Time to get cracking
  |  First Published: November 2006

This month we should see the increase in numbers and size of flathead, kingfish and silver trevally in the southern Sydney area, so get off your butts, get out there and chase a few.

Over the past month I have been sussing out the areas in the Port Hacking, Botany Bay and the Georges River to find out where the flathead and silver trevally are hiding out. After many hours on the water, I have had some success in finding them.

Many anglers have asked me how to locate fish at certain times of the year. I spend a lot of time on the water and I also try to think outside of the square. By that I mean, if you read an article or a story about a particular fish species you want to chase and you try that particular technique or you go at the suggested time and don’t catch anything, you should try, try and try again. If you still don’t catch anything, you may have to look at the gear and bait you are using.

For instance, I gave a talk at a tackle outlet earlier in the year and one of the anglers couldn’t figure out why he still had not caught any flathead on the particular soft plastic that I suggested at a previous talk. After getting this guy to actual show me how fast he was retrieving the plastic, I could see why he didn’t have a hope in hell. With the speed that he was retrieving the plastic, he had a good chance of catching a tailor or bonito off the surface.

Since the last talk he has caught around 20 duskies between 40cm and 81cm on a variety of soft plastics. He has also now started casting and retrieving hard lures across the sand flats in the Port Hacking.


Sometimes it just takes a small and simple change of technique to make all the difference. The other thing that will make you a better angler is to stop thinking about going fishing and actually getting out there and doing it.

Not long ago my son, Chris, and his girlfriend, Brooke, came out for a fish with me on Botany Bay. I was in a mate’s boat and Chris and Brooke took out my boat. We anchored about 2m from each other at the end of the Third Runway.

We both berleyed from the backs of our boats and we were all using the same bait, rods, reels and leader material. The first five fish came into our boat while Chris and Brooke did not catch a fish. Needless to say, Chris was not happy and Brooke was starting to pay out on him a little.

It had been about six months since Chris had been out in the boat. The only thing that he had forgotten to do was peel the prawns before he put them on the hooks. That’s all it was, something that you might think is simple and a waste of time.

When they started peeling the prawns, they both started catching fish, getting double hook-ups on trevally and bream.

So something as simple as peeling a prawn made the difference between catching fish and going without.

To target trevally and bream over the next month, try the end of the Third Runway, Bare Island, Watts Reef, the Oil Wharf, the Hot Water Outlet, the middle of the bay and the drop-off wide of Towra Point.

Further upstream in the Georges River you could start by working the Lugarno and Soily Point area, Picnic Point and the Bridge at Milperra. Most of the sand flats in Port Hacking and the Woronora River should be worth a shot as the tide is approaching high. As the tide starts to fall, work your way off the sand flats into the deeper water.

Kingfish have already started to show up around the marker buoys and poles in the bay, around Kurnell Peninsula, Osborne Shoals, the Jibbon Bombora and the moored boats in Gunnamatta and Gymea Bays.

So the next time you are out on the water and you are not doing so well, remember back to what you were doing the last time you were catching fish.




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