Flaying the flatties
  |  First Published: December 2003

FIRSTLY, let’s look back for a second and show all you keen plastics fishos a few quality flathead from Botany bay that were caught in a two-hour session back in October.

Local fisho Brook from Fish& Dive and his mate Joel from Shimano slipped out for a morning spinning with Squidgies around the vast sand flats of Botany Bay. It was 6.30 am and the boys both had to be at work by 9am, so time was tight.

The following two hours provided one of the best spinning sessions on big lizards that Joel and Brook had experienced in the Bay. Joel top-scored with an 81cm fish, caught on a black opal shad and six fish followed – 69cm, 66cm, 64cm, 60cm and a 59cm. Another three solid fish were lost right at the boat. The largest three fish were released and the boys kept a few for the table. Who said there are no stud flathead left in Botany Bay?

It’s great to see more and more fishos releasing the large female flathead and keeping only a few smaller fish for the table. This will ensure great fishing for years to come.

Back to the future and the Bay is firing with plenty of good trevally. Bare Island and the container wall are proving the better spots for me. Off Kurnell in 25 metres the odd plate-size snapper has been caught on pilchards.

Salmon are spread right along the coast and it’s just a matter of finding the schools and trolling around the fish or casting lures into the surface frenzy.Remember not to drive through the schools in your pursuit of a hook-up – you’ll only spook the fish.

Bream are starting their spawning run and the early signs look great. A few bream specialists in the Bay are returning with nice catches most outings. Nippers and bloodworms are the gun baits if you are going to score well on the Summer bream run.

Kingfish have returned to the Bay and average 3kg to 6kg. The odd fish will be caught while trolling around the headlands and this is a proven method. Salmon, tailor and bonito are also a chance on the troll.

Live-baiting for kings is probably your best chance of scoring a solid fish. To be rewarded, you will needed to catch squid or yellowtail for bait and this at times can be frustrating. Think structure, in the form of reef or kelp beds, and if you anchor and berley a little, you should find yellowtail. While anchored, cast a squid jig and slowly work it back to the boat.

Now you have your squid and a few live yellowtail swimming around in your bait tank, you will have to wait until next month to find out every little detail on how to catch the mighty yellowtail kingfish of Botany Bay!

*Joel from Shimano with a ripper, 81cm Lizard caught on a Squidgy in Botany Bay.

*Brook of Fish & Dive Taren with a solid Flathead caught on a Squidgy Black opal shad.

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