Avoid all the traffic
  |  First Published: December 2009

With the holiday season still in full swing and hot dry conditions persisting, anglers should focus their trips around the low light of dawn and dusk.

Boat traffic can at times be unbearable as the heat of the day kicks in. Picking a tide change to coincide with dawn or dusk should yield best results.

Crabs have been active in the Hawkesbury lately, with big, healthy mud crabs and plentiful blue swimmers.

Setting a spread of dillies (five per person) or a mud crab trap (one per person) before a day’s fishing is an invaluable back up if the fish don’t come out to play.

The standout to bait your traps with is the mullet. You can either catch your own fresh ones or buy fresh or frozen from your local bait store.

Yarramundi is a great place to catch mullet and the best thing is that it’s kid-friendly and there are plenty of mullet to test your skills on. Other places to try for some mullet are the Breakaway, the beach at Windsor, Little Manly and the park at North Richmond.

The river has heated up recently, with plentiful bait supplies in the way of herring, mullet and prawns. The fish have hit their straps, feeding at every opportunity.


Flathead are in good numbers around Sackville and towards Windsor but pick your times because this is the heart of water skiing country. It’s common for you to turn into a turning buoy for these guys. Just like fish, these creatures are attracted to structure, too; they can’t help it!

Look for sharp drop offs on your sounder around major bends. These are generally marked with navigation buoys a fair way from the bank to alert skippers to the shallow bar it conceals.

Casting and trolling are both very effective in these areas. I find Feral Catt lures are standouts for trolling, especially the 3 m divers.

For casting, soft plastics rigged on 3g to 7g jig heads, lipless crankbaits and the ever-popular blades are all taking fish to 65cm.

Bream are getting a little spread out in the upper reaches; they should still be reliable enough to warrant a trip, though.

Live prawns cast unweighted around rock walls and snags should see a few come to the boat.

Don’t discount the by-catch of bass and estuary perch, as they hunt these areas too.

The Skeletons at Lower Portland has coughed up a few just-legal bream on soft plastics while I was chasing EPs recently.

The flats around Brooklyn should be holding good numbers of bream, and whiting as well for those addicted to surface lures. Early and late are prime times. Better still, an overcast day should see steady activity throughout the day.

Small walk-the-dog style lures in clear colours are performing well.


School jew are still abundant throughout the system. As predicted last month, they have been caught well upstream, at Lower Portland around the Skeletons. A live prawn took an 88cm fish for Tony and his kids recently.

Dads Corner is still producing plenty of soapies with the odd bigger fish making an appearance around the tide changes.

Flathead have been there in good numbers but there are a lot of small, barely-legal (36cm) fish that just don’t seem appetising.

Bass and EPs have been providing plenty of action for those casting lures to the snags and rock walls.

Surface lures are working a treat on the bass in low light periods. Try using poppers in the tidal water below Windsor, with a rapid retrieve to incite a strike.

The rapid retrieve will imitate a fleeing prawn and bass just can’t resist.

In the still pool water, walkers and fizzers reign supreme as they represent terrestrial insects that have fallen onto the water.

Plenty of Christmas beetles have hatched this year so lures that resemble the size of the beetles (a 5c or 10c piece) is a great place to start.

Estuary perch are getting a little tricky to find as the heat of summer kicks in. Bass fishos around The Terraces will encounter occasional fish on the surface and sub-surface presentations.

Conventional methods of hopping soft plastics along the bottom can be a little tough in these parts, with all the weed. A move below The Terraces will see bass anglers hooking more fish than weed.

Be safe, take care on the roads and fish hard when the opportunity presents itself.

Drop in and see the guys at Windsor
ait and tackle for the latest gear and advice. Reads: 572

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