The next few months are the pick of the bass season for me.
Summer can be great when there’s plenty of surface activity but in the next few months, bass are in preparation for spawning.
This tends to bring out more aggression that often surprises newcomers. Everyone loves the excitement of a Summer surface bite but if I had to nominate my favourite time, it would be March-April.
The Colo River should be a great this month, providing we don’t get too much rain further west. If we do, the river turns to the colour of a good white coffee, putting off some anglers, but cast to the banks and willing bass will be keen to take lures and flies.
Surface lures and shallow divers are my pick along the clearer edges when the main river water looks like chocolate.
Another place to fish when the waters are muddy is among pockets of weed, especially when the tide is high.
In dirty water, darker or fluoro lures are excellent choices, which provide good contrast to the water. Fluoro colours pick up what little light penetrates and dark lures provide more contrast.
The last of the run in and the first of the run out is my pick my times to fish the Colo. I love that slack water at the change.
At this stage of the tide during the day, a lot of anglers would discount surface lures but casts into heavily shaded cover really turn up surprises.
At low tide, look for deeper sections, especially near good bends and strong eddies where froth, sticks and floating litter will be trapped along with plenty of bass food.
There are some terrific snags in the Colo and accurate casts will often draw a fish. Work the snags from various angles to cover all possible feeding points. Snag-resistant spinnerbaits can be worked at various depths and surface poppers also can succeed.
The Colo weed beds are extensive below the Putty Road bridge and surface lures work well on a high tide. Towards low tide, look to the deeper bends.
Estuary perch, flathead and bream have been taken in these areas, especially on soft plastics or spinnerbaits.
Rocky cliffs start a short distance from the Bridge to Nowhere and continue all the way upstream to the Putty bridge.
In these areas, use dark crankbaits and big profile soft plastics on worm hooks or Squidgy resin heads. Find undercut banks around the cliffs and cast close, especially if the tide is running hard.
Black soft plastic grubs are just the ticket to skip-cast into dark water similar to skipping a flat stones across the surface. Keep your rod parallel to the water for these casts.
If you’re not confident with casting lures into tight places, use a surface lure like a popper or grasshopper imitation and cast upstream of the target and let the current take the lure into the strike zone.
If you happen to get some time on the Hawkesbury on a weekday, you can enjoy the water without the wash created by speedboats. On weekends, head into the Colo, the Macdonald, Webb’s Creek, or some of the tributaries with speed limits.
I like using soft plastics around creek mouths and swamp drains, especially around weed beds or reeds nearby. Some likely spots include Cattai Creek, Little Cattai, the creek mouth at Pacific Park, Currency Creek at Sackville, Bradleys Creek, Irwin’s Swamp and Doyles Swamp at Dargle.
Sadly, a few readers have sent me great pics of fish they have caught, hoping to get them into NSWFM. It’s always hard to have to tell someone his or her pics are unsuitable for publishing because the resolution is too low. A great fish capture should be celebrated with a quality picture so set your camera to medium or high resolution and we’ll all get to admire your catch.Reads: 1070