Combating clear water
  |  First Published: August 2003

August can be a real funny month for fishing this area.

You will get plenty of those cold westerly winds that will make you want to curl up in front of a log fire. Some of the rivers will become very clear down near the entrance and, if there is not much of a sea running, you will find the beaches will also be very clear.

But this should not deter you from getting out there and trying to get among a few fish. Port Hacking will get a bit harder to fish, as it will clear up very quickly when there have been a few westerlies blowing. On the other hand, the Georges and Woronora Rivers will start firing for mullet, bream, flathead and sand whiting. The will also be the odd big mulloway around.

If you are going to have a fish in Port Hacking, I suggest you stick to the deep areas during the day and fish the shallows at night. Places that have deep holes are the entrance to South Arm and North West Arm, Gymea and Yowie bays, the drop-off near Lilli Pilli baths, Dee-Ban Spit and parts of the river up near the Audley Weir. Baits worth a try include chicken and mullet gut, strips of tuna or mullet, pilchard fillets and small soldier crabs.

Those keen on fishing off the rocks could try for luderick, silver trevally, squid and drummer. Baits to try are abalone gut, cunjevoi, bread, cabbage and red or brown crabs. Places worth a second look are the platform at the northern end of Garie Beach, Coalcliff and La Perouse and Kurnell peninsulas.

The Georges and Woronora rivers are worth a try for bream around the Lugarno area, Alfords Point and Chipping Norton Lakes. Make sure that you concentrate your fishing close to the shore and near the bottom of the tide.

Dusky flathead can also be caught around these areas, but I would prefer to concentrate at the entrance to Woronora River, Salt Pan Creek and the sandy beach at the end of River Road at Padstow. Chipping Norton is worth a try for luderick with fresh green weed.

Mulloway can be caught during the day at places like the bridges at Alfords Point, East Hills and the M5. Try whole small mullet or fillets. If you like using minnow lures, go for Mann’s Stretch 15+s, Storm Thunder Cranks and Rapala Shad Rap deep runners. I have found that the trick to fishing these lures is to use a ripping action, so that the lure doesn’t dive to its working depth but ploughs through the top section of the water, just like a popper would.

Now let’s look at some spots where you can try your soft plastic lures this month.

Land-based: Dee Ban Spit is in Port Hacking between Bonnie Vale and Maianbar. This long, narrow sandy spit can be fished from both sides. The western side is best fished near the top of the tide on the run-in. As the tide falls, you need to work your way downstream to where the basin empties into the main channel.

The eastern side of the spit can be fished at all parts of the tide, just make sure that you keep your plastics near or on the bottom. Summer months will produce bream, sand whiting and flathead. Autumn will see salmon, tailor and the odd bonito and kingfish come in.

Boat-based: The entrance to the Woronora River has a series of sandbanks where you can work your plastics around the edges for bream, sand whiting, flathead and the odd small mulloway every now and then. I have found the Storm Wild Eye Rippin Shad in pearl phantom colour to work very well here.



Shovelnose rays might not be glamour fish, but Phillip Ross reckons they fight very hard on light line.


There are plenty of sand whiting of this size around in the cooler months. All you have to do is put in the time and effort to find them. Dee Ban Spit is a good place to start.

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