Bass hit the top
  |  First Published: December 2010

La Nina weather patterns have certainly settled in, giving the creeks and rivers much-needed refreshment and allowing the ever-popular bass to move vast distances inland and deliver anglers some great fishing in the skinny water.

Christmas beetles and cicadas have hatched in great numbers and these have the bass looking skyward.

Surface lures have been No 1 this season with the locally made Bass Zone lures matching the hatch and scoring good fish to 45cm.

Back downstream, the estuary perch are in good numbers from North Richmond to Lower Portland and are gorging on the abundant prawns. Live prawns, soft plastics, blades and flies are all taking their fair share of EPs.

Most rock walls are holding fish in tight around pronounced snags and back eddies.

Make sure to get on the water early if fishing from Windsor to Lower Portland –the increase in ski and wakeboard boats, with their loud engines and even louder so-called music tend to spoil a quiet outing!

A local newspaper ran an article on the erosion and subsequent siltation and turbulence these wake boats are producing and what measures should be taken.

I for one would be glad to see a full ban on these destructive craft in our natural waterways. No one has the right to destroy the environment just to have a bit of fun!

The mud crabs finally showed up this year, with traps and line fishing scoring solid muddies. They are carrying plenty of weight, too, which is good news for those consuming them.

Mullet is still the best bait, with five or six pilchards in a mesh bag suspended in the trap also getting results.

There have been some blue swimmers mixed in with the muddies and catches will get more plentiful the farther downstream from Wisemans ferry you venture.

Bream have settled in up river and plenty have been taken while flicking small lures to the rock walls around Lower Portland. There will be good fish spread throughout and they will travel as far as Windsor over Summer in search of food and favourable conditions.

If you’re specifically targeting Bream you'd be hard pressed to go past Berowra. This creek has great flats fishing as well as pontoons, boat hulls, oyster leases and natural rock walls.

Berowra is also very kayak- and canoe-friendly with speed limits in the upper reaches keeping all those revheads with their wash-making machines at bay.


Flathead have moved back upstream and comprise the majority of catches on most outings.

Soft plastics and blades are accounting for good fish from Wisemans to Lower Portland and, when the water conditions allow, up to Ebenezer.

Live bait has been the ticket for the larger ‘crocs’ hanging lower in the system around Bar Point and Spencer. Poddy mullet and yakkas have been the top performers.

Jewfish have been a little quiet mainly due to the increase in boat traffic and turbid water that results. Those putting in the effort after dark have been rewarded with good school jew to around 8kg on live and strip baits.

Lure anglers wishing to deceive one of these silver subs should look for good water clarity and focus efforts around dawn and dusk.


Down off the headlands, kingfish have been the talking point with fish to a metre testing skills and gear.

Flatline trolling early and late in the day has been successful while downrigging will keep the bite going as the sun gets higher.

Soft plastics and poppers cast to the washes and ripped back on a stop-start retrieve have been effective when the fish are active around dawn and dusk.

Some good bonito have been stealing live baits aimed at the kingies, but their salted fillets are great bream and jew bait back in the river. Alternatively, take a fillet off immediately, slip in a snelled pair of 6/0s and send it back out unweighted for a shot at a king lurking beneath the school.

Thanks to everyone who has inquired about my new charter business, Sydney Sportfishing Adventures. I hope to be operational this month after a few minor setbacks. For bookings and inquires email the address above or call me on 0405 196 253.

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