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Johnston's Creek in the rain...again.


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Seeing as it's nearest water to my place I've been exploring what I can catch out of Johnston's Creek lately and have found it extremely productive.

First of all, to call it a creek is a slight overstatement. I'm sure it was at some point but it's a pretty standard canal/stormwater drain in reality.  Don't get your hopes up about casting at snags like you're on a real river.  There's no real structure apart from a couple of bridges and it only fills up to a decent level on a tide over 1.5m.  Make no mistake though, the fish know there's food in there and they come up in big schools looking for it every high tide - especially my favourite target, the humble bream.

I planned to meet up with a fellow bream obsessive this morning in spite of the weather report of torrential rain and near gale force winds.  I've cancelled too many sessions based on the weather forecast and these days I don't believe it until I'm at the spot and experiencing it.  This morning that attitude was well vindicated. 

We met at 7am near the Tramsheds building, I'd already arrived and scored a decent bream on about my third cast.  The water was Cafe Latte brown with the storm water mixing with the salt.  The water's only about a foot deep but you couldn't see the bottom at all.  Plenty of swirls on the top indicated feeding fish - the canal attracts luderick, mullet and whiting in addition to the bream.  I'm yet to catch a flattie in there and I think I'll be waiting a while until that happens.

Anyway my mate Richard got a 30+ bream on his first cast doing a mega-slow retrieve.  I'm talking half a handle turn, pause, half turn, pause ect.  For the next 2-3hrs we were getting a fish every ten minutes.  Some proper size to them as well.  I can't say enough about how awesome it is landing a good fish in such shallow water.  Richard had got nothing but donuts his past couple of sessions, so he was stoked to land 15+ fish (on his fancy new Daiwa rod).  

If you try it yourself you have to be willing to move around.  The fish wise up to your game pretty quick and once you've pulled a fish out of a section, the rest of them spook for a while.  Sometimes a lure change will do the trick but you're better off just walking down the creek and casting to a different patch. 

Plenty of attention from all the dog walkers coming past.  No one can really believe we were pulling fish out of such a tiny bit of water - it's completely dry at low tide.

Having spent a fair bit of time fishing this creek I've also discovered that the fish will happily eat top water lures when the water's clear.  Nothing like seeing 20+ bream climbing all over one another to smash a Sugapen in 25cm of water - Even better when the biggest one in the pack barges in and gets it first!  If it's dirty like today then any grub or creature bait will do the trick.  Jighead weights depend on the flow (of course).  1/12 to 1/16 were doing it today.

Don't fear the rain and don't trust the weather man (well not entirely.)

Tight Lines folks!




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3 minutes ago, tobycb said:

Well done Niall. Your well keen to be out fishing this morning, got to love your enthusiasm!

It's never as bad as you think.  Once you're wet it's not like you can get wetter right?  

Makes the shower when you get home all the better as well.

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Nice report, I cross over the top of Johnston’s Creek on the light rail every morning on my way to work, and always wondered if the fish were in there, particularly that still pool opposite the tram sheds.

good to know they are there, nice fish!

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On 2/9/2020 at 5:26 PM, kingie chaser said:

Not out there today?

If it was only rainy I would've been out for sure.  Unfortunately the wind just makes it too frustrating and, given I'd be fishing amongst a lot of tall trees, dangerous.  

We had telegraph pole snap clean in half outside my house - still waiting for power to come back.  Many large fallen trees in my neighbourhood as well.  It was a frustrating day but I'm glad I stayed in.

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On 2/10/2020 at 8:50 AM, Keflapod said:

Bream would have to be amongst the most adventurous and adaptable fish around. They are only outdone by us humans. Well done on finding and catching those fish especially at that size. Do you eat them as well?

I err on the side of caution when it comes to eating fish from Sydney Harbour and it's tributaries.  Catch and release only I'm afraid - there's better and cleaner places to catch a bream for dinner in my opinion.

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On 2/19/2020 at 6:46 PM, lastworm said:

Hey Nial, just wondering did you guys fish the pool behind the hardware store?

Hey mate sorry I missed this.  Not sure where you mean?  What pool behind what hardware store?

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50 minutes ago, lastworm said:

Sorry not the hardware store, I think it’s a pet supplies. You can see it when you cross the canal on the light rail. 

Yep I've caught heaps of bream on that little stretch.  Unfortunately it'll be un-fishable while they're doing the re-naturalisation on the creek.  Should be done in about 6 months. 

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