Trevally and bream highlights
  |  First Published: September 2004

THE FIRST fresh for months came down into Botany Bay and Port Hacking and just in the nick of time – fishing in the clear water has been a little tough.

At its worst, you could see every ripple on the bottom in 10 metres of water just off the Container Wall.

Clear water is normally for trout fishos in mountain streams, not the anglers of Botany Bay, so early starts were a must.

Over recent weeks the fishing has been very good, with trevally and bream making up most of our catches. Trolling after the sun hits the sky has produced quite a few solid tailor from Yarra Bay but by 9am the fishing has slowed because of the clear water and the rest of the day has been very tough.

This is normally one of the toughest months on Botany Bay but due to a little rain in recent times the fishing should be rather good.

Anyway, September is always great for flathead on soft plastics over the vast flats of the Bay.

Luderick are a key species to target in both systems as long as you have plenty of top quality bait and berley. They can be found from the entrance to the upper reaches of the rivers.

Try to fish a spot that has a little run in the water and not quite crystal-clear. Remember, no run, no fun.

Leatherjackets, on the other hand, seem to like the quieter waters around structure and are a great land-based target.

Most of the wharves and boat ramps in Port Hacking are ideal feeding grounds for leatherjackets. In Botany Bay, The Container wall, the old runway and any of the channel markers will hold leatherjackets.

Fish light and close to the bottom with prawns, nippers or squid bait. A long-shank No 8 or No 10 hook should do the trick and remember, there’s a bag limit of 20 but keep only enough for a feed.

Tailor are worth targeting in deeper water just on first light. The Oil Wharf is a spot that I have found very productive over the past few years. You’ll need berley and pilchards for bait.

Tailor will go of the bite after sun rise so getting there early is the key. At night along the Oil Wharf is also great.

The colder waters should now hold a few of the larger trevally that seem to move into the Bay and they also hang around the small reefs just of Cronulla. These fish are great sport on light tackle and respond well to a berley trail of bread and chook pellets. Chopped pilchards will increase your hook-ups at times and remember to fish as light as you can – just a small sinker running down to your hook, which should be baited with nippers or prawns.


I’m often asked how I like to cook trevally and here are two simple ways.

For smaller fish, lay the whole fish on a sheet of foil and make three cuts across the fish on both sides.

Add three cubes of butter or a splash of olive oil and one teaspoon of chilli sauce to each side with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook for five to seven minutes each side on a barbecue or in the oven.

For larger fish, fillet the fish and skin it, removing all bloodlines and bones to give two boneless fillets.

Mix curry powder with flour in a plastic bag, add the fillets and shake to coat them. Remove the fillets and dust off excess coating and shallow-fry in hot oil.

Butter two fresh bread rolls and add chilli sauce or tartare sauce. Remove filets from pan and place them onto your rolls. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remember when cooking trevally it’s important not to overcook – they eat much better with a little moisture left in the fish.

The fillet recipe is my favourite and I find that salmon and bonito fillets cooked the same way and served as a fishburgers with a little salad are hard to beat. Give this a try and let me know what you think.

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