River Riot
  |  First Published: November 2010

What a great time of the year to be on the Hawkesbury River. The majority of fish have settled into their summer patterns and are biting freely on well-presented baits and lures throughout the system.

Flathead will be the most consistent capture this month. Most fish will be concentrated towards the bottom end of the river for their annual spawn.

Drifting a few live or dead baits over the shallow margins is a relaxing and productive approach. You could even toss a soft plastic or two to cover a little more water around the boat.

Once you find a patch of flatties work the area over thoroughly with repeated drifts to be in with a shot at one of those ‘crocs’ the Hawkesbury is renowned for.

Please be thoughtful around this time, as these fish are in the bottom reaches for breeding purposes and should be released unharmed so they can continue to provide more flatties for the future.

Bream have settled into their normal patterns and can be caught in good numbers around the intertidal zones.

Berowra has been producing quality fish on the moored boats and flats that this system has no shortage of.

Poppers and shallow diving crankbaits are the stand out on the flats and lightly weighted soft plastic stickbaits around the moorings.

Big blue nose bream should be pushing right upstream toward Lower Portland this month. Targeting the many rock walls and fallen tree snags with small soft plastics, hardbodies and blades should account for some good fish.

Jewfish will be highly sort after this month with the inaugural Hawkesbury Classic hosted by Pitt town sports club held on 12-14 November. For all enquiries contact Brett Chain on 0408 464 945.

Anglers wishing to tangle with a monster mulloway should first catch some live bait. Then choose a suitable location and follow that up with hours of boredom watching rods for any sign of life.

Unfortunately some will miss out, but for others all of their preparation and effort will be rewarded with quality jew to 30kg.

There have been several mulloway taken in recent weeks from the entrance of the system with the best 28kg. Juno, Eleanor bluffs and gunya have all produced fish.

Squid and tailor have been the reliable baits but jewies will eat just about anything on any given day.

Estuary perch are in good numbers towards Windsor at present.

Working the rock walls and weed beds with 2” grubs on 2g jigheads has been quite successful early and late in the day with the run-out tide the pick.

Surface lures at this time of the year can produce some explosive strikes from EPs. The low light periods are by far the most reliable times to pursue EPs on the surface.

Bass will also respond to well presented surface plugs in the tidal reaches throughout summer. As the sun gets up though, changing to shallow and medium depth crankbaits will keep the bite going.

I recently got my hands on some nifty little lures called S Hornets. These are a diving crankbait and the results have been great.

The first fish was 40cm of stud bass from the tidal water (forgot the camera!) This fish smacked the lure on a five second pause with the lure suspending in a tight little corner of a rock wall. To get your hands on some of these little gems call Tech Fishing Imports on 0401 432 466.

The bass have also been putting in an appearance in the sweet water creeks.

With steady rainfall recently and improvements to the many weirs and barriers, these fish have pushed far upstream in search of food and comfortable water conditions as the heat of summer sets in.

Surface lures and small compact spinnerbaits are the lures of choice and there are none better than the locally made Feral Spins and Bass Zone lures designed for these situations.

The best way to catch these fish is to don a good pair of hiking boots or drag and paddle a kayak to the most remote places you can find. Pack light, let someone know where you’re going and don’t forget to take plenty of water.

I have recently started a fishing charter business on the Hawkesbury River and Sydney harbour. Sydney Sportfishing Adventures offers half and full day charters using lures and live baits to target predatory species, with an emphasis on catch and release for a sustainable future.

Target species include bass, EPs, bream, flathead, whiting, jewfish, kingfish, tailor and salmon. Beginners and experienced anglers welcome. For bookings and enquiries call Dan on 0405 196 253 or email --e-mail address hidden--

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