Waiting for warmer water
  |  First Published: November 2004

Botany Bay at the end of October and into November normally provides rather tough fishing.

But the weather is hard to beat, with average day temperatures around 20° to 25°. On such warm days most anglers’ thoughts turn to warm water and surface action, but it’s not always so.

Salmon seem the only surface feeders around now but once the water temperature rises, the small bait schools seem to move in and the surface action will follow.

However, this maybe not happen until mid-November or even into December, so don’t think that the fishing is in tune with weather.

Having said that, the fishing up to now around Botany Bay has been outstanding for this time of year and the season ahead should be good.

Large numbers of silver trevally are still hanging around the Container Wall and for the past few months the fishing around this area has been very consistent day after day, keeping plenty of anglers happy.

Trevally are top sports when caught on light tackle and I seem to talk about them each month in my reports of late.

That’s because trevally are now the most common species caught in Botany Bay now and I think it’s due to the ban on commercial fishing a few years ago.

From my records and catch history over the past few seasons, trevally were once only a sure thing in the Winter but I’m finding that the schools are staying in the Bay and we are catching just as many in Summer as we do in Winter. This is a big improvement.

Add a few more years to the Bay’s recovery and one can only guess how good the fishing may become.


Tailor are another fairly common species and on most days at this time of the year they are a great chance.

Trolling seems to score plenty of fish because they are feeding on larger baits like yellow tail, so small Rapalas are the No 1 lure. They work for me trip after trip around the structure in the Bay and out along the headlands just on the edge of the whitewater.

The key when trolling is to place your lure in the areas where the tailor are feeding. Early morning will provide best results as the fish seem to move right into the whitewater to feed. As the sun starts to rise they move off in search of deeper water.

I find a spread of three lures in different colours, with the centre lure a long away back and the other two close to the boat, will cover plenty of water and put you in good chance of bagging a few tailor.

Jewfish are starting to show up around the bridges and deep holes along the Georges River and a few solid fish have come from the Hacking River.

To put your self in with a great chance for a jewie over the next few weeks, work on the bigger tides with fresh squid or live yellow tail or mullet.

Soft plastics are also producing a few fish but may need a fair bit of work – don’t give up after five minutes! Squidgies from 100mm up would be a good way to start.

Spinning with lures allows you to cover more ground in your search than soaking baits but jewies never seem to come easy.

Flathead should start to fire up as the water temperature rises and normally in November they are breeding, so put the bigger fish back as they are our breeding machines for the future. Plenty of smaller males will be on the hunt for food and they are normally rather aggressive around the breeding season, making them easier to catch.

Soft plastics are my pick for flatties. I like to cover plenty of ground when spinning, with Squidgies in gold and white my standout colours, followed by red rump, silver fox and black opal.

November is the start to the season ahead so gear up and be ready as it should be a ripper.

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