All things fishy in the Hawkesbury are in full swing this month.
A good run of prawns has livened things up in the estuary and the bass have moved well up into the sweetwater to feed on baitfish, shrimp and terrestrials unfortunate enough to fall into their realm.
Bream have been feeding on the abundant prawns up-river of Wisemans Ferry.
Don’t be surprised to pick a few up around Windsor this month, especially if you’re using bread to catch mullet.
The bream size has dropped from the early run of fish through Spring but there are still fish to a kilo on bait and lures along most rock walls and drop offs.
The oyster leases in Berowra, Mooney Mooney and Mullet creeks downstream will be worth a look with soft plastics and poppers. Don’t forget to bump up the drag setting!
As the water warms, there should be some active fish on the flats.
Bream, whiting and flathead are prime targets with poppers and hard lures. Try Berowra, Mooney Mooney, Cowan and Mangrove creeks.
Flathead will be around in good numbers from Brooklyn to Windsor. The better concentrations of fish will be in the upper reaches, feeding on the plethora of prawns and baitfish the upper tidal reaches house.
Lures around 3” to 5” that represent prawns or baitfish are the go. But if bait is your thing, live or fresh frozen prawns and small poddy mullet and herring will score fish.
If it remains dry this Summer, good concentrations of salt water will move to the upper limits of the tidal sections. Most fish will move with this water because the bait and prawns will move with it, too.
It’s not uncommon to encounter school jew around lower Portland and up to Sackville. A couple of exploratory trips in these areas may yield some impressive results.
As expected as we come into Summer, the school jewfish have started to thin out. At the time of writing there have been plenty of soapy jew and flathead around Dads Corner, Webbs Creek and Laughtondale for those using prawns, squid, small live baits and lures.
These fish will continue to head upstream if the dry conditions persist.
Mud crabs will start to show themselves as the water warms this month.
Anglers fishing with strip baits may have a few surprises on the end of their lines with the telltale slow pull of a big muddy. All that’s required is a steady retrieve and a net placed under the crab at the boat or bank.
Try not to lift the crab out of the water before you net it, because it will let go.
Setting a mud crab trap at the start of a day’s fishing can yield some nice rewards, especially if the fishing was slow. Remember to mark your details on the float and use enough rope to cater for the tide in the depth you set the trap.
For anglers who like a tussle and some nice fillets, bull sharks should turn up this month as they move to the fresh reaches to feed on the vast schools of mullet.
I hear reports most years of anglers fighting bass in the upper tidal sections, only to have them bitten in half just before they get them to the boat.
This year I will invest some time to catch and land one of these brutes. They regularly snip straight through heavy mono traces of jewie anglers fishing live and dead baits around Wisemans Ferry. Wire traces and plenty of berley will get them in the mood and to the boat.
The bass have been in great condition this year with a lot of fish in the high 40cm range caught and released in the main river and the creeks.
The real action this month will be in the small creeks, where the canopy of the bush creates a perfect hunting ground amongst the dappled sunlight splashed across the stream’s surface.
These places are great retreats for anglers looking to get off the main river, away from the boat traffic so common around these parts at this time of year.
Study those topographical maps because there are some absolutely breath-taking sweetwater streams and creeks to be found around the Hawkesbury.
For the latest information and a great selection of tackle and bait, drop in and see the guys at Windsor Bait and Tackle.
No matter how small, creeks will hold good fish over coming months. A good drop of rain wouldn’t hurt, though.
Flathead will be in good numbers upstream this month. A Koolabung blade fished over a drop-off led to this fish’s capture.
Salmon turned up late this year off Lion Island but certainly arrived in numbers. They put up a great fight on light threadline tackle.Reads: 1946