This month the bottom section of the Hawkesbury should fish really well for bream and flathead with soft plastics producing the goods cast around the oyster leases and rocky shores.
Some good estuary perch should be found up around Apple Tree Bay and Bobbin Head on soft plastics and surface lures. Keep your eyes open for the odd kingfish hanging around the same area this month and good numbers of salmon can also turn up and can be caught on flies and lures.
The schools of salmon turned up in August and have been caught on 4” and 6” plastics cast into the feeding schools. I also have been catching kingfish deep under the schools with 100g knife jigs worked deep producing some solid hook-ups.
The best way to find the fish is to look for birds working or for surface activity. This can be easy on some days when the fish stay up but on other days you might see only a few baitfish rippling on the surface so keep your eye trained for any surface movement.
Don’t discount any activity, no matter how small. There maybe larger fish under the small baitfish.
Have a cast around the washes and headlands because small baitfish often hide in the whitewater. The predators won’t be too far away.
If you can’t find anything this way, keep your eye on the sounder for deeper bait schools and work the depth at which they are holding. Pay careful attention to balled-up bait because this often indicates predators are nearby and making them nervous.
If you still have no luck, try trolling a spread of lures around the headlands. I use a couple of deep-divers, a popper towed short in the wash and a weighted soft stickbait a long way back. I’ve found this a great way to find fish.
September is one of my favourite months for fishing the Hawkesbury for bass and estuary perch.
This is when the fish should be heading back upstream to their summer residences.
You will quite often find them schooled up in good numbers and sizes anywhere from Windsor to Wisemans Ferry.
The best way of find them is to choose a section of the river that you can cover in a day. Set the fish alarm on your sounder and start casting the shoreline and listen and keep an eye on sounder. If and when your sounder shows a concentration of fish, double back and give the area a good working over.
I find that a sounder that has wide-angle transducer works best because it can cover a wide area.
I like to work the corners that have weed beds. I have found that fish tend to hang around weeds at this time of year.
Position your boat a littler wider than you would in the Summer because the water is clearer. Working wider also helps to locate schools of estuary perch that tend to hold deeper than the bass.
Another way to cover more water is to troll, keeping an eye on the sounder for fish. It pays to use lures that run at different depths because the fish may be holding at one depth. Put out a medium-runner on the side closer to the bank and a deep-diver on the other side.
I like to use a variety of lures that can be worked at different depths and speeds. If I have three anglers on board casting, I have one using a surface lure like a Taylor Made Surface Walker, Feralcatt surface lure or Heddon Tiny Torpedo.
Another angler will be casting a small deep-diving crankbait. My favourites are the small Feralcatt and the Taylor Made Nugget.
The other angler will be using a soft plastic with a 1/4oz jighead with a small Beetle Spin blade added to put more flash and vibration into the water. I find that bass will eat spinnerbaits but they are a little large for estuary perch – that’s why I like to use Beetle Spins because will catch both species.
Using three different types of lures maximises my chances of locating fish and if any one lure begins catching more fish, I change the others that type.Reads: 2712