Time to tempt trevally
  |  First Published: July 2004

THIS IS trevally time in Botany Bay.

Silver trevally just love the cooler waters of Winter, when the larger fish move into the bay and around the close reefs off Sydney.

Trevally like the deeper waters of our estuaries, spending plenty of time around spots like Watts Reef, the Container Wall, the Oil Wharf and that great trevally hot spot, Bare Island. Large catches are on the cards here if conditions are right.

Trevally are a better chance if you target them from the third runway and out towards the entrance. They prefer clean, clear water.

Having said that, the odd fish at times will grab a soft plastic intended for flathead in the shallows around Foreshore Drive, Brighton Beach and along Towra Point, but in my experience only the odd fish is caught in this close.

Fishing for Trevally is rather simple once you know how. Knowing that trevally are mid-water fish, one method works for me time and again.

Fishing light is the key. I recommend a Shimano 3500 Baitrunner matched with the new Backbone BB 702 Spin, which also is a great stick for tailor and salmon spinning. This outfit is very ‘tippy’ but has plenty of muscle down low.

Line such as 6kg Schneider would be the ideal choice. Some say 6kg is a little heavy for trevally but every now and again the odd kingfish will steal that nipper intended for a trevally. If you’re fishing lighter than 6kg the fight is over very quickly as the kingie will reef you in a blink of an eye.

A 00 ball sinker and a Mustad 9555b 1/0 hook or something similar complete the rig. Allow the sinker to sit on top of the hook and fish with nippers or peeled prawn in a berley trail of chopped pilchards and chook pellets.


Only a small amount of berley is needed but remember to keep the flow going, even if the fish are biting their heads off. You may have spent 30minutes berleying before your first hook-up but if the food stops, the fish will leave and you will find it hard to drag them back for a second shot.

I have spoken about this method of fishing plenty of times but I have brought it up because Winter fishing around Sydney will test most fishos and finding fish some days can be tough.

This is a proven method that I rely on just about every day on the water. Worked in deep water around structure, this method will catch fish even on the toughest days.

Bate Bay, off Cronulla, will provide you with some outstanding trevally fishing. Other areas that come to mind when thinking of trevally include Osborne Shoals, a reef found straight out off the Kingsway in the middle of Bate Bay. An other spot is Merries Reef, that starts from Boat Harbour and continues south, providing you with plenty of shallow reef spots with good drop-offs that trevally just love.

The method that I use here is no different from fishing in Botany Bay. My rig, bait and berley are the same and the 6kg line will suit just fine, as the trevally are no bigger than the fish you will catch in the Bay most times.

Snapper are also a top chance when fishing Bate Bay. They just love pilchard cubes. They normally are a smaller run of fish with a 2kg red considered a good fish.

This style of fishing is very productive and I find it very enjoyable so get out there and give it a try and let me know how you fare.

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