A fresh start on the Bay
  |  First Published: November 2006

Dirty water running down our rivers at last! This is just what the fishing needed because it’s been a few years since we have had a good flush of the estuaries.

This should mark the start of some great fishing to follow because a good flush of fresh starts all the life moving down river and into Botany Bay.

The bream are worth looking for just off Towra Point. I would start there and work towards the Third Runway, maybe anchoring two or three times as I move across. Use nippers or bloodworms for bait and fish at anchor with a long trace on the bottom.

Trevally Alley will also have bream hanging around so keep a bait on the bottom and fish floaters for trevally and you might be surprised with a few early-season bream. Berley is needed here and I always find that the bream will feed under the trevally.

This time of the year we see the start of the surface action across the Bay with tailor, salmon and bonito feeding on the surface. Break out the light spin gear, small metal lures and look skywards for diving birds which are the giveaway that fish are feeding below.

Don’t drive over the feeding fish because this will put them down. Try to approach from the side or upwind and drift into them or slowly motor from downwind to intercept them. Look for the lead fish and try to land your lure just in front of them.

The fresh should also see a few flathead poking about after they have been very hard to find for a while. The only reports that I have heard of are from up-river around Como bridge and higher up. I would start looking from the Captain Cook Bridge and downstream because the fresh should push the flathead down-river.

The flathead breeding season starts next month. Remember that the larger fish are our breeders so try to let them go and keep the smaller fish for a feed.

Live bait like poddy mullet and small yellowtail are deadly if fished around the sandy drop-offs. Soft plastics worked in these areas should also produce a few.

Kingfish are not far off moving into the Bay and around our headlands so it’s time to check your gear and have it ready. It’s no good having problems on the water because these might just end your chances of landing a few quality fish. so plan ahead and be ready, Early in the season I find a few good fish hanging around the headlands with Cape Banks a good starting point. Just anchor there in 20m and fish with live yellowtail or fresh squid.


Another great way to spend a morning is spinning into the white water and skipping your popper back to the boat and across the deeper edges. Kings, salmon and tailor feed along these edges and at times smash your popper on the surface.

Late afternoon is also a top time for this style of fishing; I just love it when the shadows move across the edges of the rock ledges. Remember that you are fishing close to the shallow water and this style of fishing is worth trying only when the seas are rather flat, making it safe to move in close.

Keep the engine ticking over and always have one person at the controls who never takes their eyes off the incoming water, because the odd freak wave will pop up.

This style of fishing is very addictive as it’s all visual action on top, so give it a try.

My fishing school at Hunts Marine is filling fast with anglers coming to find out how to fish around Botany Bay. I show the spots and the methods that I use every day on the water, how and when to target different species, the right bait and berley and the lures to troll or cast. I use these methods where ever I fish, not just in the Bay. So call me to join a class, we welcome groups, singles and we have gift vouchers for Christmas.

Scott Lyons operates Southern Sydney Fishing Tours, email --e-mail address hidden-- ph 02 9526 7431.


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