Summer starts early
  |  First Published: November 2003

SO FAR this Spring we have experienced some really weird weather. In one day out on the water you could experience four seasons in one.

Even though Summer does not officially start until December, this month bream, flathead and yellowtail kingfish start to show up throughout Botany Bay and Port Hacking. And along with this Summery weather come hot winds, glare from the reflection on the water and those pesky insects. It’s a time when you will need to cover up with a hat and sunscreen and keep those polarised glasses close by.

Those prone to getting sunburnt might want to concentrate fishing times to the early part of the morning or go down for a fish after they have finished work and watch those last few rays of sunlight disappear over the horizon for another day.

Places worth a try for bream in Botany Bay are the end of the old and new airport runways, Molineaux Point, Watts Reef and The Sticks. At these places you should have a leader of about one to two metres, a ball or bean sinker to suit the current and a baitrunner-style reel mounted on a medium to fast taper rod. Use peeled prawns, nippers, fillets of pilchard or bloodworms for bait. It is just a matter of sitting back and waiting for that baitrunner to start playing your tune, though you should also spend your time keeping the berley flowing from your anchored boat.

If you prefer to fish in the deeper water around The Drums, Bare Island and the wharf at Kurnell, you will still need to berley but the rig will need to be kept simple by having a small ball sinker running right down to the hook. Use those baits mentioned earlier. The technique this time will be to slowly feed the line from the boat until a fish picks up the bait and hightails it out of there. This is when you disengage the baitrunner system and strike to set the hook.

In Port Hacking you could always give those minnow lures and soft plastics a go around the marinas and private jetties throughout most of the bays. The sand flats are always a very good option after dark on a rising tide as the fish will come up onto the flats as the water starts to run over them. Berley and lightly-weighted baits are the go.

If you are after a feed of flathead you could try just about any sandy spot that has a bit of broken reef and weed. Try using a set of ganged hooks and fresh mullet, slimy mackerel, tuna or pilchards for bait.

Yellowtail kingfish have been around all year, which is very unusual for this part of Sydney. Their usual haunts have been The Drums in the middle of Botany Bay, Henrys Head, Bare Island and the Kurnell oil wharf. Live yellowtail, slimy mackerel and squid are the go. You could also try using poppers, minnows, flies and plastics.

Here are my spots for the month to try out those soft plastics.

Land-based: Now that Summer is almost here you could take a drive down to Garie Beach or Stanwell Park Beach and work the deeper parts of some of the great gutters there. Try using the large Storm and Squidgy shads. After dark seems to get the best results, but if there has been a bit of a southerly blow and it is overcast, it is worth a try.

Boat-based: The Drums in the middle of Botany Bay have some very deep water around them. You could anchor on the outside of the mooring drums and cast back towards them, allowing your soft plastic shads to sink to the bottom. Then retrieve them in a slow, jerky motion or wind as fast as you can. You will have to experiment on what technique works on the day.

This is the last in a series of twelve issues in which I have given boat-based and shore spots to try out those plastics and hopefully you have had a chance to get a few fish in the places I have suggested.

I will let you know in the next issue how Scott Lyons and I went down at Jindabyne chasing trout.

And if you have any questions you’d like to ask about fishing in Sydney don’t hesitate to email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


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