Consistency in the cool
  |  First Published: June 2004

WINTER woollies are essential from now on as the mornings are rather cool.

The cold winds have started and the water temperature has dropped a little but I find fishing at this time of year fairly consistent. Many species cross over for about a month, providing interesting fishing at times.

Kings are little hard to find but securing good bait will give you a better chance of finding them. Squid is the No 1 bait but small live yellowtail are also worth trying.

Frozen squid are OK but live squid or freshly-caught stuff will give you the edge and may well produce the goods.

The normal spots like the Container Wall, Watts Reef, the Oil Wharf and Bare island are still worth trying and will produce the odd fish if conditions allow.

You may find by fishing closer to the entrance of the bay or along the ocean rock ledges north and south from the mouth are more productive as water temps drop and the fish leave the bay.

It’s prime trevally time and they come into their own as the water cools. Fishing over structure and laying out a good berley trail hold the key.

All the spots around the entrance should hold trevally. Just anchor and fish the rising or falling tide and use tackle and sinkers as light as the tidal flow will allow

Bream are a chance around these spots as well and at times they will move in and stuff themselves on my pre-mixed berley. Bream and Trevally just love it. Add a few small pieces of chopped pilchards to the berley when fishing from first light and there’s a good chance tailor will move in and feed freely as well.

Trolling along the ocean rocks, you may find the odd bonito and salmon with big tailor if you work in close to the whitewater. Rapala CD7 or CD9 minnows are the only lures in my opinion that provide the goods. Casting whole pilchards on ganged hooks into the whitewater will also produce tailor and the odd snapper after a big sea.

The Winter winds have me thinking of fishing the washes. Drummer and luderick, trevally and bream are on the cards whether fishing from your boat or from the ocean rocks.

The westerly winds tend to flatten out the seas, providing top conditions. With a little bread berley and nippers or prawns for bait, the rocks are looking good.

My pick is a run-up tide early in the morning or late afternoon and slight seas. I normally fish a two- or three-hour session walking the rocks and trying many different spots and I rarely come home without a feed of fish. This type of fishing requires little preparation but it’s very productive. Just watch the swell should the westerly drop – it can become big again without warning.

I have fished the rocks around Cronulla or Kurnell to Boat Harbour many times and they produce well if the conditions allow.

Remember that the ocean rocks are dangerous to fish so take care and never take your eyes off the water. That is first rule you learn when rock fishing and this also applies to fishing the same area in your boat.

The rocks around Sydney are stunning as the sun rises: The colours along the sandstone cliffs are something to see. I just love that first hour of light on the ocean rocks. It might be a little cool in Winter but it’s worth it.

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