Sheltered spots for the kids
  |  First Published: May 2005

How many times have you had the kids say ‘Can we go for a fish?’ and your immediate thought was, ‘Where the hell could I take them that isn’t too far away where they have a chance of catching a fish, wouldn’t have to cast far and there aren’t many snags to worry about?’

For those who fish in the Sutherland and St Georges Shire, here are three suitable spots.

Dolans Bay Ramp at the end of South Port Hacking Road in Port Hacking is also referred to as Wallys Wharf. As you tread the narrow walkway that leads to the pontoon you will notice that on the southern side it is fairly shallow with rocks and kelp on the bottom.

On the northern side, however, the water drops away to four to five metres and my kids and I have caught bream, silver trevally, flathead, leatherjackets, sand whiting yellowtail, mullet, slimy mackerel and squid there over the years.

I have also heard reports of snapper to a kilo and mulloway to 5kg being caught there at night.

Best baits are pink nippers, peeled prawns, slimy mackerel, mullet and yellowtail fillets. If the water is a bit discoloured due to rain you could try using pieces of frigate mackerel, bonito or striped tuna, chicken gut and chicken fillets in parmesan cheese. These baits all give off a strong odour.

I get the best results here by tying a berley bag containing bread or old chopped pilchards to one of the bollards. You could also try using the frames of the striped tuna, frigate mackerel or bonito.

You will need a rod about two metres long, 6kg line and a running ball sinker down to the hook or a rig that has a swivel with a sinker on top and a leader of a metre to 1.5 metres. The hook doesn’t need to be any bigger than a 1/0.

If you are going to chase leatherjackets, yellowtail or slimy mackerel use a long-shanked No 8 or No 10 hook.

The best time to fish there is about two hours before dark on a rising tide. Most boating anglers come down to the ramp in the morning to launch and then return early to mid-afternoon, clean their fish and go home. The fish frames that they leave behind act as a berley to attract the fish to the wharf.

The second spot is the boat ramp off Morshead Drive at Oyster Bay. This is a very popular ramp with anglers who fish the Georges River, Botany Bay and offshore because there is plenty of parking, a pontoon in deep water and a sandy beach nearby.

Again this spot is best fished in the latter part of the day but if the wind is coming from the north and there are not many boaters going out it can be fished right though the day.

A rising tide will have the fish come from out of the deeper water to feed on the discarded fish frames. The main species you come across here are flathead, bream and sand whiting. When fishing for bream and flathead use whole prawns, strips of mullet or tuna and live poddy mullet. Whiting just can’t resist tube or blood worms. Berley here with chicken pellets and tuna flesh.

Similar tackle and rigs to that used at Dolans Bay will suffice.

The Albert Delardes Memorial Reserve at the end of the Old Ferry Road at Illawong is just downstream of the old Lugarno ferry ramp. The water tends to run a fair bit here but if you time your fishing for about an hour either side of the bottom or top of the tide you will be in a fair chance of getting a couple of fish.

Bream, whiting, flathead, mullet and mulloway frequent this spot as there is a deep gutter that runs parallel to the rocks. You need a rod between two and three metres long to help keep your line away from the rocks.

The best technique here is to cast up current and allow your rig to bounce along with the tidal flow. Once it is getting close to the rocks, retrieve it and cast out up the tide again.

It is best to keep your leader down to about 50cm here or just run the sinker straight down to the hook to avoid becoming snagged. Try whole prawns, slimy mackerel, mullet and yellowtail fillets.

To find out other spots that you can fish successfully from email or phone me on 0422 994 207 and book in for a class.


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