With the warmer weather and daylight saving with us, there’s plenty of opportunity for some action on the water.
The Colo river is one of the most pristine in our region and offers so much fishing you’d be hard pressed to cover but a fraction of it on any day.
This waterway has a four-knot speed limit all the way upstream from the Bridge to Nowhere at the mouth, making it PWC- ski boat-free – always a welcome relief.
There’s so much likely bass habitat that it pays to use a variety of techniques. Soft plastics, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, surface lures and any other techniques will work.
Some of the best fly action is also here and foam poppers, Dahlbergs and cicada imitations are assured of getting some knee-knocking action.
There are plenty of weed beds, submerged rocks, timber and overhanging foliage to work. Even with the sun high overhead, dark pockets of water can be found in which bass lurk.
If you’ve fished the Colo before you may have noticed small crabs around some of the rocks. I found many years ago that if you fish these rocks with a dark lure you’ll pick up good numbers of bass. Your lures take a beating on the rocks but if keeping your lures in pristine condition is more important than catching fish, you might want to try elsewhere.
While bass are the obvious species in the Colo you can also end up with tailor and flathead.
One critter nobody likes to see in the Colo is a shark but they do appear from time to time. A mate told me of sitting down to enjoy the sight of four ducks swimming about near the Putty Road bridge. Right in front of him, one duck disappeared in a mist of spray, leaving three very startled ducks behind. Sharks have also been known to take hooked fish.
Wisemans Ferry has been producing some good-sized bream, tailor and jewfish. It’s always a bit of a lottery in this area as flathead, estuary perch and bass all enjoy the same baits. If you’re flicking lures and soft plastics around for EPs or bass you can end up with a mixed bag.
Lower Portland has seen smaller bream, jewfish and flathead, with the bream and flathead taking to live prawns. Bass and EPs are also about.
Any submerged timber and weed you can find is worth casting a spinnerbait to. With fewer hooks than your standard treble-armed lures, you are more likely to get your lure back and often a fish.
A stinger hook works well on a spinnerbait for short strikers. Its large eye is covered with about 4mm of plastic aquarium aerator tubing before threading onto the spinnerbait hook.
Farther upstream, estuary perch are a likely catch on small soft plastics on 1/16oz jig heads, although I’ve seen photos of EPs around 40cm with 70mm Jackall Mask Vibes in their mouths.
Big lily pads should be about and worth targeting, although they put your casting abilities to the test. Cast your offering onto the pad and slowly drag it into the water.
This makes for a subtle presentation for lure-shy fish.
It seems like the dreaded Salvinia is back as ferocious as ever. In the Devlins Lane area of the Nepean it is so thick that paddling a canoe or kayak is nearly impossible in parts. The casual onlooker from a road bridge might believe there is no weed problem but there certainly is.
Still, the Nepean has produced some stonker bass on soft plastics but it will take some persistence in heavily-fished areas.
In the Penrith area the river is at times very difficult to fish because the fish become educated very quickly and even small bass will eye off a presentation before deciding what to do.
If you happen to be fishing an area that has seen heavy angling, to try soft plastics or a fly resembling local prey. Both of these act as if they are alive, look like they could be edible and when a fish hits, feel more like the real thing.
Mid-week, try somewhere like Wallacia or above where angling pressure is a lot less. Friday afternoons and the weekend are just too busy on the Nepean at Penrith to be worth the effort.
The moron mentality also makes it too dangerous at this time of year. It seems the authorities don’t really care about making the area safer for everyone and complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
Hardcore anglers are always looking for something new and different which will be more successful than last year. For others, it’s the same approach year after year, including lures, retrieves and casting techniques.
While overhead casts are great for distance, they’re not so necessary for the short-range work so common when chasing bass.
An underhand cast with a spinning outfit can cover good distance and the lure lands softly. Flipping a lure with a baitcaster also allows the lure to land gently and the lure lands much more naturally. Both casting techniques can be very accurate.
If you’re tired of watching others outfish you, watch what they’re doing and they might even show you. A fishing club is a great place to learn. The Hawkesbury Nepean Bass Anglers meet at 7.30pm on the third Tuesday of every month at Windsor Bowling Club, Western Sydney Bream and Bass meet at Kingswood Sporting Club on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30pm.
Daiwa’s Live Cicada is sure to gain legendary status among bass anglers. I bought three a few months ago and have been very impressed. They’re cleverly made with a jointed body, quality hooks and they sits slightly butt down on the water.
At just 40mm, it’s a realistic size for local cicadas and weighs a delicate 3.2g but can be cast with the right baitcasting outfit. At the time of writing St Mary’s Tackle was the only retailer stocking this great little lure and they were selling like hot cakes.
It’s really sad to receive digital pics from readers of really impressive fish but in file sizes too small for publication. If you want to brag to the world about your fish, take the pics in medium or high resolution, email them to me and then sit back and wait for them to appear.
Tadashi Nishikura won the Western Sydney Bream and Bass comp on the Hawkesbury with these two impressive bass. One took a Beetle Spin under a tree while the other came from a weed bed on a spinnerbait
Brendon Keogh landed this lovely 36cm bass at North Richmond around the snags.
The author had some anxious moments from this 36cm bass in the Colo before extracting it from submerged timber on a 1/4oz Nitro Whiz Banger.Reads: 467