All good, fresh or salt
  |  First Published: April 2006

April is my favourite month to fish freshwater and saltwater – it’s all happening.

In the freshwater the bass and EPs have started to school up for their spawn run down to the salt water, while it’s also great for pelagics around Sydney with a mixture of Summer and Winter species in Broken Bay and the Harbour. And there should still be some mahi mahi around the FADs and fish traps if the currents keep coming down from the north.

Last month the fishing the harbour hotted up with kingfish, bonito, tailor, amberjacks, frigate mackerel and the odd salmon.

Middle Harbour has been a little quiet with water over 25° making the kings hang deep but they have been caught on metals and weighted Slug-Gos jigged deep around the moorings.

I was going through my tackle last week and spotted a Zip Lock boom I had used a few years ago to troll live baits and lures for kings, salmon, bonito and tailor. I put a couple in the boat and gave them a go with great results. The boom allows me to get those live baits down to the depth of the fish without using a down rigger.

You can also use them in conjunction with conventional spread of trolling lures. I usually run two Trollcraft Pelagics and a Bass Assassin Twitch or a Trollcraft popper a long way back.

The Zip Lock boom allows me to run an extra lure in the middle down deep. I drop it down next to the transducer and watch it on the sounder reach the depth that I want. You can change the angle that the line goes down by adding a heaver snapper lead held on by a snap.

The amount of drop-back from the boom is also adjustable. Most good tackle shops have them and will explain how they work and how to use them. Or check out www.shiptontrading.com.au

I’ve using some new Bass Assassin Twitch and Charm soft stickbaits. They come in all the proven kingfish and salmon colours plus some new colours. Those working for me are rainbow trout, sherbet and pink diamond .The Twitch is about the same size, action and profile as the 6”and 4.5” Slug-Go while the 7” Charm has a slimmer profile and wriggly like a baby eel.


The bream fishing has been a little slow but some have been caught around the moored boats and jetties. Try 3” Berkley Bass Minnows and Slider Grubs fished on 1/32oz jig heads cast as close as you can to a boat, post, jetty, pontoon or any other structure. Let the lure sink, watching your line for any sudden movement that might indicate a bream bite.

Once it hits the bottom or it’s at the required depth, give it a twitch with the rod tip, let it sit and then work it back with a lift-and-fall retrieve. If you feel a bite, drop the rod tip to allow fish to take the lure, then lift the rod to hook up.

Small diving lures have been catching their share of bream; cast the lure past the structure so the lure can get down to its maxim depth when it passes the strike zone. Pause it for a second, give it twitch before retrieving at a slow speed. I don’t strike with the rod, I let the rod load and ease it back to set the hook.


The bass in the middle sections of the Hawkesbury River have been really good in size and numbers on most outings. Most of my bass have been taken on surface lures like Taylor Mades, Feralcatts and Tiny Toads with a stinger hook.

The fishing has been good above Windsor with plenty of bass caught around the weed beds and under the trees on small Tiny Toads, Taylor Mades, Feralcatts and fizzers in general. I have also been using floating diving lures as surface presentations. I cast them close to cover, let them sit for a few seconds then I give them a twitch before winding them back. Often the bass will strike at them when still on the surface but if they don’t, they often strike on the first couple of turns of the reel handle.

The fishing around Penrith has been good with plenty of bass caught above the weir around the rail bridge and the edges of the weed beds. A lot of these fish have been falling to Jackalls during the day and Taylor Made Surface Walkers at night.

I hold on-water fishing schools every month. If you’re interested or wish to join a shared tour, call me on 040 8334 892


Hawkesbury-Nepean Bass Club junior angler Elise Hardiman picked up this nice bass on a spinnerbait.


The author with a nuggety bream that took a soft plastic around calm rocks.


The stinger hook on the Tiny Toad did the job on this bass.


A Zip Lock boom and a Trollcraft minnow helped bring this solid kingfish undone.

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