Try the marker poles
  |  First Published: September 2003

THE fishing around our southern estuaries at this time of year always proves a little tough. The water temperature hangs around 15° and the wind seems to cut to the bone.

However, I couldn't think of a better place to be as I slice frozen pillies into small pieces and add them to my berley trail of chook pellets and bread in the hope of tangling with the odd trevally or big resident bream that hang around the deeper areas of Botany Bay at this time of the year. Spots like the container wall, Watts Reef, the oil wharf and Bare Island fire pretty well. All of these spots I have listed many times over past issues, only because they are spots that seem to produce over and over and this sort of action keeps all aboard my big green Vision boat happy.

There are plenty of locations that I haven't spoken about before and many of these are great spots to target trevally and the odd bream and tailor early of a morning.

Marker poles provide great structure for fish and there are plenty of them in Botany Bay. All you have to do is anchor your boat up-current and berley towards them and fish with only enough weight to carry your bait towards the pole. Avoid letting it rest on the bottom as you will catch only small reddies if you are fishing in the deeper parts of the Bay.

The third airport runway and Yarra Bay both provide areas that allow you to fish back into deeper water. I like to anchor in, say, six metres and have the boat sitting over perhaps nine metres. This will allow your bait to float with the berley back into the deeper water between 16 and 20 metres. With a little work you should find these drop offs. These spots at times will produce trevally, tailor, bream, big flathead, jewfish and kingfish through the Summer.

Lately fishing around the spots listed I have found that smaller soft plastics, like Slider grubs or Squidgies, fished back into a good berley trail seem to snare the larger fish. The smaller fish zero in on the nippers or peeled prawns and strip the baits before the bigger, more wary, fish have a chance. I plan to use this method more in the future as it has proven itself on a number of outings.

This time of year around these poles is also great for leatherjackets and what they lack in pulling power they make up for on the dinner plate. Squid or peeled prawns on long-shanked hooks fished tight to the poles will yield the best results.

Port Hacking is outstanding at the moment for luderick if you are prepared to work a little. Most of the rockier shores with deep water are great spots to fish for luderick. Good-quality green weed for bait and a berley mix of chopped weed and sand and a few slices of bread seem to work fine for me. Remember, there’s a bag limit of 20 per person and a legal-length fish has to be 25cm.

The Port is also a of snapper stronghold now. Most fish are 30cm to 40cm and are found in the deeper holes throughout the Hacking River. Anchor and fish with pillies, but berley is needed to help you attract a few fish. Yowie Bay and South West Arm are two spots worth trying. Snapper have a size limit of 30cm and a bag limit of 10 per person.

Trolling for tailor early mornings or late afternoons along the shore in South West Arm is productive. Rapala CD-7s are my pick when trolling.

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