Head out with a plan
  |  First Published: December 2009

Starts at 6am wearing just light clothes suit me down to the ground! The fishing is now prime around Sydney and there’s lots on offer.

Regardless, it’s wise for any fisho at this time of year to have a plan on just what you’re targeting during your day on the water. Don’t try to fish for ‘anything that’s biting’ because you will spend the day just running about, spending little time fishing.

I like to pick three species and areas to try and then work these around the tides for the day.

Say I have a high tide at 9.30am. I’d start on the bream grounds wide of the Third Runway to fish the rising tide.

This area at this time of year should also have some surface action, mainly tailor and the odd salmon, so keep an eye open for them while sitting at anchor baiting and berleying for bream.

A bust-up of tailor next to the boat might change your bream plans for a while but that’s fine if you’re putting fish in the boat.

Kingies are at the top of the target list. They’re good eating, fight dirty and pull harder than most.

The legal length is 65cm so take note and put the smaller ones back.

I know that a 55cm Kingie will pull harder that any bream or flathead and are comparatively large fish, but rules are rules.

Fisheries officers ought to be out on the water early to keep this in check; last year compliance with kingfish legal sizes was a joke out on Botany Bay.


My main Summer targets are kingies, bream and flathead, along with any surface species that may show.

Targeting kingies around the deeper spots in the Bay is rather easy, as long as you have good bait – it’s is a must. Small live yellowtail or fresh squid produce well.

Lures are also worth thinking about. Squidgy soft stickbaits work well for me, as do small McGoo trolling skirts. If you are trolling the stickbaits you might need a swivel to prevent twist.

Both lures will take kingies if trolled past structure. Troll very slowly, working the rod tip by ripping the lure across the surface as you roll along.

Live fish and live or fresh squid are by far the best way to target kingies and I can fish for Bream and Trevally at the same time.

Just anchor at your chosen spot and start a berley trail. Set up two baits for the kingies under the boat and fish floaters out the back in the berley trail.

You will be surprised how many kingies will smash unweighted bait, even with live baits under the boat.

Our best kingie taken on floating bait last year was 90cm. On 6kg line you need a lot of luck on your side to pull this off.


Spinning for flathead is normally left to the end of each trip because flathead will feed at any time. Most of the flathead I show on my web reports each week at www.fishingsydney.com.au are normally caught between noon and 1pm. Over Summer, the north-easter is usually blowing by then so I just work the shoreline that suits me the best when drifting,

Towra Point is no good in a strong north-easter but inside Woolooware Bay is spot-on – or fish the north side of the Bay.

Squidgies are my pick of soft plastics. I don’t have a colour that works better than any another; my thought is the one hanging off the end of your rod will catch more than the plastics in your tackle box so try them all.

Water depth is not that important, I quite often fish 12m by drifting and simply working lures up and down on the bottom. No casting is needed, just drop your lure to the bottom and start your drift.

In 1m to 5m, casting and working your lures is a better method.

So plan your day and get out on the water and catch a few. Don’t worry too much about the tides, as long as the water is running in or running out, you will catch fish.

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