Botany Bay Bream
Fishing Author And Sponsored Angler
Gary Brown is a Sydney-based fishing author and sponsored angler. He authored the books Sydney and Hawkesbury Fishing Atlas, NSW South Coast Fishing Atlas, Rock and Beach Fishing and “How To Catch Australia’s Favourite Saltwater Fish”. He also writes for Kaydo Fishing World, Visit The Shire and has been published in NSW Fishing Monthly for 22 years without missing a single month. When he’s not writing, Gary speaks regularly at fishing events and tackle stores.
Gary’s Top Tips For Bream Fishing Botany Bay
- The bay contains a wide diversity of habitat from mangroves to oyster beds, seagrass, flats and cockle beds. Bream aggregate on all of them from time to time, so move around until you find the fish and the techniques that work on the day.
- Bream fishing is a year-round option in Botany Bay but you need to vary the techniques and the locations you fish to be successful. Surface activity is best in November-February. In March it’s time to start using soft plastics worked through to 3.5-4m deep. In winter the fish are in 4-10 m of water and can be targeted with blades. In spring the fish become very mobile and can be found anywhere and on any structure, so you’ll need to keep moving until you find them.
- If you want to learn to consistently catch fish on lures you need to leave the bait at home. Many people don’t persevere long enough to figure out how to use lures and switch back to soaking baits before they perfect lure fishing. Commit yourself to learning the ropes and keep at it until you do.
- Be prepared for a by-catch of flathead, kingfish, trevally, jewfish salmon, flounder and other species that hang about in Botany Bay.
- It’s common for a hot bite to occur just before a “southerly buster”, so watch the weather and try and wet a line when before the change for best result. It’s best to find areas where the water runs (some parts of the bay don’t get much movement of water even if the tides are big). The sand bar at Bells Point fishes well in the current slows down after a big tidal flow.
Gary’s Preferred Bream Fishing Tackle
- Gary is sponsored by Tackle Tactics and has been testing the Okuma gear that they now import.
- A 7’4″ 2-5kg Okuma LRF Spin rod with a Ceymar 30 size reel is good for longer casting over flats etc when the wind is low. He spools the reel with 2kg Berkley Crystal Fireline.
- A 7ft 3-6kg Okuma LRF spin rod is better for around mangroves, around wharves and markers etc where it’s necessary to muscle fish out of cover. Again, he uses a 30 size Helios reel, but loaded with 4kg Berkley Crystal Fireline.
- Gary likes either Sunline FC 100 Rock fluorocarbon leader or Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon. If the water is clear he fishes light (1kg) and uses a 3-4m length of leader. If the water is slightly dirty he’ll fish a 2m leader of 2-3kg fluorocarbon. A double uni know is used to attach line to leader.
Gary’s Best Bream Lures For Botany Bay
- Zman 2.5″ Grubz in motor oil, watermelon red or bloodworm are good. Fish them very slowly on a light jig head. Gary uses TT Headlockz jigs in hook sizes 2-4. These small hooks tend to find corners and crevasses in the small mouth of a bream and hook more fish than larger hooks. Gary prefers the 1/60 to 1/20 oz hidden weight jig hooks from Tackle Tactics or the 1/20 to 1/12 TT Headlockz jigs for water to 5m in depth.
- Tackle Tactics Blades are great in reasonably snag-free areas, even on the flats, but are especially good “tea bagged” in deeper water. Pick the tides though, or you’ll need a big, heavy blade to reach the bottom and bream won’t be interested.
- Atomic Crank Hardz are prefect for fishing around structure and the various depth models give anglers plenty of options.