Sydney Rock Fishing Identity
Mark is a Sydneysider who fishes regularly from the stones to the North and South of Sydney, but particularly the headlands around Botany Bay. Targeting pelagics on lure and bait, he relishes the opportunity to tangle with bonito during the warmer months.
Mark’s Top Bonito Fishing Tips
- Bonito are prolific along the central NSW coastline during the summer months and can be targeted by anyone willing to seek out a suitable ledge and make a few casts.
- Early morning is the prime time and when bonito are most likely to be on the surface. Mark likes to be at his fishing destination by dawn and making casts with topwater lures as the sun rises, switching to sub-surface as the sun gets higher in the sky.
- Mark has two rods rigged and ready to go, a heavy one for targeting kingfish and a lighter one for bonito. That way he can switch quickly depending on what species comes along.
- Look for places where there are headlands jutting out and plenty of water movement striking the point. If there’s bait hanging close to ledges or fleeing away from your lure there’s a good chance that bonito or other predatory fish are nearby.
- Google Earth is your friend. Look not only for places where there are ledges where you can cast into moving water, but use the 3D mode to find out how steep the walk (climb) in is. Look for tracks where others have walked down in the past.
- Safety first, wear rock cleats and a pdf, watch the water, avoid fishing during high seas and if necessary fish from higher points where you’re above the water.
- The run-in tide tends to fish better, especially if it coincides with dawn or dusk.
Mark’s Preferred Bonito Fishing Tackle
- A 10’ PE2 to PE2.5 Palms Blue Runner Gun Evolve jigging rod is perfect, coupled with a 3500 Daiwa or 4000 Shimano spin reel, 20lb braid and a rods length of 30lb leader.
- Don’t forget your PFD, rock cleats, a rope with a tennis ball on the end to throw to anyone who gets washed in and a long-handled gaff for landing fish.
Mark’s Sydney Bonito Fishing Lures
- The Halco Max 110mm (30g) or 130mm (80g) bibles minnow is perfect for bonito and other pelagics from the stones. These lures cast well and have a great side to side action with plenty of vibration. They can be burned back at full speed on a straight retrieve and are great when the water is a little on the rough side.
- The Duel Adagio 125mm (45g) sinking stickbait has been replaced by the Duel Hardcore Monster Shot. Both are very versatile lures for bonito, and are especially useful on calmer days. These lures can be burned back at high speed, fished with a “twitch, twitch, pause” technique or allowed to sink deep to reach fish further down the water column.
- The Duo Rough Trail Blazin 110mm bibbed minnow is effective off the stones for bonito when you are looking for an alternative action and vibration.
- When conditions force the angler to fish from higher ledges, jigging comes into it’s own. These lures are also perfect if you miss the early morning surface bite. Mark finds the Palms Slow Blatt Cast in 40-60g sizes are perfect in natural colours, silvers and pilchard type patterns. Cast long, let them sink and work them back at reasonably fast speeds with a good, erratic motion. Check out Marks video here for details of the technique.