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Bass chow down
  |  First Published: March 2010



With spawning beginning to figure in the minds of bass, April is all about gorging food and putting on condition for the big effort they’ll need to breed.

Those fish that will be spawning this year will need to swim a great distance and require heaps of energy to do to it. This means feeding themselves until they are ready to make the big swim.

Large surface and diving lures are will be the more successful options, along with spinnerbaits and soft plastics. There are plenty of options for soft plastics these days, and those from 2” to 3” are perfect. Use the lightest jig heads you can.

I’ve bought a very healthy collection of Secret Creek spinnerbaits, which are proven performers on all of our native fish. One of my favourites at the moment is the Secret Creek Swinging Stuttra, which has been excellent around the timber, weed, cliffs and overhanging trees.

These lures have a blade on the front, spinnerbait skirts and a long worm attached to the hook. They have a crazy, erratic, pulsating action.

Not everyone targets bass in the river, although they are certainly the favourite of probably the majority of anglers who fish local waters. The mullet is another favourite, and anyone who has caught them will tell you that on light line, there’s probably nothing that gives more excitement.

While they’re not particularly common lure takers, they will eat bread or dough on a small hook under a float and will also take a peeled prawn or worm.

There are stacks of mullet in the Hawkesbury-Nepean and the best place to find them is around rocky rapids or in the shallows where there is plenty of weed.

These fish are very easily spooked at the best of times, but when the skies are clear, mullet are wary of creatures which have them on the menu, so it pays to be extra quiet and careful in approaching areas to fish for them.

A No 8 to No 12 hook is ideal and if the water is deep, use a pencil float. In shallow water, you can flick out an unweighted bait if your gear is light enough.

Fly anglers targeting mullet will find plenty of excitement using small bread flies in a little berley trail, although small black flies also work.

CARP

The European carp is a native of Asia but extensive introductions have helped to make it the world's most widely distributed freshwater fish.

Three strains of European carp have been introduced to Australia, an ornamental strain near Sydney (1850-60), a Singaporean strain in the Murrumbidgee (1876), and a hybrid ‘Boolara’ strain in Victoria (1961). The latter two strains have interbred and this species is now a major pest in many streams in NSW.

Carp have caused great harm to native fish habitat, causing siltation and erosion to waterways and eating everything in their path.

There’s plenty of water in western Sydney that holds carp, much of it easily accessed. Yarramundi, the public lagoons in the Hawkesbury district, Wallacia and around Camden and Narellan all offer top places to take on carp.

Carp give kids and adults a strong fight. Try them out and see for yourself and you won;t be disappointed.

Cast out a small float over the top of a No 8 to 1/0 hook baited with corn kernels or garden worms but ensure your knots are tied well. These fish will pull very hard and with a lot around 1kg to 4kg, they’re great fun.

Ben Re caught this solid bass on a day probably most anglers would not have got out of bed for. He cast a 2” pumpkinseed curl-tail grub close to the weed and the fish was released after a quick pic.

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