The bass and estuary perch in the middle sections of the Hawkesbury have been pretty average with only a few fish caught on most outings.
The saltwater is right up to Windsor with good catches of bream and flathead being caught around the Colo River.
On the brighter side, the bass fishing has been good above Windsor with plenty being caught around the weed beds and under the trees on small diving and surface lures. Best colours have been green and yellow and purple in the divers and darker colours for the surface lures.
Many diving lures float so when you cast them, let them sit for a few seconds and then give them a twitch before winding them back. Often the bass will strike at them when they lie still on the surface.
Lipless lures like those from Jackall, Ecogear and River 2 Sea can also be cast along the weed beds and let sink and they can prove deadly. The advantage in these lures, apart from the rattles, is that they can be worked at varied depths by counting them down before retrieving.
Another type of lure that works well in these upper reaches is a small spinnerbait or Beetle Spin. These can be worked over shallow weed beds and dropped into any pockets in the weeds. Small shallow-diving lures that can be worked over the weed are also very effective.
We use light spin and baitcaster outfits in the 1kg to 3kg range .Over the past couple of years we have been mainly using longer rods to cast light lures and soft plastics.
Most of the baitcasters were too short and stiff to cast or to feel the plastic working but over the past three months I have been using Loomis 6’6” Crankbait with soft plastics and small crankbaits. This is one bait caster that casts and works small crankbaits and plastics as well as most spin tackle.
This time of the year is a good time to dust off the old fly outfit and fit it up with a fast-sinking line, tie on a Clouser and head down to the Hawkesbury to chase a few bass and EPs. Over the past six years we targeted these fish on fly with some outstanding catches of bass, EPs and the odd flathead.
The key to success is where to target these fish, even more important when using sinking fly lines. The best areas to fish are the back eddies and water that is out of the current flow so your line has time to sink down to the depth where the fish are without being dragged away with the current.
I find most EPs hang around the 3m to 7m range and sometimes the best of these fish will hang out in the running water as the tide slows
The bass fishing around Penrith has been good with plenty of fish being caught above the weir around the rail bridge and the edges of the weed beds. A lot of these fish have been falling to lipless crankbaits during the day and surface walkers at night.
The fishing for pelagics has been pretty good with plenty of kingfish, salmon, tailor and at last some bonito have turned up at the mouth of the Hawkesbury and Broken Bay.
Most of these fish have been caught on Slug-Go soft stickbaits and poppers but I must admit these two types’ of lures I use the most.
I’ve always tied a Slug-Go on at least one rod. I start with an unweighted stickbait worked across the top with plenty of rod action to imitate an injured and fleeing baitfish, and kings and salmon love them.
If the fish are working the water hard and fast I rip the stickbait at high speed across the water like a popper. Putting a pause in your retrieve will often trigger a strike.
These lures can be either cast or trolled. I find that a popper trolled a long way back with a weighted and an unweighted Slug-Go staggered on either side is one of the most effective lure patterns for finding and catching fish.Reads: 2017