Water temps should rise this month, bringing new waves of fish to test your angling skills.
Some Winter species like tailor and salmon will still be around but should taper off at the end of the month.
Bream, bass, estuary perch, flathead and jew will become more active and move back upstream with the bait, feeding vigorously as they go.
Some good bream should be on the cards this month as they move back down the coast and flood into the estuaries.
Good numbers will be found around Brooklyn, including most rocky foreshores, oyster leases, boat hulls and around reef such as Milsons Passage, Bar point and Pumpkin Point.
Baits that will tempt these fish will be varied, as they’ll be wanting to pack on condition after a long migration. Live or fresh prawns, fillets of tailor, bonito, yakkas, chook gut, mullet gut, chicken breast and pudding baits will all account for good fish during this period.
Don’t forget a steady stream of berley to speed things up and keep fish interested.
Lures to snare a bag of these top little sport fish should match the food sources present. Prawn imitations are great, 80mm to100mm Squidgy Wrigglers in bloodworm and Berkeley 3” minnows in pumpkinseed and bloodworm are good starting points.
At this time of year it’s not uncommon to take large bream on lures and baits intended for that elusive jewfish, which goes to show how voracious they can be to put condition on.
Flathead were a little slow through Winter but will start to feed as the bait and prawns move upstream. This will coincide with the spawn run of this species.
They should be found in good numbers in the lower reaches with the small male fish gathering in numbers around the big females.
I stress here that if you encounter a flathead over 65cm this month, please handle it with care and release it immediately as these are the producers of many more generations of sport and table fish.
Live baits will take some good fish this month around Bar Point, Juno Point, Flint and Steel and Patonga.
Poddy mullet, herring, prawns, squid and yakkas on a simple one- or two-hook rig are a good way to encounter a ‘croc’ flattie.
Lures that resemble the aforementioned live baits will take fish.
A standout this time last year was the Squidgy Fish 100mm in silver fox on a 1/40z jig head fished around drop-offs and reefs two hours either side of a tide change. A jewie is not out of the question, either.
Winter produced a steady stream of jew, most being in the soapy range. This month they will feed nearly exclusively on prawns as they move to the brackish reaches around Wisemans Ferry.
A good indication that the fish are upstream is the start of the trawl season to target prawns. Find the bait and you’ll find the fish and you can’t go past a bucket of live prawns straight off the trawler.
Lures are a go-to for me at this time of year to tempt a fresh bunch of jew that haven’t been pressured too much.
Live baits are still a good option but I find covering a great deal of water to locate the fish to be more effective with a lure. Try lures that represent small baitfish and prawns from 75mm to 150mm.
Check those knots and change the old rusty hooks on the hardbodies, it’s bass season!
Fishing for bass and estuary perch this month should be red hot.
They will be moving in numbers and feeding hard on herring, prawns and any baitfish that gets in their way throughout the tidal water.
Watch for the start of the wattle blossoms and the surface bite will begin in earnest in the slower-flowing upper reaches.
Hardbodies are a good way to connect with these battlers and the reduced weed in the reaches above Windsor should allow easy casting and retrieving before the vegetation becomes an inconvenience and forces a move back to jig spinners and spinnerbaits.
Proven favourite crankbaits include Feral Cats, Tailor Made, Knolls, Stuckeys most of the Heddon and Rebel ranges – and, if you’re game, any of the high-end Japanese lures.
For the latest gear and advice on where the fish are, drop in and see the guys at Windsor bait and Tackle.
There were some big jew still about in August. This one went 101cm and on 4lb line, Clint Thorpe did a great job to secure his PB from a shallow reef.
Big flathead will be heading downstream to spawn this month. Like any thinking angler, the author recommends catch, photo and release. This 88cm 'croc' took a large shad soft plastic.
River Peters with a fit healthy 38cm estuary perch from Wisemans Ferry on a 3” minnow. Fish slow and deep along the rock walls to encounter fish of this calibre.Reads: 615