The fishing is quiet in the upper reaches because most of the bass have moved down towards the saltwater to spawn, with a lot of the fish holding from Sackville to Wisemans Ferry.
Over the last couple of Winters I have caught some of my bigger bass in these areas, where the estuary perch also school up but tend to hang a little wider and deeper than the bass. Remember that it is illegal to possess bass or perch from June to August.
Soft plastics and spinnerbaits worked a little slower than in the warmer months have accounted for most the fish.
Over recent weeks I have had the pleasure of fishing with John Bethune for bass and estuary perch in some of the areas that we have worked in past seasons. We have been catching and releasing these fish using a dropshot rig worked deep around drop-offs where the sounder has showed fish.
The bass tend to just grab it and run but with the perch you feel two or three small bumps, then nothing. This is were the dropshot helps. Often, if you just leave the soft plastic close to where you had the bite and just shake the rod tip, it will trigger a bite and a hook-up.
We also worked some of the bigger bends on the river where the debris gathers in eddies and small baitfish and prawn have been swimming around the debris. The bass have been taken on surface lures or shallow-diving jerkbaits in these areas.
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.
We have also been catching bass casting surface lures close to shore under overhanging tree and rocks. Often the strike will come after two or three casts in the one area or if you leave the lure sitting close to the bank in the strike zone and give it a small twitch.
Peter Wilbow has been fishing around Wisemans Ferry for bream, flathead and jewfish to 6kg on peeled Hawkesbury prawns. He has found the last of the run-out tide and first of the run up most productive and if does not get a bite in the first 20 minutes, he move to another position.
Dan from Windsor Bait and Tackle has been fishing a little further down the river with soft plastics for jewfish and big flathead and has land some great fish. Drop in to the shop and Ben and Dan will point you in the right direction with lures and locations.
Mick and Peter from the Bass Angler at Penrith reported that the guys fishing for bream have been working around the moored boats and jetties with soft plastics on 1/32oz jig heads cast close to structure and watching the line for any sudden movement.
Small crankbaits are also catching their share of bream; cast the lure past the structure so the lure can get down to the depth as it goes past. When the lure is near the structure, pause it for a second and give it twitch before retrieving slowly.
The boys at the Australian Bass Angler the will give you all the good oil on the best range of bass and bream lures in Sydney and while you are there check out all the boats including US brands Ranger, Stratos Charger, Scout and Triumph.Reads: 1163