If your New Year resolution was to have more a more successful fishing year, then this would be a great time to get out there and make it happen.
Local waters have been on fire again with plenty of action and this month should be no different. With hot, steamy afternoons and plenty of insects about, there are few excuses for not catching fish this month
You may have read in this column some months ago of the familiar antics of the water-skiing crowd on the Nepean River through a section called the Narrows. The Narrows are appropriately named, but they could well be called the Shallows as well, for the bottom is easily visible and it's a designated four-knot area. It's nothing to see skiers go through there, sometimes performing their ridiculous acts barefoot.
Recent reports on fishing websites have told of water skiers in the Devlins Lane section of the river. Anyone who fishes this area knows how absurd this is.
I know it's against the grain for some Aussies to report stuff like this, but getting it stopped may save someone from becoming seriously injured or killed – maybe even the lives of those you're reporting.
On the fishing side of things, the action in the upper reaches of the Nepean, particularly around the weed beds, has been excellent. Bass have been taken on surface lures well into the night, with healthy fish really taking it to anglers in lots of tough encounters.
Devlins Lane has been fishing well, with the area sometimes being a little too popular and a crowd of anglers have had to contend with each other. It's times like these you need to have some alternative plans ready. It may take a while to find new places if you're new to the area or haven't explored much, but a topographical map can help and becoming a member of a local fishing club might be a great place to discover new places
Around Windsor, the land-based fishos have been having fun catching mullet, with plenty of fish ripping bread dough off the surface and even attacking dough flies. These silver bullets are incredibly fast and will really turn a relaxing bankside snooze into a chaotic scramble.
Regular contributor The Phantom has been using soft plastics and coming up with some great estuary perch. Our masked friend has taken them on little Atomic shads, but found that grubs work too. He suggests that readers try the weed beds and river bends, including the inside bank. Look for eddies, weeds, snags and bottom structure. Estuary perch move around a lot so when you locate some, don't think they'll be in the same place next time.
Estuary perch have been caught up around Windsor also, which goes to show that the salinity of the water is sufficient for their liking at the moment.
Matt Shearim has been catching stacks of bass and flathead in the Windsor area on 2'' soft plastics worked slowly on the bottom. The best flathead was a 53cm beauty and tipped the scales at 1.2kg. He reports the best colours have been motor oil and punkin seed. He's also managed to land a 750g mullet on a Squidgy soft plastic.
Dave Horvat has been working at a favourite spot on the Hawkesbury past Windsor and got nailed by a bass over 40cm, only to lose it in the snags. The fishing was sensational with fizzers and bass grubs doing the damage. Dave lost just as many fish as he landed. Overhanging trees, especially in areas that are noisy with cicadas, are the places to be casting surface lures. Early morning and late afternoon and into the evening are the prime times.
Around Wisemans Ferry, there has been plenty of jewfish action with one particular spot far and away the most productive. Out of respect for the angler who passed on the information, I won't divulge the exact location but let's just say those in the know have been landing more jewfish there than anywhere else.
There have been some large catfish spotted as well, and these will take a liking to any worms. Aggressive catfish have also been taken on lures recently as they defend their nests. These fish are great eating but watch out for their dorsal and pectoral spines, which can inflict a nasty painful surprise. Many anglers won't eat fish from the Hawkesbury/Nepean due to the poor water quality, so keep that in mind before you think about eating anything from the river.
All along the river, huge carp are always seen, their big rotund bodies often resembling logs. Corn, harm, maggots, cheese, dough and a host of other baits will claim these fish.
If you plan to approach these fish by boat, they can be extremely flighty, so a good pair of polarised glasses and a keen eye can detect them in the shallows.
Rod Cumming managed to bag a nice 39cm bass and not long after had his spinnerbait smashed by a 45 cm flathead. This fish managed to straighten the wire of the spinnerbait but the tasty meal that night was worth it. An early morning discussion with is wife about flathead being caught in the Colo had failed to convince her, but the sight of a flattie being held high was irrefutable evidence that flatties can be a welcome surprise catch in the Colo
Estuary perch are being caught there, too, but you need to work deeper for them. Soft plastics retrieved slowly have been working a treat, as has a sinking fly line.
Working soft plastics slowly with a fast-tapered rod with some light braid has been very successful. This outfit allows you to detect the soft touches of the EPs. Stop the retrieve when you feel these touches for a short period, then resume that slow retrieve and wait for the strike. It’s the best way to catch a fish that many often mistake for bass.
Local guide Dean Hayes uses seven- and eight-weight fast-sinking fly lines with 1.5 to two metres of 6kg leader. He finds that small Clousers, as well as shrimp and prawn patterns and flies that represent small bait fish to work best.
A lure that's been selling very well has been a 3.5cm cicada from River2Sea Australia. Weighing in at 4g, these lures look very lifelike and no doubt will become a prominent lure in most bass anglers’ tackle boxes.
These lures have been out for a few months now and judging by the rate they're moving off the shelves, they must be very successful. Dave at Penrith Tackle in Castlereagh Street has been selling them as quickly as they arrive, but can take orders for them. You can find out more about these lures at www.river2sea.com
Remember, if you have any local fishing news, email me at --e-mail address hidden-- or phone 0418 297 353. To maintain the privacy of your favourite spots, your locations need not be exact but our readers welcome any news.Reads: 1235