Still slow going
  |  First Published: October 2005

The strong westerly winds are starting to ease as we really slide into Spring and things start to warm up but it’s a slow process.

The water is still rather cool and this can be a tricky time to fish around Sydney. Most anglers think that just because the days are longer and warmer the water should be following suit but the water might take to the end of November to start to heat up and I always find that I’ll have a few tough days at this time of year.

Salmon are one species that are rather consistent – not so much in Botany Bay but just offshore, along the rocky ledges north or south. They are one of the top sport fish on light tackle that you could tangle with.

Salmon at this time are ready to spawn and I think that large schools rolling on the surface are feeding and spawning at the same time, but this is only my opinion.

Most anglers will find that some days the salmon are just about impossible to catch. You can cast just about every size lure at them without even a look.

Try allowing your lure to sink, because other fish might well be feeding beneath the salmon. Trevally seem to follow the feeding salmon and will often smash a sinking lure.


I always start with very small metal slices and work up to larger lures and soft plastics but for some reason 6” or 9” Slug-gos skipped across the surface will often bring results even if the salmon are feeding on very small baits.

Salmon as a table fish? I can hear people saying ‘Scotty’s lost the plot’. I keep only one or two fish and bleed them immediately and ice them down for best results.

At the end of the day, fillet and skin them and remove all the blood lines and you are left with two long white strips of flesh. I slice these pieces into long, thin strips, roll them in a small amount of flour seasoned with salt and pepper and shallow-fry them. Never overcook them; this should take only around two minutes tops.

Serve on a bed of rice with lemon or sweet chilli sauce.

So when fishing is tough and the water is cold, look for salmon – they are one of my favourite species to target at this time of year and not that bad on the table – give them a try.

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