Bad weather, good fish
  |  First Published: April 2003

I just came back from one of those mornings that I’ll remember for some time. It was a rainy, windy morning when most anglers would have looked outside and gone back to bed.

However, my mate Greg Catt hadn’t been out for a few weeks and was really keento have a go. So we headed off to Wiseman Ferry to target bass, bream, flathead and estuary perch.

We arrived at the boat ramp at daylight to wind, rain and unpleasant conditions. The river was blown out so we decided to head up the Macdonald River to find an area out of the wind .We fished the first couple of hours with small deep-diving lures and took only two small bass and a little bream.

We were thinking that we should have stayed in our beds. As we worked our way up to a bend we discussed how clear the water was and that this may have been the reason fishing was so hard.

We decided we would change our tactics and fish the deeper water with soft plastics and small Beetle Spins. I like to drift with the current and cast head at an acute angle, working them deep back to the boat. It wasn’t too long before Greg’s rod was buckled over with a bass heading for home. This was the first of a mixed bag for the morning on plastics – we caught bream, bass, flathead and estuary perch.

On a couple occasions I had bass and perch follow all the way back to the boat, turning away at the last second. So I opened the reel’s bail arm to feed some line, then jigged the lure up and down and hooked up.We ended up with 22 fish, the largest a 40cm estuary perch – not bad for a morning when most people would have cancelled.

Pittwater action

I had Scott Lyons from Southern Sydney Fishing Tours and two of his mates out on a social day’s fishing on Pittwater and again the weather wasn’t the best. Rain was coming down in buckets but this didn’t put the fish off.

We caught some good salmon, kingfish and tailor. We caught the salmon trolling small lures around Barrenjoey Headland and the kingfish with Slug-Go soft plastics cast while others in the boat were hooked up on salmon.

We found good schools of tailor deep off the northern end of Lion Island, with fish up to 45cm and more tailor working schools of bait in Pittwater.

We have been getting good numbers of kings on flies and lures. On the best day we caught and released 10. In the same areas we’ve had some good flathead take our deep flies and lead-head jigs while fishing for kings. I also found slowly trolling a weighted Slug-Go a long way back a good way to bring the kings up.

Frigate mackerel have turned up in Broken Bay, Pittwater and the Harbour, hitting balls of bait .Small chrome metals and flies have been working but the best results came from small, unweighted soft plastic shads cast on the edge of the bait ball and just let sit there.

The bonito made a show early in February in small numbers in Pittwater, but for only a week or so. Some of these fish went 4kg, great fun on light spin and fly gear and I hope that they turn up again this month. It’s been a couple years since we’ve had good number of bonito hanging around Pittwater and the Bay.


The bass in the tidal areas have been a bit quiet, I think because the salt water is a long way up-river. Anglers have been catching bream and flathead at Windsor wharf and sharks around the mouth of the Colo and that shows the salt is a long way up. The best place to find bass is well upstream and the non-tidal areas, with some good numbers above Windsor.

Small Feralcatts, Knol’s Natives, Taylor Made Tiny Nuggets and surface lures are producing the goods around and over the weed beds



Charles New with a lure-munching salmon.


This salmon had no trouble scoffing Martin Bardetta’s well-presented fly.


Mick and Tracey enjoyed their outing on estuary perch – who wouldn’t, with fish like this?


Hooked up on another good bass.

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