Jump to content

Lower Hawkesbury/ Patonga 18/3/2023


Recommended Posts

This post was recognized by mrsswordfisherman!

"A very comprehensive and helpful report"

XD351 was awarded the badge 'Great Content' and 300 points.

G’day Raiders , 

Went for a fish / tackle and boat test on Saturday and I caught a few fish with some keepers , tested a new tackle  / bait storage system for my boat  , had a play with the Deckee app and continued to weed out the fuel line issues I have had recently . I will post the tackle system report in the appropriate section on Fishraider in the future .

Anyhow on with the fishing report .

Arrived at Parsley bay ramp at 6 am to be greeted by an army of workers and vehicles that were waiting for the punt to take them to the northern end of the rail bridge - must be doing some upgrades . This meant the staging areas were full of trucks , a lot of the parking was taken up by the workers vehicles and the usual chaos ensued . Once on the water I motored over to the south side of Dangar island to do a drift along the edge of the mud bank , I would be fishing with both bait and soft plastics - more on these rigs below . With a baited line out I was flicking a small Gulp shrimp in nuclear chicken colour on a Texas rig but this was uneventful.

First drift was pretty slow as the tide was just turning ( tackle , bait , tides , conditions etc listed below ) once I got out into deeper water the small lure rig was stored away and the heavier one came out , a 6.5cm paddle tail in nuclear chicken colour on a 7/0 jig head .The first fish - a 52cm flathead came from spot 1 on the map below and was caught on a Hawkesbury prawn and  the photo was taken and logged on Deckee ( you can see the little fishing rod icon where it was caught on the map) .This area is where the two main currents collide and now my drift started to head south with the current and I continued to hop the paddle tail across the bottom while drifting - first tail got destroyed by a tailor without a hookup . At point 2 the current swings to the east and I caught a small Mulloway, I didn’t measure it as I don’t keep them and anything I don’t keep is usually released while it is in the water but it was round 40cm .

The drift continued but nothing doing so motored over towards Gunyah beach ( anywhere on the map that the trace takes a sharp turn or runs perpendicular to the current flow is the boat under power ). This drift was initially uneventful until I hit spot 3 where another small Mulloway was hooked and released - this one only around 30cm so I baited up again and continued to drift and I lost another paddle tail to a tailor 🤬. At spot 4 my lighter bait rod got hammered a decent fight ensued with a couple of good runs , I knew this was another Mulloway- nothing big but as I was running 8lb leader I had to take it easy . Within  a couple of minutes another Mulloway was at the side of the boat being released- at a guess around 55-60cm and it swam off nicely after release .

I then motored over to the north side of broken bay to my usual drifting ground and the lighter bait rod got stored away as it is too light for the sinker weight needed here . The heavier bait rod was being baited with herring that my local bait supplier assured me to be the gun flathead bait in the Hawkesbury - I don’t recall catching anything on these over 4 trips so they got dumped overboard and I reverted back to prawns . I started the drift and immediately hooked a decent flounder ( plagues of these out there) which was released then a few minutes later I landed a 40cm flathead which was destined to keep the other flathead company in the esky , a quick leader check and re bait was in order and the drift continued . I couldn’t take a photo of the fish after the flounder as the heat caused my phone to play up and eventually shut down so the tracking on the Deckee app stopped as well - I ended up drawing in a yellow trace to show my movements  after this point .

At spot 6 I landed the last keeper flathead 38cm and a reasonable tailor ( released ) and lost my last paddle tail to a tailor -by this time I was doing what I call drift jigging which is nothing more than dropping the plastic to the bottom sticking the rod in a holder then adjusting it so the swell or rocking of the boat makes it jig up and down off the bottom . After losing the last paddle tail I stored this rod away and headed to spot 7. 
Spot 7 usually has a decent eddy forming on the last half of the run out tide and the clean water from Cowan collides with the dirty water from the Hawkesbury causing a current line where prawns and bait fish get caught up . I run a couple of drifts across here but there were other boats fishing here as well - right where I wanted to fish ! I only caught one more small flathead and it was released at the side of the boat -around 30cm long as a guesstimate. That was it for the fishing and I headed back to the ramp .

At the ramp I noticed a group cleaning some nice flathead and trevalley being cleaned - one of the trevalley got snapped up off the cleaning table by the biggest Pelican there , the father said to his son “ quickly get it back “ I thought to my self don’t even think about it - the pelican will go you ! I returned to the ramp with my car and next to where my boat was parked there was a guy taking photos of a 1metre + Mulloway , he said he got it in the mouth of Jerusalem bay and they have been getting fish up to 1.4m length on squid . At the cleaning table while filleting my fish a few young blokes lobbed up to clean their catch , a few Flathead to 45cm , a just legal bream and a couple of just legal whiting , they said they were fishing off Patonga and flint and steel .

The fine print

Tide : 6.10 am high @ 1.76m at fort Denison . Moon : last quarter 15/3/2023 . Water temp on sounder was 23deg. Wind was negligible for most of the morning . Sunrise just before 7am iirc .

Bait / lures: Hawkesbury prawns and Hawkesbury herring - lures gulp shrimp 2.5cm and 6.5cm paddle tail both in nuclear chicken .

Rigs : Bait - running sinker rig ( I used sinker sliders and bomb style sinkers running down onto a fluoro bead and a ball bearing swivel , a metre of fluorocarbon trace and a long bait holder hook, braid main line on both outfits . ) The light rig is 8lb leader and a #1 size hook , sinker weight as required to keep the bait on the bottom . The heavier rig is 20lb leader and a 4/0 hook and sinker as required to keep bottom .

Lure: light rig - Texas rigged EWG hook and a bullet weight to suit conditions, 2m of 8lb fluorocarbon leader and braid main line . Heavy rig 1oz 7/0 TT big eye jig head, 2metres of  20lb fluorocarbon leader and braid main line .

The happy snaps .







  • Like 18
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ian, take a gold star  for that effort mate ... I think you have set the bar for detail and thoroughness in a fishing report. 

Great pictures and location/gear/technique outline ... plus a good catch.  Thanks for sharing all this.

Cheers Zoran

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant report Ian, very thorough and full of info and tips. A couple of nice Flatties and a flounder = tea sorted.

I was out on Monday last week and had a newbie on board and we hooked a fire breathing Jewie on 12lb line that turned out to be a monster Pike Eel 😣

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Bryant fish said:

Good report mate a question for you pittwater has been infested with shovel nose and rays is it better down riveras its a muddy bottom instead of sand i know catfish can be a pain around the bridge after rain

I usually don’t get shovels west of flint and steel , I typically get them at spots 5&6 on the turn of the tide but once the tide starts to run they seem to disappear or they have trouble catching a moving bait, makes me wonder if it is their breeding season and they are coming into the area for this  . I used to get catfish when I anchored up or fished where there is little tidal flow . The last time I fished west of the bridge I got hammered by little Mulloway, it has been donkeys years since I last caught a catfish anywhere in the Hawkesbury- maybe because I always drift and never anchor up . The biggest catfish I ever caught came off a sand bottom in Brisbane waters at night , I think the correlation between rain and catfish may be because they typically live in shallow water and the rain probably causes the salinity level to drop which forces them into deeper water where they get washed down river .

The areas marked in red are where I usually get fish and the white areas are deeper water . 


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually it is flounder and small Mulloway that drive me nuts , if I find that they are in big numbers in the area I want to fish I move and try another spot . Sometimes it is just a matter of moving a little wider or closer to shore . At the spot east of patonga I find if I go to close to shore I get Mulloway and too wide I get flounder , out in the middle it is flounder or nothing .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the boat hooked up for tomorrow bugger the weather report its never right (shit probably jinxed myself but just done 12 days straight at work i need a fish) im planning on keeping out of pittwater and try a couple of different spots and see how i go  .will post a report if worthy 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...