Plenty of bass and EPs
  |  First Published: October 2005

With the rising temperatures of October the bass and estuary perch will be heading back upstream after their spawning.

This is the time when you will catch these fish in good numbers as they travel in schools and will be concentrating in areas. Last month we had good catches of both EPs and bass on soft plastics close to drop-offs and eddies near large bends in the river.

When my Humminbird Matrix 37 and 97 sounders show a concentration of fish, I double back and give the area a good working over. I usually start with soft plastics worked deep, with a lift-and-drop of the rod tip keeping the lure in contact with the bottom.

Bass and perch will often hit a lure on the drop so use a fluoro-coloured line so you can see it move if the fish bites on the drop. I use a variety lures to find what is working best.

When looking for bass early in the morning I like to start with a surface lures like the Taylor Made Surface Walker, Feralcatt surface lures and small fizzers. If the bass are on the chew these lures will outfish most other types and there is nothing like a big bass slamming a surface lure to wake you up!

As the morning moves on I often cast small deep-diving crankbaits like the small Feralcatt, Taylor Made Nuggets and, of late, Viking Talisman rattlers. I cast them close to the bank and structure and wind them back slowly, using the rod tip to add extra action into the lure.

Small spinnerbaits like the Aussie-made Secret Creeks can be fished in areas where other lures can’t. I like to cast them deep into snags, let them sink and retrieve back through all the sticks and limbs where those big bass love to hold.

Soft plastics with a 1/4oz jig head and a small Beetle Spin blade to add more flash and vibration work well around drop-offs and weed beds for bass and EPs

Using a variety of lures maximises my chances of finding and catching more fish. Check out the Tidal Water Action DVD showing you how to catching bass and EPs for more information.


We have been catching plenty of salmon around the headlands in Sydney Harbour. Most have been caught on 4” and 6” Slug-Gos and Mojos worked very slowly while I have seen most other boats using small metals with out much success.

Slug-Gos can be hard to find but can be bought at the Australian Bass Angler, Blacktown Fishing Tackle, the Compleat Angler, Fish Outta Water, Otto’s, One Stop Bait and Tackle and Fish and Dive Warehouse. If you’re not sure how to rig them ask the boys in the shops to show you.

The new Viking Lancaster Minnow also has been effective cast into the school and worked back in a jerking action.

The Kingfish have also started to turn up around Bluefish Point and the closer reefs I have been picking them on small trolled McGoo skirts and 9” Slug-Gos tossed around the washes. I have also heard of a good catch of kings in the Harbour near the channel markers.

Bream anglers have been catching plenty in the Harbour around moored boats with Bass Minnows cast close to the keels and let sink. Most of the pontoons are also holding fish.

Flathead have been caught up around Middle Harbour on larger soft plastics around the drop-offs.

It is also the time when the first of our warm-water pelagics turn up in Broken Bay, Sydney Harbour, Pittwater, Cowan and offshore. Species such as mack tuna, striped tuna, bonito and kingfish mix with the salmon and tailor that have been here most of the Winter.

There is nothing as exciting as high-speed spinning for these fish, especially on tackle in the 4kg line class.

These fish will test your tackle to its limit so it’s important that you service your reels, spool up with new line and check rod guides for cracks or damage. If you are buying a new outfit to target these fish buy good quality rods and reels.

This is also the time when saltwater fly will outfish most other methods if the pelagic are feeding on small baitfish. You can cast a small fly that is the same size, shape and colour as the bait the fish are feeding on and work it a lot slower than most lures, or just sit the fly in the middle of a feeding school.


Jeff Brown of Riverlands Fly and Sportsfishing reports that the Central Tablelands trout fishing has been very up and down over the past month but the creeks and streams are looking pretty good for the new season starting on the first weekend of October.

October and early November last year produced some excellent dry-fly fishing on Lake Wallace and a couple of private waters, Jeff said. This year’s conditions are shaping up similarly so early morning sessions on dun feeders are on the cards.

Early October mornings along the southern shores of Thompsons Creek Dam are a good bet for polarizing action. Anglers will need to use leaders of three to four metres and be able to present flies quickly as the fish move up over the drop-off edges in search of crayfish and shrimp in the shallow weeds and along the sandy edges.

Lure fishing along the wall at Thompsons is worth spending some time on with soft plastics proving viable, especially on big brown trout. Basically, cast long and at angle of about 30° to the bank, letting your lure drop but keep in touch with it – browns will hit lures on the drop.

Casting at an angle allows for fish to track lures along the wall, giving more time in the major strike zone. Use a countdown technique to vary the depth and experiment with retrieve speeds and actions. Any one wishing to fish with Jeff can phone 0418 435 410.


Any one wanting to learn more about fishing for Sydney kingfish, bonito, salmon, tailor, bass and estuary perch can come to one of my on- water fishing schools. These can be tailored to suit estuary species in my bass and bream boat or you pelagics from my seven-metre Vision sportfisher. Ring me on 040 8334 892


Shannon Kitchener and I have Just finished a DVD on sportfishing targeting all the different fish trailer-boat anglers pursue with lure, fly and bait. Species include bass, bream, bonito, flathead, tailor, salmon, mahi mahi, trout and kingfish.

Scotty Lyons of Southern Sydney Fishing Tours shows how he targets trevally and flathead in Botany Bay; Jeff Brown of Riverlands Fly and Sportsfishing fly-fishes for brown trout in the Central Tablelands; Kim and Steve Bain spend a day with me hooking into salmon on soft plastics and crankbaits and, with the help of a couple of fat buddies and some not so fat, I show how to fish for all the other species. Keep your eye out at local tackle shops in late October for Sportsfishing Action.

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