River blackfish hang on well
  |  First Published: October 2008

Even though Winter has been over for a month there are still plenty of luderick in the Georges and Hacking rivers. The trick to getting these great fighters is to use fresh green weed or cabbage and have a steady stream of berley going.

Places would worth a shot in Port Hacking include the edges of the weed beds near the Ballast Heap, the entrance to Gunnamatta Bay, the small reef just upstream of Little Turiel Bay, Deer Park and the eastern shoreline of South West Arm.

You could also try between the diversion wall and Swallow Rock boat ramp. All these areas fish well on rising and falling tides.

In the Georges River try Soil Point, Bald Face Point, the Captain Cook and Tom Uglys bridges, the entrance to Oatley Bay, The Moons, Alfords Point bridge, Picnic Point baths and Chipping Norton Lakes.

With the warming water the flathead should be more responsive to jigged plastics and trolled hardbodies but you could also try drifting live poddy mullet, yellowtail, herring or strips of mullet, slimy mackerel and striped tuna.

Work the sand flats during the top of the tide and the deeper water during the lower parts of the tide.

October will also see bream taking soft plastics and hard lures off the surface.

Nothing is better than seeing a big bream take a surface offering. Try Lucky Craft NW Pencils, River 2 Sea Bubble Pops, Rebel Pop R’s and 3” minnows on TT Hidden Weight jig heads or a Squidgy Resin Head.

Remember when using these lures you need to have a few pauses in the slow retrieve. I have had bream take surface lures in 3m of water.


During Winter Port Hacking has had plenty of leatherjackets on the chew and these should continue for the next few months. I have been getting plenty of them as by-catch when using metal blades for bream, but the best way to catch jackets is a paternoster rig with a No 10 to No 12 long-shank hook baited with a small piece of nipper, squid or peeled prawn – just enough to sit on the bend of the hook.

Tailor, salmon and bonito should still be working the bait schools in Botany Bay and near the entrance to Port Hacking.

When you come across schools of feeding fish you should try letting your lure, soft plastic or bait sink for a while. You could be surprised and get a bream, silver trevally or snapper which usually will be just below the feeding pelagics picking up the bits left over.


October will also see increased numbers of kingfish, which will increase in size and numbers as the water warms.

Try live swimming a live squid or yellowtail in a deep spot in the Bay or Port Hacking. Anchor up and lay out a steady stream of berley and pin on one of those livies.

Blue swimmer crabs will also show up over the flats and the drops offs in the Bay so it would be worth setting out a few witches’ hats.

Remember, you can’t use any type of crab trap in the Port Hacking so you will have to use a piece of bait on a line. When fishing for crabs in Port Hacking I usually put my bait into a piece of nylon stocking.

So there will be plenty on offer for you during October so dust off the cobwebs from your fishing gear and get out there.

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