid will give you grater casting distance and is very strong for its gauge.

Everyone hopes to catch a jewfish one day they seem to have that quality that all anglers like to dream about. Jewfish in our estuaries in the cooler months are still a great chance with fish around 3kg to 5kg relatively common if you know where to look.

I find that I have always scored well around the bridges in the Georges River on both tides. It’s all about the time spent fishing – some nights we score well, other nights we miss out.

Squid and small live baits are my choice, fished on 10kg Schneider braid and a trace of about 3m of 15kg mono. I normally set four outfits and then just sit back and wait. Lures can produce well on jew so why not spend a little time casting while you wait for a bait to go off. Work your lures close around the pylons for best results.

Tailor are steady just about all year long and the cooler months can be very productive. Tailor seem to feed deeper in the Winter on larger baits so I find by trolling with lures around structure I have a lot of fun once they are located.

In Port Hacking I find that most of the sandy drop-offs will produce and South West Arm is another good spot. Just troll along the rocky shore out about 30m or so.

Anchoring in deeper water after dark and berleying hard with pilchards will work at times.

Botany Bay is also consistent for tailor and trolling along the walls and drop-offs can be very productive. On many days on the water, tailor are one species that I count on.

FISHING SCHOOL

Plenty of people have taken part in one of our monthly schools that have been running for about four years at Hunts Marine. The schools start with a three-hour evening class when I show all you will need to locate and catch a variety of fish. Learn how to live-bait for kingfish and where to find the live bait, spin with soft plastics for flathead and other species, why berley is so important, the right gear for trolling for salmon, tailor and bonito, find bream spots and how to anchor and fish deep water for snapper, trevally and bream,

The school then heads out for a full day fishing on Botany Bay to give you the chance to put all that theory into practice. To join the fishing school, book or purchase one of our gift vouchers – a top idea for Father’s Day.

We also run general fishing trips out on Botany Bay or deep sea trips for snapper or kingfish for a maximum of six people, or you can join one of our Weipa trips.

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