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A morning on Botany Bay
  |  First Published: February 2008



February can be one of the most productive times for flathead, mulloway, kingfish, sand whiting and bream but there will also be trevally, salmon and bonito on offer.

The weather is usually quite steady but with what we have experienced over the past 12 months it would be a big call to predict conditions.

To give you a bit of an idea of what to do, here’s a typical morning outing on Botany Bay, the Georges River and Port Hacking.

BOTANY BAY

Arrive at the boat ramp at about 5.30am and head off to the small reef in the corner of Yarra Bay to catch a few squid and small yellowtail. High tide is about 8am. Berley with a mixture of bread and chopped pilchards to get the baitfish on the chew.

Once you have about 10 or so yellowtail and three or four squid, head off to Molineaux Point.

Lower a sand anchor, making sure you position the back of the boat about 5m to 6m from the concrete retaining wall. Suspend a live bait on a paternoster rig just off the bottom for kingfish, while setting up a berley trail for bream and silver trevally.

While the berley trail is slowly going away from the boat, use a baitrunner-style reel to slowly feed out a lightly weighted bait. If nothing happens after the bait is fed out about 30m to 40m, reel it in and start again.

If you don’t start to get a few fish after about 30 to 40 minutes, move to either of The Drums in the middle of the bay and repeat the process. Again, stay for about 30 to 40 minutes and then move over to Sutherland Point. Naturally this will all depend on which way the wind is coming from.

Usually by now you should have a few fish in the ice box but if all the best-laid plans have not gone to schedule, change tack and go over the end of the Third Runway and start targeting bream, whiting and trevally.

Anchor where there is a bit of a current line, lay out a berley trail, cast out two rigs with No 2 bean sinkers, swivels and leaders from 1m to 2m. Use peeled prawns and pink nippers for bait.

You could also try blood, tube or beach worms, half a pilchard or a strip of tuna.

For the last hour I try flicking a few soft plastics around Towra Point and off Brighton-le-Sands for a few flathead and flounder. This should usually have you back at the ramp at about midday.

GEORGES RIVER

I have fished all of the bridges in the Georges River and I have had very good success at each for mulloway and bream. I position my boat about 7m or 8m from the base of a pylon to allow the berley trail to wrap around the pylon and give me enough room when fighting the fish (most of the time).

It doesn’t seem to matter at what time of day or night or what tide, as long as the water is moving – no run, no fun.

PORT HACKING

Port Hacking can be a little bit hard to fish but if you keep note of your successful outings, you will begin to come out on top.

I prefer fish for bream when the high tide is about an hour before dark or an hour after sunup. Good baits include pink nippers, blood or tube worms, half pilchards, peeled prawns, strips of fresh squid and strips of mullet or tuna.

I often anchor at the edge of the shallows to fish the deeper areas, especially around the Lilli Pilli sand flats. While the tide is running fairly strongly I use a No 2 bean sinker above a swivel and then a leader of 1m to 2m.

If the water is not running too fast I use as little as lead as possible, just enough to allow the bait to sink away from the boat at the same rate as the berley.

Bream feed up on the sand flats for an hour or so when the tide is at its highest. This is when you need to fish as light as the conditions will allow. Try the entrances to Burraneer and Gunnamatta Bays.

Those who don’t like anchoring could drift the area from Deban Spit to Bundeena Wharf, where bream, whiting, flathead and flounder can be caught. For more information email me or visit www.garybrownfishing.com.au.

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