Confusion remains over closure
  |  First Published: May 2009

The closed season on bass and estuary perch starts this month and there doesn’t yet seem to be the clarification from Fisheries that I mentioned in a previous column.

There has been quite a lot of confusion regarding what the closed season really means in terms of catching bass and perch – are you allowed to legitimately target these species as long as you don’t have any in your possession?

Previous Fisheries contacts have said a closed season means that if bass or EPs are caught, they are to be released as carefully as possible. A closed season simply means that you must not have any in possession. No bass or EPs in the livewell of your boat or to kept for the table until the closed season ends on August 31.

Then there are those who would love to see bass not targeted at all during the spawning period. The problem is, bass and EPs are by-catch while chasing other species right the way down into Broken Bay.

Dave George and I were fishing for bream one Winter down at Patonga, when we struck up a conversation with a commercial fisherman who before our eyes, removed more than a dozen big bass and EPs from his nets.

Bass and perch have got a lot to contend with during their lifetime and releasing them to continue breeding will be a great way for you to help ensure plenty of healthy fish are there to be enjoyed in the future.


Trout first arrived in the country in 1864 they are still plenty about not far from Sydney.

While lovers of native fish aren’t too keen on trout, and there are some who want to see them removed from our waters, these fish are in large numbers and offer a viable alternative to anglers who want to keep fishing the freshwater during the Winter.

You don’t have to go to far from Sydney’s west to enjoy tackling some trout and they are viable targets at this time of year.

A 2kg to 4kg spin rod is a very versatile casting tool and a two-piece model makes walking around the bush a lot easier.

Worms fished under a float below a sinker work well and there are always lures.

I suspect there are some anglers who have never seen Celta spinners, which come in a variety of sizes and basic colours. Their success on trout should need no introduction.

For more accessible trout waters, a pleasant drive over the mountain can see you on dams which offer easy walking and fishing.

Lake Lyell, Lake Wallace and Thompsons Creek Dam all offer great trout fishing at times, with some monster specimens being very likely.

These areas can be extremely cold so take the right gear to ensure you’re protected from the elements. And if you need to access private property, please ask the landowner for permission.


The bass and estuary perch of the Hawkesbury and Nepean have featured most prominently in my column since I started writing just over eight years ago but obviously there are other species that are caught from time to time, regardless of whether they are targeted specifically.

Bream, jewfish, sharks, tailor, flathead and a host of seemingly lost species turn up a long way from where one would expect to catch them.

One regular species encountered during the cooler months is the blackfish, especially around Wisemans Ferry, where there is plenty of weed along the rock walls in the areas where the blackfish love to feed.

Some 50km away from the Hawkesbury entrance at Broken Bay, those secretive blackfish anglers ply their favourite spots for luderick up to 50cm long. That’s a serious blackfish in anybody’s language and worthy opponent on light line.

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