Urban Fishing At Its Best

 

First Things First, The Freshwater

Bass - Year round fun but a sensational species to target during the cooler winter months.

Bass – Year round fun but a sensational species to target during the cooler winter months. This was caught from an urban lake in Western Sydney.

Whether you’re driving over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or having a picnic in a nearby lake with family, the ample amounts of under-prized fishing available in some of these urban areas continue to remain untouched most of the time. The simple fact is that many anglers won’t or don’t look outside the box. Many fishing locations are largely overlooked due to their proximity to populated areas but as Dale Ward writes in this article they definitely warrant a closer look.

In the summertime for me, “It’s all about the bass” and I find myself becoming somewhat a crazy minded obsessed fisherman in search of my admired and prized species, but many bass fisho’s you will come in contact with will be somewhat like minded of myself.

Time for Some Bush Bashing

Scrambling through bush land and skinny little streams I often stumble upon many landlocked bass in pools due to the fact that I’m from western Sydney and many flood plains run through my usual stomping grounds and in flood washes these bass into corners and they begin to be stranded after the run off subsides.
The beauty of this kind of fishing I find most alluring to me is the fact that I only need to drive 5 minutes down the road to some of the most unlikely fishy locations to the less trained eye. Its not uncommon to cast lures into shopping trolleys in creeks, many would disregard such a place to cast a lure, but giving the location a much thorough going outlook and allowing yourself to dwell into a far better planned out trip and researching your locations in far better detail will give you a greater understanding as to why fish would be holding in these areas.
If you find a tail creek to a larger system that flows into a saltwater outlet, you will find bass.

Adjusting to the Seasons

Jewies are a popular winter urban target species.

Jewies are a popular winter urban target species.

Many people that read my articles in the warmer months will know that I’m primarily a skinny water bass angler and exploring little streams and tail creeks have given me some of the best fishing I’ve ever done and amazing past times experiencing the great Aussie outdoors. Finding streams you’ve never visited that hold bass always gets me charged, there is nothing more valuable and invigorating than that first cast into the unknown. The scenery I’ve observed while urban bass fishing is sensational; witnessing the essence of nature while fishing the creeks has no limitations, views like this you don’t usually get to see in your standard day.
Native birds feeding on nymphs and aquatic life from the water’s surface, to giant water dragons chasing prey down the banks of the water’s edge, all of this is part of the experience in urban fishing the freshwater streams and outlets. One of the biggest species in these parts also seem to hold the most controversial status among anglers, some fisho’s enjoy the chase, yet others believe they have no place in a modern anglers target list as a sport fish.

Don’t Mention the ‘C’ Word

Urban Carp -  Not the most popular species but hard-pulling & worthy opponents on the right gear!

Urban Carp – Not the most popular species but hard-pulling & worthy opponents on the right gear!

But no matter which way you look at them, they are a conspicuous target species for urban angling and I’m talking about the European carp and the most easily accessible systems hold carp.
The most unlikely places can offer good fishing platforms such as this urban pedestrian bridge.

The most unlikely places can offer good fishing platforms such as this urban pedestrian bridge.

Many fisho’s take a part in the eradication of the European carp when they target this species, but many rarely speak of the fight carp exhibit. For a fish that is so abundant in our systems right across the country I really don’t know why other anglers don’t enjoy the white-knuckle battle that carp display while taking part in pest management at the same time. Some carp I’ve caught in my local urban creek outlets have well exceeded the 10 kg mark and there really is no other fish of that size in the systems of Sydney.

Saltwater Tactics

Bream - everyones' favourite and probably the number one fish to go for during the cooler months. Some great bream can be caught in the most unlikely urban environments.

Bream – Jessica Fitzpatrick with a bream bouncing plastics on the flats. Bream can be caught in the most unlikely urban environments.

Bass and carp are only one prime example of urban fishing and exploring municipal creeks is not for everyone and lure fishing is constantly taking the necessary steps to evolve and stay on top, thus so it gets harder and harder for the average angler to maintain consistency.
An underwater shot of a bream being released after urban capture.

An underwater shot of a bream being released after urban capture.

Then you have fish like bream that whether we choose to believe in the fact that they get smarter to our ever advancing and alternating lure presentations its almost paramount in choosing leader strength just to switch the bite reaction into catch reaction. It’s no secret that Sydney harbour is one of the most pressured fisheries in the country and many anglers find it tough at times and are seldom consistent in catching fish.

Keeping You On Your Toes

Sydney Harbour - One of the nation's busiest waterways but also one of the fishiest!

Sydney Harbour – One of the nation’s busiest waterways but also one of the fishiest!

It’s a waterway that is unpredictable, the moment you believe you have figured it all out and have a bagged out day on the water, it takes a turn for the worst and the very next day the fishing is less ample than it was the day before. So use all the knowledge you gather over the years when lure fishing for bream, change up the retrieves and presentations even in the most likely of fish holding structures, it really is the game changer and it will separate you from the angler that left the boat ramp with the dreaded zero count. I’m quite fortunate to be within a 40 minute drive of some of the country’s most outstanding waterways for bream, they are a highly adaptable species in terms of its prey and habitat requirement, they occupy a vast array of environments that hold bait. Rocky banks that taper into the depths, bridges, rock walls, reefs, drop offs and flats; all of which hold suspending bream. Bream are a highly adaptable species in terms of its food and habitat requirement they occupy such a vast array of environments. But I focus my efforts more on finding fish in an open bodies of water like a big blank canvas, and Sydney harbour has bounteous deep flats and open bream water from the west of the bridge in the Parramatta River to the north in middle harbour, the options this urban nerve centre has for species like bream is an expansive.

A Smorgasbord of Species

Hooked Up: Moorings and structure found in busy urban waterways provide a haven for many species of fish.

Hooked Up: Moorings and structure found in busy urban waterways provide a haven for many species of fish.

Other generous options are also available for by catch when bream fishing like mulloway, silver trevally, flathead, whiting, Australian salmon and even kingfish. Urban city fishing has become popular in recent times due to the fact that commercial fishing in general city harbours like Sydney for example has now long been a thing of the past and the fish are starting to recuperating in numbers and have re-established numbers in and around the harbour as a direct result of commercial fishing bans in 2006 and fish stocks have flourished around the Harbour since.

Fishing The Nation’s Busiest Harbour

Silver trevally are awesome fighters on the right gear - they can be found in many urban fishing environments.

Silver trevally are awesome fighters on the right gear – they can be found in many urban fishing environments.

There is something unique and significant about having a fishery like the harbour so accessible and readily available for the keenest of anglers. You don’t even require a boat at times, the use of trains or buses to get to some of these prolific locations around Sydney makes it so appealing to the younger generation of anglers, with just a rod in hand and tackle in a bag, urban fishing offers so much convenience. Everywhere I go I am always watchful for possible fishing locations, urban fishing has taken me to some places that really are the most unusual places in which many anglers would not even give time towards and leave untouched.

Go Where There’s Less Pressure

These places are usually my favourite haunts due to being so much less under prrssure, it makes it an exceptional contender for finding fish in the most implausible of places for credibility. So next time when you’re out either around the harbour, or in a park having a BBQ with friends and family around a lake, make note that some of these places have outstanding fishing that usually goes unnoticed and could potentially be your next honey hole.
Fishing Sydney Harbour early or late? Take your camera to not only photograph your fish but also get shots like this.

Fishing Sydney Harbour early or late? Take your camera to not only photograph your fish but also get shots like this.

Dale Ward

About Dale Ward

Dale Ward grew up in both Sydney and Country Victoria and has fished as far back as he can remember. Dale has found himself casting lures at both freshwater and saltwater species along the East-Coast and prides himself as a new member of the Kaydo Fishing World team.

Previous Chasing Summer Speedsters
Next Chasing Coral Trout

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

Prove you are human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.