The Hawkesbury and its tributaries have turned on some fantastic fishing over the past month or so. Mulloway have been the standouts with plenty of bream and flathead to keep fishos amused in between bites.
Live-baiting was the top technique for the jewies, with light leaders the key to getting the crucial bite. Yakkas, herring, tailor and poddy mullet are all great jew baits and last for long periods on the hook.
Client Peter Penprase scored the best mulloway to date with a 121cm beast on 15lb main line and 20lb leader with a pair of 2/0 hooks. We released this majestic creature after a few pictures and a five-minute swim next to the boat.
Soft plastics will take over this month as the live bait gets harder to source as Winter tightens its grip. Colour selection is always debatable but whenever the water is clear anything natural looking always gets a run on my boat.
Paddletails, stickbaits or shads of 3”-5” are my favourites. The most important thing is to rig it straight on the jig head; if it falls down all the time and is not snug up the lead head, replace it or re-rig it.
Bream have been hugging the deeper rock walls in the lower reaches, from the Sentry Box to the headlands.
Small vibes and soft plastics have been standout lures. The trick is to get them down to around 8-10 meters on light leaders and make small lifts and drops to entice a bite.
Vibes from 3.5g-10g can be used, as long as they have a small profile for their weight. Grubs and minnows from 1.5”-3” are the go to for the soft plastics.
Bait fishos will do well with a heavy berley mix to get down in the current and present fresh prawns, squid, yakka fillets or some of the bonito you may have laid by earlier in the season.
Estuary perch are spread throughout the lower reaches and incidental captures are made on just about every outing at this time of year.
They take up station on reefs and drop-offs where we hunt for jewfish and I can only assume from the teeth marks on some of them that the jewies don’t want them there, either!
It’s illegal to be in possession of EPs until September 1 so it’s a quick pic, hook removal and back into the water for these great little fish.
There have been a few salmon and tailor off the headlands recently. Trolling around the washes is productive and covers the water until you can find where the fish are on the day.
Keep your eyes peeled for any bird activity in the river also, as the salmon headed upstream last season and several were caught around Spencer.
The hairtail have moved into Cowan Creek and anglers are faring well using whole pilchards, yakka fillets and small live baits suspended under floats. Waratah Bay, Coal and Candle Creek and Jerusalem Bay are all favourites for a night sortie and produce hairtail regularly through the cooler months.
Reports of daytime captures are common from places like Flint and Steel, Gunya Point and Box Head with fish of 1m common.
For a shot at a catching a jewie, try to keep a live bait down deep, no more than 1m off the bottom. It’s generally a good idea to run a fair-sized ball sinker to keep this bait in check and not tangle other lines.
Night fishing is rewarding at times and bloody dangerous most of the time. Remember to wear your lifejackets where required, display the correct navigation lights and take lots of warm clothing because when that sun drops below the horizon, the temperature quickly goes with it.Reads: 3040