It’s THE month for trophy fish
  |  First Published: April 2014

Conditions have been very favourable over the last few months, giving anglers plenty of opportunities to wet a line in the Hawkesbury and its tributaries.

Some great captures have been made recently by my clients and also some lucky recreational fishers who caught a Spanish mackerel trolling hard bodies in Pittwater last month!

Looking back through the diary, April has to be one of THE months to get a trophy fish from the Hawkesbury. The water temperatures usually drop a couple of degrees, triggering different responses from the various species. The most common response of all species though is to put on weight before the leaner times of winter. Hard work for the fish, but great for anglers!

Bream have been appearing in catches again and are in good condition. The rock walls are producing the better numbers of fish from Wisemans Ferry to Broken Bay. A run-out tide is the key ingredient to get the eddies forming along the rock walls and the bream in feeding mode.

Bait anglers will do well with live or fresh baits of crab, nippers, prawns, yakka, pilchard, slimy fillets and pudding baits. Berley is required to keep the fish at your location for a longer period and to bring in adjacent fish to the activity being created by other fish in your berley trail.

Lure anglers are doing well casting deep running crankbaits and soft plastic grubs tight to the rock walls and fallen timber snags in Berowra Creek and the main river up to Wisemans. Following the contours of the bank with your presentation is crucial to find the fish that are hiding in the cracks and crevices beneath the murky water. Snags are commonplace with this style of fishing so I find an electric motor to be an essential item these days. It allows you to quickly and quietly manoeuvre yourself back near the bank and attempt to flick your lure off the obstruction.

Flathead are a common bycatch for bream anglers fishing along the rock walls, and can be actively targeted in these areas using slightly larger sized soft plastics and jigheads. Some decent flathead can be found in these areas so a leader strength of around 12lb and upwards is recommended. Smaller tides and around the tide change period will aid in getting a good drift and keeping your plastics on the bottom more easily.

Lure and bait fishing for mulloway should be good this month based on previous results at this time of year. Live herring, poddy mullet, squid, pike, yakkas and legal tailor are relatively easy to obtain for a session of bait fishing. Use them live, butterflied or as strip baits to mix up the presentation to any likely takers.

Soft plastics are the most effect and affordable way to search the Hawkesbury’s waters, and school mulloway love them. A selection of soft stickbaits, paddle tails and curl tail grubs in colours of white, silver, gold, pumpkin seed and blood worm will cover most situations when matched to an appropriate jighead. Tide changes are the prime time to fan casts across your chosen area and cover the ground.

Bass and estuary perch have started to school in minor numbers but these numbers should increase as the month progresses, especially if we get some much needed rain. Soft plastics, blades and fast sinking fly techniques all work well once the fish have been located using your electronics.

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