After-dark flats
  |  First Published: March 2003

Fishing has been fairly productive and, as the season rolls along, all the signs are there to provides us with some very exciting action ahead.

Port Hacking at this time of year is a top spot for big bream and stud whiting across the sand flats at night. All you require is a high tide around 9pm.

I start fishing as the sun sets – this gives you three hours of prime fishing in the dark. I prefer to drift across the flats in about a metre of water. Fish up to the high tide and, say, one hour after the turn. I find this ample time to catch prime bream and whiting.

Light tackle is all you need. My pick would be a Shimano 3500 Baitrunner spooled up with 4kg to 6kg Schneider fishing line and a long, soft rod around about 2.4 metres. This should be a nice, balanced outfit for this style of fishing.

I go for a No 1 Mustad 9555b hooks and run a small sinker on top of the hook. Keep things as light as possible. I prefer a 00 ball sinker and up to a 0 ball – no heaver .

The preferred bait for this style of fishing in the Hacking River would have to be pink nippers as first choice and blood worms a close second. This style of fishing is very easy and it’s a top way to spend a balmy night.

Bountiful Botany

Most days on Botany Bay, when the wind is kind to us, we are able to fish a variety of spots and are able to find plenty of action and a good range of species.

The season ahead will see plenty of surface action as tailor, salmon and bonito numbers increase. And if the size of the bait schools in late January and through February is any thing to go on, we should be in for a very productive time ahead.

My advice is to be on the water early because some days the bite tapers off around 8am, depending on the tide and cloud cover. Spots to look for surface action include anywhere from the mouth of the Georges River at Towra Point across to the old runway and up towards the third runway. This area is normally a good spot for tailor.

As you move towards the entrance, say, around The Sticks and across to the container wall and into Yarra Bay, you are more likely to encounter salmon, bonito and kingfish as well as tailor.

Remember that all surface-feeding fish will provide food for fish like trevally, bream and flathead, so if you are spinning with small chrome lures or fly-casting and you allow your lure or fly to sink down through the surface action, you may be surprised. Many times we have caught all three species under a school of salmon in the middle of Botany Bay.

If you would like to join me for a day’s fishing on Botany Bay or the Hacking River, or a spot of light offshore sportfishing, phone me on 0418 169 439. Or you may wish to join the Hunts Marine Fishing School with Gary Brown and me. It’s a top way to learn all the spots and all the tricks to fishing in and around Sydney.



With bream like this in Port Hacking, a session drifting the flats with nippers or worms can be very productive.


Get out there early to chase the salmon schools.

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