Hooray! It is officially time to target river bass again, after the closed season finished on August 31.
The water will be warming as the days go by and the bass should be hungry after their spawning run.
If you took my advice in last month’s article you should be prepared and your gear ready.
This is going to be a ripper season with all the new structure that has been washed down-river from Warragamba Dam's release a few months ago.
There will be a few mixed bags of trout and bass this month until the water gets too hot for the trout and they either die or find a cold, deep part of the river to retreat to.
So where do you begin?
I would start looking for bass around North Richmond, where the Hawkesbury is still influenced by the tide.
The bass all won’t head back to fresh on the same day so this is where I would start.
Lures of choice will be surface lures and buzzbaits, soft plastics, blades, lipless crankbaits, shallow crankbaits, deep crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Surface lures and buzzbaits in particular are great for reaction strikes and buzzbaits, because of the constant retrieve they require, can cover a large area of water in search of fish.
Traditionally most would only use surface lures at dawn, dusk and the twilight hours but I have had success with buzzbaits any time of the day and sometimes they outfish the other styles of lures.
If you choose soft plastics, try adding a harness blade such as a Betts Spin to your jig head for that extra bit of flash. Fish them slowly down drop-offs and around weed beds, rock faces and fallen timber.
A harness blade is reasonably snag-resistant and you can mix and match your plastic styles and colours to find out what the fish are eating.
There are great ranges of crankbaits in super-shallow, shallow, deep and even topwater styles.
When choosing what colour to use I tend to use natural colours first and if they are not successful, then I try the fluoro lures.
Choosing the right colour and right lure can be the crucial factor between catching big fish or small fish.
Spinnerbaits work well and are even better when you add a stinger hook. I even add a plastic trailer on the stinger hook to make it more appealing.
As one season begins, another closes. Murray cod are off limits until December 1 and if caught must be released immediately and unharmed.
However, golden perch should become active this month.
Look for these fish in shallow bays and off points; as the sun warms the water the fish will become more active.
With all native fish, if the barometer is rising they become more aggressive and eat your lures more often.
The best lures to catch yellowbelly or goldens this month are soft plastics, skirted jigs and any lure that is neutrally buoyant.
Fish these lures slowly with plenty of pauses. In my experience the fish often eat the lure while it is paused.
Other lures work as well but the types I mentioned have been the most successful for me.
Lipless crankbaits also work well slow-rolled along the bottom and up sloping banks. Vary your retrieve to entice the fish to strike.
Trout are still on the cards this month with Thompsons Creek Dam the pick for some good captures of big rainbow trout.
This is a trophy trout dam so you can only fish lure and fly and the bag limit is two fish per person.
When at this dam make sure you follow the rules and stay off the wall. I still see anglers fishing the wall and it is only a matter of time before the authorities lock us out and nobody will be able to fish it. Let’s do the right thing.Reads: 1061