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A chill in the air
  |  First Published: May 2004



THERE’S A CHILL in the air as I slip my 7.0-metre Vision off the trailer for another day of fishing Botany Bay.

Light westerly winds and cooler mornings disappoint some people as we head towards Winter but that doesn’t happen to me. So many people automatically think that the water temperature is now cooling off as fast as the air and that the fishing will start to slow down. Wrong!

I recommend you throw in an extra jumper and hit the water early as I find the fishing over the next month very consistent. Just about all species which frequent Botany Bay are on hand at this time of year. I have had some outstanding May days on kingfish, trevally, tailor and flathead.

After that little bit of rain we have received lately the fishing was rather tough. Bream numbers were good for a while but slowed over a week or so, with the better catches going to those anglers who spent all day moving around to find them.

I found the past Summer a little tough on the Bay, with trevally patchy, bream up and down and surface action only every third or fourth day. There was just the odd bonito and only small schools of salmon and tailor. I spent plenty of days pulling my hair out trying to find fish but thankfully the flathead and kingfish wanted to play and most people went home happy.

By early this month the fishing on the Bay should settle down. Trevally should return to places like Bare Island, Watts Reef, the oil wharf and the container wall (a top spot at any time of year).

Kings are still worth targeting, especially earlier this month. With a live bait over the side you’re in with a chance and I’ve caught kings in the Bay right into august.

Bream are still a chance around the middle of the Bay, off the third Runway and the Old runway. I also recommend targeting the bream as they head back up-river after their spawning run, so spots like Towra Point and back towards Woolooware Bay should work well. Just anchor out of the main channel and fish with a long leader on a rising or falling tide. Use nippers, peeled prawns, bloodworms or chook gut. Woolooware’s oyster racks should produce good bream over the next month if you fish a rising tide with nippers or soft plastics.

Flathead are one fish which you can rely on just about every outing, Summer or Winter. Live baits fished in the deeper holes or soft plastics worked around the shallows are very effective, with 95% of all flathead caught on my boat falling to soft plastics, with many clients catching their first fish on plastics this way.

Most flatties seem to range between 40cm to 50cm with the odd better fish of 65cm to 70cm. Remember that these larger fish are the breeding females so release them to keep up flathead stocks in Botany Bay.

TAILOR TARGETS

Tailor schools are worth targeting early in the mornings right through this month and next. Anchor around structure in deep-water spots like Watts Reef or the Oil Wharf. Berley with finely-chopped pilchards and fish down the berley trail with a half of whole pilchard on ganged hooks.

I find this method productive for about the first hour after dawn but late afternoons and into the night the tailor will continue to feed, as long as that berley trail is flowing. At night the tailor move right in close, which makes things rather interesting as they smash lures and baits just behind the boat.

Bream may be found feeding under the tailor at times and larger baits fished out wide behind feeding tailor may tempt the odd school jew. Squid is the gun bait for jew and if you want the best squid for bait without catching your own, drop in and see new owner Johnny at Brad’s Bait and Tackle on Parraweena Road, Taren Point.

Tailor can be rather aggressive after dark, eating every bait that hits the water. That’s fine if you’re chasing them but if you’re targeting bream or jew, you may have to move away from the tailor and try another spot.

May is a great month to be out fishing and as long as the water temperature remains steady, the fishing should be red-hot.

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