With really warm temperatures over the past few months, there have been some great catches on local waterways and still plenty to come.
With still a lot of water skiers and PWC activity, it’s been better fishing in the early hours of the morning. Surface lures and flies have naturally been the best choice early in the day.
There have been some great bass caught with quite a number over 40cm, typically in the upstream waters but also a few in the Lower Portland and Wisemans Ferry areas.
Soft plastics will be a great choice for the estuary perch that are in great numbers in the lower sections of the Hawkesbury. Creek mouths have produced good numbers of EPs, and no doubt these areas have received plenty of attention since the release of Dean Hayes and John Bethune’s DVD on tidal water fishing.
There are plenty of worthy areas to target bass upstream from Wisemans Ferry. Webbs Creek, Walkers Beach, Leets Vale, Dad’s Corner and Clifton Vale all offer excellent bass water.
Around Sackville there are a lot of weed beds and snags that are just begging to be targeted.
The half-submerged timber should continue to give up some decent bass. I generally target these areas with spinnerbaits or plastics, which don’t tend to grab hold of any branches when casts are made right into the guts of the timber.
Undercut banks can produce good bass, and a lot of rats too, at any time of day. Some of these undercut areas require pinpoint accuracy with a lure and any time you’ve spent practicing in the backyard or on the water will be rewarded in these areas.
There are also a lot of back eddies which should never be overlooked, especially if there’s some fallen timber there. I cast lipless lures, plastics and my favourite Nitro Whiz Bangers and work the area over well.
While thick weed can provide some difficulties for boat access and casting, bass love the protection and food weeds provide. My favourite surface lures include various Taylor Made models, Kokoda Bugger Chugs, Predatek Spaddlers and Heddon Torpedoes.
You can cast lipless lures like Jackalls and Daiwa Vibrations lures along the face of the weed beds and bass will pounce on them with lightning speed at times.
The Colo River is one of my favourite pieces of water, although it can be very clear unless there has been a lot of rain further upstream. When the water is clear there I tend to go for natural lure colours.
Suspending lures are a great way to tempt fussy fish, especially when worked around weed beds. But my preferred method when the water is clear is to work a fly or soft plastic along the weed beds, rocks, snags and other forms of cover along the Colo.
The Nepean is showing some sorry signs of Salvinia weed creeping back. It never totally went but the heavy rains at the end of last year pushed it downstream. Yarramundi Lagoon is now heavily weeded.
However, much of the Nepean has been fishing really well and should continue so. Around Penrith seems to be busier than in past years so it pays to pick your time to fish in this area.
For those with kayaks or canoes, other areas of the Nepean are all yours and you can fish uninterrupted while enjoying great scenery and some good fish. There are still a lot of people who don’t fancy paddling about while fishing but those who do know just how exciting it can be to be fishing water which is quiet, scenic and very productive.
With other water users making the most of daylight saving during the week, early morning until the mid afternoon is the quietest time to fish the areas that skiers and PWC drivers frequent. Weekends will continue to be very busy wherever there is a boat ramp nearby.
It’s always easy to plug bass fishing, simply because they are probably the most popular species in local waters. However, if you’re looking for something other than bass, there’s no shortage of regular places to target other species.
Webbs Creek provides plenty of opportunities for bream, estuary perch, flathead, mullet and the odd jewfish. It’s a very pretty creek and the scenery is a bonus.
The mouths of Webbs Creek and the Macdonald River are always favourite haunts for those targeting jew fish, especially after heavy rain when the water is pushing out into the Hawkesbury.
If you sit off the bank over deeper water at Leets Vale you’ll be in the running to catch bream, bass, EPs, flathead and jewfish.
Clifton Vale will often give up EPs, bream and flathead, with the best baits being live Hawkesbury prawns or poddy mullet.
There are plenty of places to find information that will help you be successful on the water. The types of areas to fish, the right lures and bait for various species and the choice of tackle are all important. It’s not much good targeting bass or estuary perch with a kingfish outfit.
It never ceases to amaze me the wide array of tackle people use to chase our local fish. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen three-metre beach rods down at Yarramundi or Windsor.
There are great books that will give you an idea of what is considered to be an ideal outfit for a wide array of fish species. There’s also the internet, with a number of good websites and chat rooms available to pick the brains of the more seasoned anglers.
Then there are local fishing clubs around Sydney which are huge resources to tap into for those wanting to know more.
Local tackle shop advice will also give you excellent information about what is working in local waters. They’ll also help you make the best choices.
I recently bought my first Loomis rod from the guys at Windsor Bait, Tackle and Camping. These guys love their Loomis rods and working out which was going to become my first was made a lot easier when talking to Chris.
There was no hard-sell stuff going on, just straightforward advice on what rod did the best job for my needs. In the end I got a rod that suits my needs and I am very happy with it.
The Hawkesbury Nepean Bass Anglers Association will hold its Inter Club Competition on February 25 and 26 and again invites all members of other clubs to join in this popular event. There are plenty of camping facilities available at Lower Portland, including showers, toilets and powered sites.
There will be plenty of prizes on offer as well as a weekend of great socialising and fishing. For more details, visit www.hnbaa.com.au, where you can download all the information and an application form.
• If you want to send me digital pics of your favourite moments, remember set your camera to medium or large format picture quality. Low-resolution shots are unsuitable for the magazine printing process, which is pretty sad when you have a good fish to brag about. Along with a medium- or high-resolution pic, include details like what lure or method you used, your name and roughly what area you caught the fish in. Favourite spots can remain secret.
Dave Curry went to Glenbawn as part of the Pro Bass grand final and caught this nice 475mm bass, which was just over 1.7kg, on a TN50 Jackall in silver and black.Reads: 520