Time to make time
  |  First Published: February 2004

MOST of us have returned to work after the holidays and there are not as many anglers out there during the week – but this should not be so.

If you get yourself organized a few days beforehand, you could get in an hour or so of fishing before or after work. Some people go for a walk or jog at this time, others go to the gym or the pub. Having to go to work should not stop you from having a fish early in the morning or after work, especially in daylight saving time.

Which way do you travel home from work? Do you go past any fishing spots? How much daylight is there before you have to be at work? How much light is there left after work? Can you get your gear ready a couple of days before?  

Even if you go out and just catch some mullet or yellowtail, at least you are out there getting bait for your next outing chasing mulloway or bream, kingfish or flathead. It works for me.

If everything has been going right with the weather, you should be catching a few yellowfin bream, sand whiting, mulloway and the odd flathead off the beaches and rocks. Botany Bay and Port Hacking should have some very good populations of yellowtail kingfish, tailor, snapper, flathead and bream. There should also be plenty of blue swimmer crabs crawling around in amongst the weed and sand.


To give you some idea of what you should be targeting this month, here’s a run-down of what my plans for fishing outings during the first two weeks of February.

My first day on Botany Bay should be on Sunday, February 1, with a high tide about 5.30am, when I’ll firstly try to get enough live bait for an early session on the kingfish and use leftover baits for flathead.

Once I have the live bait safely in the tank, I’ll start casting soft plastics around fixed or floating structure for kings. If unsuccessful after an hour, I’ll anchor near one of these structures or a drop-off, lay out a berley trail and lower the live baits to a metre or two off the bottom. While waiting for the live baits to go off, I’ll feed out very lightly weighted baits for bream and trevally.

As the sun climbs, I’ll start a trolling run up and down the rocks on either the Kurnell or La Perouse sides (depending on the direction of the wind) with Mann’s Stretch 5s and 10s or Rapala CD7s and CD9s to try for salmon, tailor and kingfish. Other places I could try include the container terminal breakwall, wide of Brighton-le-Sands and near the mooring drums in the middle of the bay.

If all this fails, I’ll then try targeting leatherjackets near any of the deep-water fixed marker posts or buoys.

Wednesday, February 4, could find me fishing in Port Hacking for bream and sand whiting. With a 1.58-metre high around 8am, I should be able to anchor my boat fore and aft right in the middle of any of the sandbanks just after the sun has come up. This will allow me to fish run-up tide for about two hours and the falling tide for about the same before I run out of water and have to get off the sandbank.

Once the tide has been running out for about three hours, I’ll then move near the sand spit at Deban, again fishing for bream and whiting, until the tide hits bottom around 2.45pm.

Friday, February 6, could find me chasing bream at places like the end of the third runway, The Sticks and wide off Towra Point. The high tide is around 9.15am and at 1.74 metres and there will be a fair amount of run in the water, allowing your baits to come off the bottom. This will keep most of the smaller fish away from the bait and the larger bream will hit the bait much harder. This is when you should be using a baitrunner-style threadline reel and a leader from one to two metres long.

Saturday, February 7, should see me chasing bream and flathead with soft plastics and small minnows in the channels of Sylvania Waters. The high tide is at around 10am and is at its highest for this two-week period. I would hit the water around 6.30am and finish around noon.

On Wednesday, February 11, I could be on one of the beaches in the Cronulla area before work chasing a few beach worms, which would be used for chasing sand whiting and bream off the beach down at Stanwell Park in the afternoon after I finished work. I would fish until about an hour after sunset.

The following Saturday would see me back out in Botany Bay chasing bream, whiting and flathead at places like the end of the third runway, The Sticks, wide off Towra Point and Bare Island.

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