My usual haunts in The Hawkesbury were not producing. The areas I fish in the Hawkesbury are predominately a summer time fishery however you can get a few larger fish in the Winter, but not this year.
Brisbane Water was my next closest option. I started out with no intelligence on the fishery and started looking for an Oyster farmer. In the past I have found them to be very knowledgeable and helpful. I found an Oyster farmer and he told me of some boat moorings where he has seen people fishing for blackfish. The tide was still quite high and the water clear. I ticked along with the electric and I could see a number of good size fish spread out thinly. I picked the area that seemed to have the most, left them for 10 minutes, and started fishing. Picked up a few fish 33 -35 cms and then they went quiet.
By now we were getting to the end of the tide and I decided to head for a spot I had not fished since I was 10 years old. In those days (back in 1967) it was a hot spot and you were lucky to get a rock on Saturdays. Shore access was restricted 20 years ago and, as I have driven past the spot many times, I have not seen anyone there since the shore access was closed.
To my delight I got a down first run, but the fish were very finicky. So down to smaller float, longer and lighter trace with smaller baits. Eventually I started catching fish and landed about 4 or 5 all about 30 cm. I was resigned to the fact that there were only small fish when right on the last gasp of the run-out I landed a 42 cm model..
Next chance to fish was a few days later and the last of the run-out was early morning. Not a sign of fish at the second spot so back to the boat moorings. The tide was running in well and I started catching fish using the lighter rig I had set up. With tide running fast the fish pulled the float straight down and were hooked every down. I landed 3 or 4 when the wind came up opposite to the tide run. This made things a bit difficult with the light float so I went back to the bigger float thinking “they are biting well and with this run it won’t matter” After 5 downs for no fish I eventually hooked a good fish and lost it. I went back to the lighter rig and got another couple immediately. Then I realized size does matter. How many times do I have to learn the same lesson “fish the lightest float you can and you catch more fish”.
These were quality fish 34-40 cm and in fast water they take ages to subdue.
Finished a good day with 7 very nice fish and 2 new spots and one spot fishes on the run in which is a real bonus.