Beautiful one day, ordinary the next
  |  First Published: March 2005

Fishing in Botany Bay and surrounding waterways has been a little tough since mid-January. I’ve had to work hard most days and I hear the same from many anglers as the weather has been so different each day.

I think that the fish must move around more rather than holding in certain spots to feed.

On one outing I was around the Kurnell headland targeting trevally and bream. We were anchored in 12 metres with a good berley trail running and the ideal baits of nippers and peeled prawns for the trevally and a small live yellowtail under the boat in the hope of temping a kingfish. We pulled anchor after a totally fishless half-hour session.

On the very next day, with similar tides, a southerly change came through so I anchored in the same spot to gain some protection from the wind. I repeated everything from the day before and at first it was slow, with only a few small squire.

I kept the berley trail running and it wasn’t long before the trevally, bream and tailor turned up.

Just about every bait was nailed as soon as it hit the water. This just shows that the fishing can change from day to day and at times you may have to work to find a little action. This is very strange for this time of year.

Most trips you should allow around 10 to 15 minutes for your berley to work. Don’t throw a heap of berley all at the start, just small amounts every few minutes and try and keep your berley as fine as possible so your bait stands out as it floats along with the small particles.

Normally after 10 to 15 minutes you should see a little action. It may be only one small trevally or a few little reddies but this is a sign that the berley trail is starting to work, Keep the trail running and try different baits, such as nippers, peeled prawns or cubes of pilchards – these are the only baits I use every trip on the Bay, other than a live yellowtail or fresh squid bait intended for kingfish.

March usually provides some outstanding fishing in Botany Bay.


Bream are a top chance around Towra Point and out into the middle of the Bay and all the way up to The Sticks just off the Oil Wharf. All you need is a soft rod, 4kg to 6kg line, a No 4 or No 5 ball sinker and a small swivel. The trace needs to be about a body length, the Hook a Mustad 9555B in No 1 size and use a nipper as bait,

No berley is needed, just anchor in this area on the run-in or run-out tide, cast out and sit back and wait. The bream will hook themselves as you sip your coffee or cold beer.

Bream are normally in the shallow water at this time of year as they spawn in large groups. I normally fish for them in three to six metres over a sand or shell bottom. The method described above is also used in deeper spots like The Drums in the middle of the Bay or the Container Wall, the Oil Wharf or Bare Island in depth around 10 to 20 metres.

Remember to move around and try different spots and different methods and I’m sure you’ll find a little action.

A fishing school or a day on the water with me may fast-track your skills or learn the spots and how to fish them, I’m keen to show you the methods that work for me so call 0418 169 439.


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