One of the difficulties in writing a monthly column is trying to predict what the fishing will be like in the coming month or so. It’s like predicting next month’s weather, or coming up with the correct Lotto numbers for the big one next week.
Until that crystal ball for anglers is featured in the What’s New section of NSW Fishing Monthly, we will have to keep making educated guesses as to what fishing will be like. Until that happens, writers will try to look to what they know of the past and perhaps be a little scientific and look to other means to help them.
Some writers have a go at it by mulling over internet reports for their favourite stretch of water, while others might look to the likely weather patterns. Things like whether we can expect long dry spells, or periods of heavy rainfall over a few months can all be used to give anglers an idea. Others go back to their fishing diaries, while to some others, fishing is about enjoying oneself and they just go on fishing regardless.
More than the odd person has been left the embarrassed by their predictions. For some time afterwards, the brave writer is the butt of all jokes when they and everybody else find out that the prediction was way off the mark. Still, that’s fishing, and as a writer you put your name on the line when you make predictions in print. So here I go, blindfolded and up against the wall in front of the firing squad!
For many, this month pretty much marks the end of fishing in the local creeks and rivers. But my fishing diaries show it’s still a prime time to go fishing and there are many anglers who really look forward to this time of year. The bass are thinking about making their migration downstream, and for such a big swim and for the busy period of spawning, they need to put on a bit of condition for the work that’s in front of them.
This means that the leaner fish of Summer can tend to resemble their bulkier cousins of the impoundments a little more. What they resemble in appearance also carries over to their increased fighting ability. Would I be putting the gear away just yet? No fear!
In the upper Nepean, Robert Longney from TSF Bass Tackle reports bass around 44cm, with most fish averaging 28cm to 30cm. There have been a lot of small fish taken in the waters that are being fished hard and this area is becoming increasingly popular with anglers from far and wide.
Lures taking good fish include the Taylor Made Surface Breakers in black; Whitty's 45mm in purple, black with silver scale; black and gold Stump Jumper No 3 with medium diving bib; Knol’s 50mm Native in green with black head, plus the newer Knol's 25mm in black and gold with green scale.
Robert Longney has recently released another 500 bass fingerlings, on top of the 3000 he has already liberated into the Menangle area. It’s excellent to see a tackle business putting back into the local fishery and anglers will no doubt benefit from this.
Some monster carp are being taken on worms around Camden, with some going 9kg and much bigger ones seen. Perhaps anglers in the area could target these pests and do a bit of a clean-up. If you’ve never caught carp before, what they lack in beauty they make up for in power. They can be caught on corn kernels, worms and flies such as Wooly Buggers..
Around the Wallacia area, a black and red spinnerbait accounted for a fish of 46cm, while plenty of fish around 30cm to 35cm have been taken. As the sun gets a little higher in the morning sink-tip fly lines have been the undoing of some nice fish.
In other stretches of the river there also seem to be a lot of fish around. Daryl Roach, a new member to the Hawkesbury Nepean Bass Anglers Association, recently had a cracker of a time from his kayak, scoring many great fish. The area Daryl fished was completely carpeted over with weed and he hit the clear pockets of water, sometimes no bigger than a bathroom sink.
Every cast was hit, he got busted off twice and reckons there were bigger fish than the 405mm he caught. He got eight fish between 350mm and 360mm with many fish between 290mm and 330, for a 20-fish total and three times as many hits. The action all happened around 6pm to just on dark and all fish were taken on surface fizzers. He's never had a better session in his life.
Another new member, Dave George, has been picking up some great fish on his home-made thong poppers. There seems to be an increasing number of anglers who have taken up the challenge of making their own lures, which no doubt make any capture even more special.
There have been a few mullet taken from sand banks and around weedbeds. The bass get more than a fair mention in every fishing magazine but these silver bullets can really impress with their power and acceleration. If you’ve never had a shot at mullet, give them a go. They provide a lot of excitement for the kids, too, so take the kids along and create some excellent memories they’ll talk about for years.
The Colo River has been fishing well, with good numbers of bass caught and released. The big ones will be making their way down from the rugged gorges of the Colo region, so it should be a place of excitement this month.
For those who love to fly-fish, this month should be very exciting. Small bass can be thrillers on a light fly outfit so when those bigger bruisers take a liking to your fly, you had better be sure that your knots and gear are up to it.
Everyone who loves to fish special locations and escape over-targeted waters is reluctant to give locations away. This is very understandable. Regular readers know I don’t give away locations in this column out of respect for those who found them and also because half the fun of fishing is finding out areas where there is exciting fishing for yourself.
Over the past month or so, ‘secret’ creeks and seldom-trod waterways have been firing all over the district for good numbers of bass. The adventurous have been prepared to walk in, or go by canoe, as these places are often beyond the capabilities of a boat. Dave Horvat and fishing buddy Dale Graham have been walking into country that probably hasn’t seen a lure in a very long time,. The adventures and fish these two guys have had would make us all envious.
Estuary perch are still making appearances as far up as Windsor. These are a great fish to target and an increasing number of anglers are taking up the challenge.
Bass are going to be overdosing on angry pills around now, so expect some great encounters. This one will caught on a Mann’s 5+
Returning fish to the water to breed future captures makes great sense. Handle fish with wet hands, use barbless hooks, minimise time out of the water and swim the fish before release are the basic routine.Reads: 601