Struggling in the murk
  |  First Published: March 2008

Over the last month Bass and EPs in the middle sections of the Hawkesbury have been pretty average with only a few fish caught on most outings.

We have had lot of rain which has muddied the water when this happens the local watercourses like South Creek and Cattai muddy up and flow into the main river. The water above Windsor clears quickly but downstream it takes some time.

The bass that have been caught above Windsor are around the weed beds and under the trees on small crankbaits and surface lures. Best diver colours have been green, yellow and purple with darker colours for the topwaters.

With floating crankbaits, them let them sit for a few seconds after they splash down, then give them a twitch before starting the retrieve. Bass often strike when they lure is still on the surface.

Small spinnerbaits and Beetle Spins have been working well cast close to the weedy edges. Let them sink deep and a lot of the time they can be hit on the drop

The bass fishing around Penrith has been good with plenty fish caught above the weir around the rail bridge and the edges of the weed beds and further up river.

A lot of these fish have been falling to lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits during the day and surface walkers, small poppers and other surface flies and lures at night.

A lot of bass over 40cm have been caught well upstream by vertically jigging small soft plastics.

At this the time of year bass and estuary perch start to gather in schools to move downstream to spawn. It is a good time to catch these fish in healthy numbers.

The fish generally start to school up around Windsor and all the way down to Wisemans Ferry – all you have to do is to locate them.

Each year can be different. Just because you have caught fish in an area in past seasons does not mean the fish will be there this year, but it is a good place to start.

When looking for schools bass and EPs in Autumn and early Winter I usually start around Windsor and work my way downstream until I find them. This can take a few outings to locate the areas where they are gathering. I usually find quite few that hold good numbers of fish.


I have found the going a little tough in the salt over the past month. There has been plenty of bait around on the surface but few pelagics feeding on them. Earlier we had some success casting poppers around channel markers and moored boats but these places were hit pretty hard over the Summer.

The last few outing I have been waiting for the change for the tide so the water slows enough for me to sink an unweighted 9” plastic stickbait down deep and work it back slowly. This technique has accounted for most of the kings

As the water warms the pelagics can also hang deeper so it pays to fish deeper.

I have been using some heavy sinkers to troll small live yellowtail, diving lures and soft stickbaits down deep and have been surprised at the number fish, including kings salmon and tailor. I have not seen any bonito yet but they could turn up any day.

Kingfish have also being caught around the headlands and closer reefs on slow;y trolled live baits and have also attacked jigged metals.

Some of the better spots have been Bluefish Point and The Colours.

I have also had reports of mahi mahi turning up around the FADs and fish trap floats. Many have been under legal size (60cm). Live baits have been working best.

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