April tactics can be unexpectedly flexible
  |  First Published: April 2017

Do you need to get out for a fish very early in the morning or late into the afternoon to catch more fish? Or do you need to go fishing at night to catch more fish? I say no!

Early morning or late into the afternoon and night are prime times to catch fish, but I prefer to work the tides. If the parts of the tide that I prefer to fish (an hour or two either side of the high or low) coincide with an early morning or late afternoon start, that’s even better.

April will see just about everything on the chew. What I would suggest is that you pick a fish species and where you would like to fish – beach, rock, out of a boat or off the shore are some suggestions. Decide whether you are going to bait or lure fish and when you next have a few hours to spare.

Bream on the surface during April may not be the pick for most anglers. Don’t knock it until you try it. Just recently I had the pleasure of fishing with Stuart Hindson from Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures on the Bega River. Over the two days I learnt so much about surface fishing for both yellowfin and black bream, my head nearly exploded. It changed my way of using surface lures and lightly weighted soft plastics.

Whether you are fishing from a boat or off the shore, make sure the outfit that you are using allows you to cast as far as possible with your surface lure or soft plastic. The longer a lure or plastic is on the surface, the longer the bream has to look at it.

For depth of water, don’t think that 2.5m is too deep. I have had dusky flathead, whiting and bream smash a surface lure in that depth. On the other end of the scale, when is shallow too shallow? Try a cast up on the sand and then work the lure into the water, and you might be surprised.

The speed of the retrieve is extremely important. You have to decide – it slow or fast? Is it slow and then stop and pause, or do you work it fast and stop? Maybe it’s slow and then speed up when you see a bow wave behind the lure or soft plastic. This is something you will have to work out on the day.

I was working a 7cm lure slowly across the surface only to have a huge bow wave come up behind it. I paused the lure and the bow wave went away. On the next cast the same thing happened again, so I increased the speed and this time a bream smashed the lure.

Recently I’ve used the Shakespeare Slingshot Engage 1-3 and 2-4kg outfits. Both have been spooled with 2kg line. For surface lures, I have been using the Berkley 48mm Scum Dog, Stiffy Poppers and 7cm Sugapens. The soft plastics have varied from worms to grubs to shrimps in 2.5-3”. All of them have been on light jigheads around 1/24-1/50oz.

The next time you are out on the water during April, give surface lures and soft plastics a go. It’s mind blowing the types of fish you can catch from both the shore and out of a boat.

To give you a run down for April, here are the hot species now, and where and how I would target them this month. Try fishing off the rocks for bream, trevally, drummer and luderick. Bread or chicken pellets for berley and peeled prawns for bait would be the go. Off the beach, you could try for salmon, tailor, bream and whiting. Try beach or blood worms for bream and whiting and either whole or half pilchards for the others.

In the estuaries, you will find bream, whiting, flathead, garfish, tailor, salmon and bonito. Luderick will start to increase in numbers. I can’t stress enough that when you are at anchor you will need berley to increase your catch rate. I mainly use chicken pellets (dry and wet). You can also try white bread, smashed up pilchards or even a bonito or tuna frame.

If you are going to fish in Botany Bay, anchor up at the patches off Towra in about 2-3m of water. Once the boat had settled into place, throw out a handful of chicken pellets, bait up the rods and cast them out and then place them into the rod holders. Throw out another small handful of chicken pellets, sit back and wait for the action to start.

If you would like to target bream and trevally during the run-up tide in Botany Bay, try any of the following places: the Drum, the Yarra Bay fish balls, Trevally Alley, the end of the third runway and the patches at Towra. During the run-out tide, I like to fish wide off Towra, the oil wharf (remember to be 100m away), the end of the wall at Trevally Alley, Bare Island, Henry Head and Sutherland Point.

Further upstream in the Georges and Woronora River you could try drifting for whiting, bream and dusky flathead at the Moons, Lugarno, Bonnet Bay, Picnic Point and Cattle Duffers. The Georges River State Park is a great place to fish from the shore.

Maroubra, Coogee, Wanda and North Cronulla beaches should start to fire in the early mornings and late afternoons. Don’t forget those overcast days with light rain – this is when the fish come out to play.

Whiting, bream, trevally, tailor and luderick can be caught in most of the deep bays in the Port Hacking River. If you anchor you need to berley, as it can be an extremely hard place to fish. South West Arm would be my pick of the spots.

If you are fishing from the shore, try Gunnamatta Bay, Bundeena and Maianbar. Pink nippers would have to be the pick of the baits. Remember that you can’t pump nippers on the sands of Gunnamatta Bay.

Offshore, 30-50m depths will be producing sand flathead with the odd dusky thrown in. The broken reef areas around there will produce snapper and morwong. Strips of slimy mackerel, tuna, half pilchards and mullet are the go. Try trolling for kingfish, tailor, salmon and bonito close to the headlands from Wedding Cake Island at Coogee to Stanwell Park in the south.

If you get the chance to go down south and you’re looking to learn more about how to fish, look up Stuart Hindson from Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures at www.ausfishing.com.au/ or give him a call on 0400 062 504. You will learn so much from just being on the water with Stuart.

If you have been out lately and would like to see yourself in the magazine, drop me an email on --e-mail address hidden-- with a picture and short explanation of how and where you caught your fish and I will endeavour to get it in.

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