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Topwaters have bass appeal
  |  First Published: November 2013



Bass are looking up this month, waiting for your accurately cast surface lure. Head down to your local creek or river and give this great technique a red-hot crack.

Nothing beats the sheer aggression these fish have for terrestrial insects that fall haplessly on the surface and there are hundreds of lures to take advantage of this trait.

Be it a lure splashing, blooping, fizzing, paddling or delicately twitched on the surface, bass love to attack from below. Most lures these days are designed to trigger the bass’s feeding mode when worked correctly.

The bonus is that you can put your offering into some tight, nasty country where you would normally foul up using a diving crankbait, such as over weed beds and in heavy timber laydowns.

Dawn, dusk and after dark are prime times for this technique but there are exceptions, like well-shaded sneaky creeks with lots of overhead vegetation, and more open areas on heavily overcast days.

The estuary perch are still along the rock walls and in weed beds in the tidal water from Windsor to Lower Portland. Soft plastic grubs and live prawns are snaring a few on the quieter days during the week on a run-out tide.

FLATHEAD

Flathead are widespread at present as they ambush the abundant prawns and herring. Soft plastics and vibes are deadly weapons in the right hands and can produce some cricket-score catches when the conditions are right.

Colour selection of soft plastics is always debatable but in saying that, pumpkinseed, white, bloodworm and gold are standout colours when the water has turbidity and suspended silt on the larger tides.

Go for the more translucent colours on the neap tides if the river is clear.

Areas to look for this kind of action are on the major bends, drop-offs, creek mouths and sand bars.

Select the right jig or blade to get your offering to the bottom and make regular contact to twig the fishes’ interest.

A few anglers will get a shock this season when fishing the upper tidal water around Windsor with bait and lures. Flathead and bream push this high up the river when there has been minimal rainfall.

They come here for one reason; food in the form of prawns and baitfish.

The beach at Windsor regularly coughs up some of these welcome saltwater species while anglers are fishing for mullet with bread through the warmer months.

Mud crabs should become active this month for those putting the effort in to bait and set traps.

The creek mouths and their smaller feeder streams from Wisemans Ferry to Brooklyn regularly produce quality muddies through Summer.

When the crabs are active, bait anglers will regularly experience some twitching of the rod tip and a bit of weight on the line. When retrieved, the weight disappears.

These are telltale signs the muddies are about. You may be lucky and foul one up in your trace but they usually let go as they get near the surface and the waiting net.

MULLOWAY

Mulloway have been abundant this year throughout the brackish reaches. They venture right up to Lower Portland and beyond if the conditions remain favourable.

Most anglers have better luck back downstream from Dads Corner to Laughtondale on the plentiful drop-offs and creek mouths.

The size of the school jew has been reasonably good this year but this will start to change later this month as the smaller soapies beat every other fish to your baits and lures.

The kingfish have moved in and are harassing bait around the headlands, in Pittwater and sometimes into Broken Bay on the bigger tides.

Live yakkas, slimies, garfish and squid are top baits to tempt a big hoodlum.

Downrigging and flatlining are both accounting for some quality kings and this should continue through Summer.

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