Bluenose bream the stars
  |  First Published: April 2010

There’s no better time to fish the Hawkesbury than right now!

Big bluenose bream are a feature of the Hawkesbury during the Autumn. Anglers may get a surprise when a large silver dinner plate appears out of the murky water instead of that drag-screaming jewie they had initially called it for. Don’t underestimate the pulling power of a 40cm-plus bream, even on moderately heavy tackle.

These above-average fish will be found more so towards Brooklyn but it’s not uncommon to encounter a few around Wisemans Ferry if the conditions are right.

They will take larger baits and lures at this time of year, putting on condition for their annual migration up north. Strips of mullet, whole squid, 4” to 6” live baits and lures have all had success on big bream whilst fishing for jew at this time of year.

As the water cools down in the estuaries, bream tend to hang a little deeper.

Deep rock walls, reefs and drop-offs are good places to start prospecting. Pumpkin Point, Bar Point, Milsons Passage, Berowra and The Vines are well known for producing quality big bream.


Flathead have been reliable in the reaches around Wisemans Ferry lately. Laughtondale, Dads Corner and Upper Half Moon have fished well on the run-out tide.

The lizards have been feeding on 25mm to 50mm whitebait and school prawns. Replicating these baits with soft plastics and hard-bodied lures is an effective way to scout the area and locate any concentrations of fish.

Most fish are between 35cm to 45cm with the odd bigger specimen thrown in for good measure. Don’t discount the odd jew, bream and estuary perch getting in on the act at this time of year, either.

Bass and estuary perch are schooling in the tidal water with some fish making an early run downstream to feed on the small prawns that are abundant at present.

Estuary perch can be encountered along most rocky shores from Juno Point at the mouth of the system all the way to Windsor throughout their Autumn transition period.

With the closed season nearing, there’s no better time for chasing that trophy bass or EP as they feed on just about everything that swims past their noses. Rock walls, weed beds and broken reef that creates decent eddies are favourite haunts for these two species while they stage up before their migration.

Soft plastics and blades are great for locating schooled fish in these areas.

Contacting the bottom regularly with 2” to 3” prawn and baitfish imitations is the key to success. Pumpkinseed, bloodworm, chartreuse, pearl, watermelon and gold are favourite colours.

Flies can be fished on fast sinking lines and incorporate lead eyes to get down to the required depth. They provide an effective and challenging way to catch schooled EPs and bass.

This month we will see the last of a sporadic mud crab season which was very slow to kick off. Reports of good sizes and numbers around Spencer have rekindled anglers’ interest after the fresh in February concentrated these crank crustaceans downstream.


Jewfish will provide good sport this month. If rains hold off, they will push right upstream to find comfortable water temps and bait concentrations up as far as Lower Portland.

They will be feeding on prawns, herring and the abundant mullet that will be schooling for their annual migration. Having a variety of baits in the water will enable you to find out what’s working best on the day.

Catching a mixed bag of bass, bream, EPs flathead and jew while flicking lures in the brackish reaches is quite common in Autumn. All of these species can be found feeding in close proximity to one another along any of the given rock walls and drop-offs.

Wayne Cryer and his mate fished the Cowan system recently and picked up a 55cm flathead, a neat 65cm school jew and an impressive 70cm amberjack, all on soft plastics and light spin tackle. That’s a great effort for a midweek sortie.

Keep those reports coming, guys and gals, it’s a big system and being everywhere at once is an impossible task for one bloke. If you’re out this way drop in and see the guys at Windsor Bait and Tackle to get some local info and quality bait.



Estuary perch put up a good scrap on fly tackle. A lead-headed fly on floating line was the technique for this session.


Josh Dutton with a beautifully conditioned bream taken on a soft plastic at Bar Point. Fish in this class will be common this month.


A large bibless vibe worked deep off the rock walls helped Clint Thorpe secure this 41cm bream.

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