I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics.
I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published December 8th 2014
This article may seem like that it is bias towards one fishing charter and guide that operates in Sydney and I hope that it doesn't come across that way.
What I will be putting together is a number of reviews over the coming months on fishing charter/guides that I have been out with, giving you an bit of an insight in to what they provide.
Southern Sydney Fishing Tours is run and owned by Scotty Lyons and I have known Scotty for around sixteen years (16) and I first met him through our mutual love of fishing in a little tackle shop in Kirrawee.
Scotty Lyons and his Green Machine
When I first met (1998) Scotty had been taking anglers fishing off the rocks and beach for four years, plus chartering in Botany Bay for two years. In 2002 Scotty customed designed a 7m Vision plate sport fishing boat to take customers out onto Botany Bay and the Port Hacking to target bream, dusky flathead, silver trevally, tailor and the odd yellow-tailed kingfish. Scott designed this boat with the fisherman in mind.
There is plenty of room at the rear of the boat, even when you get multiple kigfish hookups
The vessel is fully fitted out with live bait tank, large casting deck, fish finder, GPS, berley pot, ice box for keeping your catch fresh and plenty of storage and is powered by a 150hpdi Yamaha outboard. It been fully surveyed by the RMS annually. The boat is able to carry up to six passengers and it comes complete with all the required safety gear for both enclosed and off shore waterways in NSW. All the gear that Scotty uses on his charters has been supplied by Shimano, Schneider Fishing lines and Bumper Bar Lures.
They say that 90% of the fish that are caught by 10% of anglers and I would rate Scotty in the 10% of anglers. His expertise was developed from an early age when both his father Bill and grandfather Roy passed on their extensive knowledge to him. After leaving school Scotty completed his carpentry apprenticeship and gained his Builder's License but fishing remained a strong passion. He joined the Caringbah Anglers Club and successfully honed his skills across club and state-level events. In 1994 he hit the road to full-fill a life-long ambition of travelling around Australia on a fishing odyssey to even hone his fishing skills even more.
So, what do you get for your money when going out for a day on the GREEN MACHINE with Scotty?
A skipper with an intimate knowledge of Botany Bay, the Port Hacking and Georges Rivers, plus an extensive knowledge of offshore fishing areas north and south of Botany Bay. Reliable fishing gear.
A chance to catch that fish of a lifetime. To be able to bring home a feed of fish if you like. Maybe you like to catch, photo and release the fish. Learn the different techniques on how to target, bream, silver trevally, dusky and sand flathead, kingfish, Australian salmon, tailor, snapper and morwong, so that you can take this knowledge and apply it to your next fishing trip.
White knuckle hands on fishing. Live baiting for kingfish.
• Scotty will scale, gill and gut your fish. So all you need to do it take it home and cook it.
• A fun day out on the water, with a few laughs. Even though Scott doesn't know too many jokes.
• Tea, coffee, water, soft drinks and biscuits.
• Approximately seven hours on the water. The actual fishing time will vary on how far you have to travel to the fishing spot.
• You may even get a few cooking tips.
WHAT TYPE OF CHARTERS/TOURS DOES SCOTTY OFFER?
• You can spend a bait fishing for bream, whiting, dusky flathead, silver trevally and flounder in Botany Bay or the Port Hacking River. During these sessions you will also learn how to berley and catch your own bait.
• Troll for kingfish, Australia salmon, tailor and bonito in Botany Bay or north a south of the entrance to Botany Bay and the Port Hacking.
• Live bait for kingfish and mulloway in the estuaries and close inshore reefs.
• Anchor or drift the close offshore reefs for snapper, morwong, silver trevally, kingfish, sand and tiger flathead.
• Luderick in the Port Hacking during the cooler months of the year.
• Lure fishing for kingfish, dusky flathead and squid. You will learn how to use metal, hard bodied lures and soft plastics.
• Fish for seven days and six nights fishing the Gulf of Carpentaria on the Western side of Cape York, while staying on the Tillimay a 10 metre live aboard house boat with plenty of comfort for six people. It comes complete with two 4.5 metre tenders, just what you need to explore and fish the vast river system and blue water of Albatross Bay. You will also have your own personal chef (Glenn) who will have everything prepared for you after a hard days fishing.
Maybe you would like to design one of your own? How about a day on the water bait or lure fishing for dusky flathead while setting out a few traps/pots blue swimmer crabs. This would be a great one for the summer months.
Or what about fishing the washes along the coast line for drummer, groper, bream, tailor and snapper?
If you have your own idea all you need to do is send Scotty an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 0418169439 and talk to him about it.
DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR OWN GROUP?
No! You can if you want, but Scotty caters not only for group bookings, but for singles as well. So if you are by yourself and you don't want to hire Scotty and his boat for the day you can join other anglers like yourself who want to go for a fish.
The results of a singles day on the water. They had never met before going out on Scotty's boat
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday's are the days that Scotty has set aside. You can either book the day out for yourself or a group. Or if you are by yourself you can book onto one of his single days. These days will run as long as he has the numbers.
MEETING LOCATIONS AND TIMES?
BOTANY BAY: 7am pick up at Sans Souci public wharf, which can be found on the northern side of Captain Cook Bridge, inside Sans Souci Park, were you find plenty of parking. Return time around 2pm.
PORT HACKING: 7am pick up at Dolans Bay boat ramp, which can be found at end of Port Hacking rd. Lilli Pilli. There is plenty of parking. Return time 2pm
NOTE: All start times can be adjusted to suit your requirements i.e.: 8am start to 3pm finish.
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE OUTING.
Scott will phone before 8pm to confirm the final details and the weather conditions for the following day.
If weather takes a change for the worse Scott will phone you at 5am on day of trip (if you are leaving at 6), please provide a phone number that you can be contacted on.
A RECENT DAY OUT ON A SINGLES DAY WITH SCOTTY.
Early last week I received a phone call from Scotty asking if I would like to come out for a fish the next day, as he only had four customers on board. A pest exterminator, and pest and building inspector and his 13 year old son plus a chef from Matt Moran's restaurant Chiswick at Woollahra. You could get a more diverse group of anglers if you tried.
Alberto (chef extraordinare) was thinking about which way he would cook this sharped-beaked gurnard
It only took a couple of seconds to say yes, as I rushed downstairs to grab a couple outfits and some soft plastics while still on the mobile to Scotty.
As always Scotty has some kind of plan for the day, depending on what the customers would like to do. As we were leaving the wharf near the Captain Cooks Bridge Scotty put everyone into the picture on how the day would unfold.
We were going to pick up a few squid at Sutherland Point and Watts Reef with squid jigs. These were going to be trolled close in along the shoreline north of the entrance to Botany Bay for kingfish.
Scotty will teach you wher to place the hooks when trolling a live squid
Then we were going to head out to the gravel/reef patch off Coogee Beach to drift for snapper, morwong, silver trevally and a possible kingfish using the bottom fish or more commonly know as the paternoster rig.
After spending a couple of hours there we would go back to trolling the washes close in off Maroubra and Yellow Rock, and to finish off we would head back out to the 50 to 55 metre mark and drift for sand flathead.
Now, well laid plans like this one don't always work out. But to Scotty's credited this plan did work out and they guys on board did manage to get a couple of snapper, five morwong, one silver trevally, one chinaman leatherjacket, one nannygai, three sweep, nine sand flathead and two undersized kingfish.
All in all it was a great day on the water and it was extremely pleasing to watch Trent catch his biggest kingfish on his thirteenth birthday.
Even though there was smiles all round, these kingfish were undersized and were released to grow up for the next time
When we got back to the wharf the catch was shared between Hugh, Alberto, Andrew and his son Trent. Even though I was out there to mainly take photos I did manage to drop a line over and I caught the largest morwong, plus a couple of sand flathead. The morwong was cooked whole on the BBQ and the flathead fillets were cut up into boneless appetisers.
Gary's creation of a salad with morwong and flathead fillets lightly dressed with a mango, chilli and coriander dressing
So if you are interested in getting on board with one of the nicest guys I know, and who knows the Southern Sydney area like the back of his hand, either send him an email at email@example.com or give him a call on 0418169439.
A few years ago Scotty teamed up with Paul Breheny currently co-owns a multi-award winning restaurant Fratelli Del Mare at Cronulla Beach in Sydney to put a video together called THE HOOK AND THE COOK.
Paul (The Cook) with his personel best snapper on a soft plastic
When you get a chance go to www.thehookandthecook.com and have a look at what they have been up too. They have enough You Tube clips to keep you interested for days. Below is one on "How to clean and cook squid".
Having fished with Scotty for a few years now, I read your article with interest. I have to say that your summary is spot on. You always learn something when you go out for a fish with Scotty and if you haven't yet, I strongly recommend that you do. Andrew