Pelagics, bass – you name it
  |  First Published: December 2005

All our Summer fish should be on the bite now and the pelagics in Broken Bay and Sydney Harbour should be smashing into the bait schools.

But it is also a time when there are many boats on the water so if you do find schools of fish working, you will also find them surround by boats casting lures, trolling through them and around them – it’s not a place for the faint-hearted.

I have seen some pretty nasty arguments when people do the wrong thing but if everyone gives a little room and shows some respect, each angler can have a good day and catch a few fish

The flathead and bream are also in good numbers right through the system and willing to take a lure or fly. The bass and perch upstream will also be on the chew and will smash surface lures all night.

I love this time of the year – you have so many options to fish!

Offshore the mahi mahi should be around the FADs. These can be great fun on light tackle. The best way to find out if the dollies are around is to chuck some pieces of pillies in the water and float an unweighted bait back into the berley trail.

The Colo and Macdonald rivers have been on fire with plenty of bass and perch being caught on small Taylor Made Nuggets and small spinnerbaits. Bass have been in the shallow areas close to weed beds, while the perch are holding in deeper water near drop-offs.


January is a great bass time. Dawn and dusk, before and after the wake boarders and skiers are on the water, are the best times.

Bass like smooth, undisturbed water as they are looking for any ripples caused by insects or other living things falling in. This is the prime time to cast surface lures and flies at them.

As the boat traffic starts to mess up the water, change over to diving lures, spinnerbaits and soft plastics or head to water where there is less boat movement.

I usually head up a creek or river that has a 4- or 8-knot zone to find some quiet water – the limits make it too slow for skiers and sightseers. The farther upstream you go, the better.

Better still, drag out the kayak or canoe and head for water that larger boats can’t get to. I would much rather spend such a day fishing in my Australis Bass kayak, with a mate in his, up a small creek or swamp than out in the river in my 5.2-metre bass boat.

The fish you catch in these small waterways are usually of better quality and fight a lot harder.


Jeff Brow reports that trout fishing has become tougher after early November turned on some brilliant angling in Thompsons Creek Dam and Lake Lyell. Mid-week offered the best results as the close boat traffic and general bankside activity was much less and fish nowhere near as shy.

Thommos produced some horse fish, including a 5.1kg brown trout and a rainbow of 4.25kg. Brown or Hare and Copper flies worked well and a tandem fly rig with a Woolly Bugger as the lead fly on a long leader off a floating line worked well.

Oberon Dam had some quality fish for all angling methods and the Lithgow-Oberon streams were all flowing well.


Ross Salvato has opened a new sports and fly fishing shop, The World of Tackle at Shop 2, 29-45 Parramatta Road, Concord. It is a new concept in tackle retailing aimed directly at the sport-fishing market with only the highest quality products from the world’s proven and trusted manufacturers.

The World of Tackle covers the entire spectrum but specialises in soft plastic and hard body lures, a large range of fly-tying gear. Ross, who in 1985 founded Australia’s first fly-only store, the Australian Fly Fisherman, brings more than 30 years of sports and fly experience to his new shop. Call him on 02 9747 3040

Sydney Fishing Tackle at West Ryde has been taken over by a couple of young guys, Anthony and Brad , who have renovated and stocked it full of tackle, from soft plastics and hardbodies through to the freshest Hawkesbury prawns and squid straight off the trawler . They’re at 1081 Victoria Road, West Ryde, phone 02 9874 4299.


Anyone wanting to learn more about sport-fishing for Sydney kingfish, bonito, salmon, tailor, bass and estuary perch can now come to one of my on- water fishing schools. These can be tailored to suite bass, EPs, bream and flathead in my bass and bream boat or you can learn about how to target pelagics out of my 7m Vision sportfisher. We cover all the different lures, how to cast, soft plastics, poppers and trolling. Call me on 040 8334 892.


Shannon Kitchener and I have just released two DVDs, Sportsfishing Action and Sportsfishing Action 2. These show you how to target all the different fish targeted by trailer-boat anglers with lures, flies and some bait. Profiled fish include bass, bream, bonito, flathead, tailor, salmon, mahi mahi, trout and kingfish

We fish with some of the best anglers to show how, when and why to target all these species. Scotty Lyons of Southern Sydney shows how he targets trevally and flathead in Botany Bay. Jeff Brown of Riverlands Fly and Sportsfishing fly-fishes for brown trout on the Central Tablelands, Kim and Steve Bain spend a day with me hooking into salmon with soft plastic and lures and I show, you with help of Shannon and a couple of fat buddies and some not so fat buddies, how to fish for all the other species. Keep your eye out at local tackle stores for Sportsfishing Action and Sportsfishing Action 2.

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