Big bass downstream
  |  First Published: August 2003

As you’d expect in the middle of Winter, the fishing has been a little quiet in the upper reaches, with most of the bass having moved down towards the salt water to spawn.

This time of the year you'll find that a lot of the bass will be holding around Sackville to Wisemans Ferry. Over the past couple of Winters I've caught some of my bigger bass in these areas at this time of the year. I've also found estuary perch school up in the same areas, although they tend to hang a little wider and deeper than the bass.

Soft plastics and spinnerbaits worked a little slower than in the warmer months have accounted for most the fish.

It’s also worth working the bigger bends on the river, where the debris gathers in the eddies, because baitfish will also gather in and under all the crap that has washed down. The bass won’t be too far away and you will often see them smashing the bait in these areas. I will often cast a surface lure or a shallow-diving jerkbait in these areas with good results. Keep your eye open for any surface movement and cast your lure there as fast you can. On most occasions it will be a bass that is your reward.

August is also the time that bream should be making their way back up the estuaries. You should find them in and around the bottom end of the Hawkesbury and Broken Bay. Small deep-diving crankbaits and small soft plastics worked around the rocky points should do the trick. You will also find estuary perch and flathead around the same areas.

Over the past couple weeks we have been hooking up on salmon and good tailor around Barrenjoey and Box Head. Most of the fish have been caught deep on trolled lures. When someone on your boat has hooked up, cast a metal or soft plastic around because often the hooked fish will have a few mates following him. Good tailor are also being caught around Lion Island and West Head and some salmon have been up in Pittwater and Cowan Creek.

Good bream and flathead have also been caught up the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. Most bream are falling to soft plastics dropped around the wharves and pontoons. Natural colours like pumpkinseed and motor oil seem to be the besting clear water.

In Sydney and Middle Harbour the water has cleared up after the rainy season and there have been good bream and trevally near the wharf piles and under the piers.

There’s one thing that’s great at this time of the year – on these cold mornings on most occasions I have the river to myself, with no other anglers or waterskiers to be found.

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