A winter timetable
  |  First Published: June 2009

Winter time is rather productive if you put all your efforts into three species and work the right time of day to put yourself in with the best chance of catching a feed.

Tailor would be the first species to look for and I have found that larger tailor move into the Bay to feed over Winter. You won’t see any surface action, as the tailor feed mainly on larger prey in the deeper water around the Bay.

Trolling is by far the best method in finding them, Trolling is like prospecting - all you need to do is troll the deeper edges along structure for best results. The reason for this is that tailor are looking for baitfish along these edges. Look for lures that will troll fast and will work at depths around three to five metres. You can also work deep divers but you will need to troll slower with these lures.

Set a spread of three lures with the middle lure a deep diver and two that run around three metres each side. This will give you a good chance.

First light to around 9am seems the best time, but later in the afternoons will also produce well.

From 9am until 11am I look for trevally as they will feed rather well in the middle of the day - as long as there is water movement. The tide can be running in or out but you will need at times to move around to find them. Structure and berley is the key or a drop off into deeper water will hold good schools at times.

Trevally are rather easy to target - just fish nice and light with prawns and nippers in a good berley trail. Keep the berley as fine as you can and just float your bait along the trail. If there are trevally around, it won’t take them long to kick into gear. Bleed and put your catch straight onto ice if you’re keeping them to eat.

Between 11am and 1pm I normally head to the flathead grounds, as flathead are ambush feeders and will fire any time of the day. My preferred method in targeting flathead is spinning with soft plastics. Over the last few years, Squidges have helped many of my clients hook and land their first flathead on a lure, so to get started, grab a pack of bloodworm Wrigglers in 80mm and a lead jig head to match (about the size of your pinkie nail) or ask your local tackle supplier to set you up.

Spinning for flathead in Botany Bay, I normally start in water depths of around three to five metres and drift along. Moving spots from time to time also helps. The trick with catching flathead on soft plastics is be prepared to work at it, as flathead are one species that can be tricky to find at times, as they are not a schooling fish and tend to

feed alone.

So winter time can be quite productive, but you will need to rug up for the early starts. The days - and the fishing - will heat up.

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