It may be getting colder on terra firma but the water temps are more stable and comfortable than you might think, and this has shown in catches of late. The action should continue this month.
Bream made a great appearance through May with some real thumpers amongst them. Rock walls, reef and cockle beds were producing the best using blades, grub tail and critter style soft plastics and this should continue through June. Small, non-aggressive movements of the lure seem to provoke more strikes and the addition of a bite stimulant can be advantageous during some sessions.
The best lure colours are bloodworm, pumpkin seed in brown and green, motor oil and translucent whites for the soft plastics. When it comes to blades, use gold, silver or olive colours. Use a rod length of fluorocarbon leader from 6-10lb attached to light no-stretch braid to achieve the best results.
Those who prefer to fool their bream on baits will also find fluorocarbon to be great addition to the tackle box. It is fine in diameter and quite resistant to abrasion and presents a near invisible trace to your hook and bait. Fresh and live baits will get the better fish to bite, with fresh frozen a close second. Berley is a must when at anchor to keep the fish within striking range.
The dusky flathead are still active on the warmer sunny days, with the lower reaches producing more consistency for numbers and size. Soft plastics and blades are working equally well. The key is making regular contact with the bottom where these fish feel comfortable lying in ambush for the next unsuspecting morsel to swim past.
Run-out tides are normally the most reliable but as the water cools in the estuary this pattern can invert, with the warmer incoming tide providing the better fishing as we get deeper into winter.
If the bites are few and far between try slowing your approach by reducing jighead weight or adding a curl tail or paddle tail plastic to give your lure more hang time on the drop. Small adjustments can turn a day around when it comes to lure fishing.
Mulloway have been biting well over the last month and June should be no different. Live baits and big cut baits both take their share of fish but I prefer live baits as they can bring fish in from some distance with the nervous vibrations they emit. Herring and mullet will get hard to source this month so it may be worthwhile heading to West Head or into Cowan to try to secure some live yellowtail.
When the live bait starts to get hard to source I switch back to soft plastics. Lures for jewfish vary greatly from system to system but on the Hawkesbury our fish have a distinct liking for smaller lures that represent common local bait species. These include herring, poddy mullet, juvenile tailor, one arm bandits and of course school prawns. The average size of these species ranges from 3” to 6”, and this should give you a good indication of the size of the lure you should present to these fish.
Keep an eye out for any mulloway sporting a yellow external tag near the dorsal fin as we have been placing numerous tags supplied by ANSA in a joint operation with NSW DPI Fisheries. If you are lucky enough to recapture one we would love for you to release the fish after taking down the current length, rough location and the tag number. Obviously you are allowed to retain the fish for consumption if you prefer, and the guys would greatly appreciate the same details of length, location and tag number. For more info check out www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au.
Hairtail should be active in Cowan and its creeks from now on. There have been a few captures in late May and this should only get better this month. Picking a location that has ample bait in the vicinity and deep water of 15-20m has worked well for me over the years. Get a decent berley trail going and secure a few live yakkas and set them at different depths from the surface to a couple of meters from the bottom. Glow sticks work well but aren’t necessary, and the same applies with wire. A set of ganged hooks in a fillet of yakka or pilchard attached to 20lb fluorocarbon should be adequate.
Lastly, don’t forget the thermos and some warm clothes as it gets quite cold in the deep set valleys of Cowan.Reads: 509