With daylight saving and a lot of people taking holidays over the festive season, there are a lot of reasons to be looking for quieter water this month.
For many anglers, heading to boat ramps usually means you end up sharing the water with many others. Unless you manage to fish mid-week when water traffic is less, this can really upset your fishing.
So let's look at some quieter options.
The magical Colo River is a wonderful place to escape this month. With water running out of rugged sandstone valleys, there's probably no better place to fish.
Canoes and kayak anglers find it a lot safer than braving the sloppy water churned up by skiers and PWCs and there are places to launch between the junction of the Colo and the Hawkesbury and up to the Putty Road Bridge.
However, the tides on the Colo can be strong, playing havoc with paddle craft.
The colour of Colo water can vary from ultra-clear to deep green, tannin stain or the colour of white coffee, so I've learnt to carry a wide variety of lure colours.
For ultra-clear water, I always have confidence in clear lures.
I like lures which have a combination of clear and a colour close to the colour of the water.
If it's in the semi-clear, red wine-stained water you can find in the Colo, I use a clear lure with a dash of that colour. I have a Lucky Craft Bevy Popper in a perfect colour for this water.
The same goes for the clear-green water you'll often find in the Colo. There are plenty of clear lures with green trim available.
The next month or so can bring a lot of muddy water into the Colo from storms. Given that the Hawkesbury can often look a lot worse, this picturesque river is often still a better option.
I spend a lot of time fishing the edges, where the water can be clearer. Behind weed beds, under overhanging foliage and back eddies can offer clearer water to cast into.
Black and bright fluoro lures work in the murk.
I also have made some buzzbaits that work well in muddy water.
One I call the Burbler has twin quad blades to allow it to be worked dead slow. The black or fluoro green blades and skirts also help.
I’ve also added a small aluminium clacker blade to a standard plastic four-blade buzzbait, calling it the Clackin' Buzzbait, to get a duller sound than an aluminium blade and twice as many clacks.
Although they can take some effort to reach, some upper sections of the Nepean can see only a handful of anglers each Summer.
Others are accessible only by paddle craft. Douglas Park, Menangle, Camden, Bents Basin and Wallacia have places to launch a kayak or canoe.
Once you get around Norton's, power craft dominate and it's not much fun fishing between Nortons and the Tench Reserve boat ramp. Downstream of the ramp there are plenty of logs largely covered in weed and lures or flies need to be cast very accurately.
The pylons of Victoria Bridge are well worth fishing.
There are plenty of open areas to fish from the bank.
With a speed limit of 8 knots, kayak and boat anglers can fish in peace here and it's an easy spot to launch a canoe.
The pylons of the M4 bridge have timber and other debris around their bases and the bridge provides plenty of shade. Lures here should be fished deep, like spinnerbaits, lipless lures and sinking flies.
There's a lot of timber and vegetation either side of the river up to the Nepean Gorge and through the gorge there's typical bass structure such as rocks, sunken timber and weed.
The most popular methods and the latest lures are not always successful in the busy sections of the river at Penrith. Bass here are probably the most heavily-fished in western Sydney.
They get to see the latest lures and numbers of retrieve styles. Try and be different I find more natural presentations work really well, especially during the most popular months. I use lightly weighted soft plastics on the surface and below.
The Nepean River becomes the Hawkesbury where the Grose River flows into it, below Yarramundi and above North Richmond.
From this point to the boat ramp at Windsor, there's plenty of water to fish in relative isolation.
Fishing this section of water alone, you could spend the whole Summer and have plenty of water to fish.
At Yarramundi, anglers can fish from the bank often for carp, mullet and bass. Canoe and kayak anglers find easy access.
In the height of Summer the lagoon at Yarramundi can choke with weed but the faster flowing waters on the eastern side of the river don't allow weeds to grow.
From Yarramundi down to North Richmond can be difficult due to weed but some good bass have come from there and some awesome trees which hang low over the river.
At Hanna Park at North Richmond there's a tonne of parking and an easy stroll down to the river to launch to paddle up or downstream.
From a boat, launch at the Windsor boat ramp and head upstream. Observe the speed limit and when you get to the first right-hand bend, you'll head up to what is known as The Breakaway.
The river then heads around to the left, where the navigation can get a little tricky. Keep left and be careful of the submerged timber and weed here and take it steady, especially at low tide. Shallower draught boats have less trouble.
The restricted speed limit in this section makes things a lot quieter.
In locations like those listed, a combination of spinnerbaits, diving lures, and soft plastics work really well and you can use surface lures all day in the locations mentioned, especially in the dark shaded water which you'll find under the steeper cliffs and around overhanging trees.Reads: 4538