There’s only one month left of the closed season for my favourite species, the bass. The next four weeks is a time to get the gear ready for what should be a ripper season of bass fishing.
The Nepean River system has had a massive influx of new water through it due to the release of Warragamba Dam. The river has been long over due for a good flush, with a lot of the weed that was choking the river being washed away and plenty of fallen trees and other debris washed into the river making new homes for the bass. The new water also introduced some new species that most of us have been targeting – the wonderful brown and rainbow trout.
There will be some trout lurking about the river still so you can chase a few of these and scope out the river for bass season. When targeting trout you are best fish light – 4-6lb is heavy enough. I’ve had success on small minnow patterns, lipless crankbaits, vibes and Tassie Devil lures. Fly fishing will produce fish but a boat or kayak is essential as bank access is tough and there’s no room for a good back cast below the weir.
Once the water warms up over the next couple of months the trout will disappear. The trout this time around are not in the condition that they were the last time that Warragamba was open, but it is good to catch trout locally.
There are other species to be caught in the river such as carp and mullet, with both fish being caught on bread. Berley is a must if you want to catch carp and mullet – stale bread and some water in a bucket will do the trick. The two most popular rigs to target carp and mullet are either a running float rig or a standard running rig with a small ball sinker straight on top of the hook.
If you prefer to chase some fish in the salt now is a good time to get some big bream in the estuaries and tailor off the rocks and beaches. Some good spots to look for the bream are on the flats, around bridge pylons, wharves, rock walls, under boats and in the deep channels.
Good lures to use are shallow and deep diving crankbaits, surface lures, blades and soft plastics. When fishing for bream this year I tend to use longer leaders than usual. When the water is clear the fish are not as easy excitable so long casts and long leaders usually do the trick.
Tailor and a few salmon should still be around the rocks and beaches this month. When fishing the rocks always take care, never fish alone and check the conditions thoroughly. I find a good time to target tailor is the incoming tide as the sun is setting. Whole pillies on ganged hooks are the best bait or metal lures work well for the tailor.
As mentioned before, it’s time to get the bass fishing gear out of its winter hibernation get it ready for the new season. Firstly I start by going through the tackle bag and replacing the hooks and split rings on the lures that need new ones. While the hooks are off the lures I give them a nice soapy warm bath and clean any dirt or scum off them. There is nothing worse than hooking that fish of a lifetime and you loose it to gear failure.
After that all my reels that haven't been used for a while get a good clean with warm soapy water, I don't soak the reel I only use the sponge to clean the reel otherwise water will get inside and ruin the reel. Apply a couple of drops of oil in the appropriate areas and you’re done.
Rods get a soapy bath as well – keeping them clean is important if you want them to last. You should never use the hose to clean your reels or drop them in a soapy bucket of water, this can actually ruin your reel over time. Last but definitely not the least, check your line and leaders and replace if needed.
So start tuning your casting action and limber up for what is surely going to be a great bass season. If you want some casting lessons or even some tips give Young Guns Fishing Adventures a call. Mention Fishing monthly and I’ll give you 15% off your lesson.Reads: 1222