by Gary Brown
I have broken the middle section of the Parramatta River down to the stretch of water that runs upstream from the Gladesville to the Ryde Bridge. The variety of fish species start to thin out in this stretch of water, and the main species that you can expect to tangle with are bream, flathead, leatherjackets, small snapper, mullet, luderick, garfish and the odd mulloway.
Try targeting squid from here at night
What you can try and chase is prawns, and whether they have been brought frozen from a bait shop or caught while out pawning at night, prawns are a killer bait for the above mentioned fish species.
Five Dock, Abbotsford and Morrisons Bays are a few bays up this neck of the woods that have pontoons, rock walls and boats moored on swing moorings. It is these types of structures that will attract plenty of marine creatures like prawns, worms, crabs, whitebait and the such that bream, whiting, flathead and luderick are partial to. You could spend hours working your way in and around these bays either bait or lure fishing. If you are going to bait fishing from either the shore or out of a boat you will need to have a small, but steady berley stream going with the tide.
The shallow shoreline of Hen and Chicken, Exile, France and Canada Bays are all worth a try for prawns during the dark of the moon in the summer months. You could walk for hours along these shorelines with just a few lures and a spin outfit chasing bream, whiting, flathead and flounder. You will also find plenty of rocky shorelines that are covered with oysters, along with deep holes that are situated off Bedlam, Cabarita, Raven and Mortlake Points. These all have easy access from the shore and if you are working these shorelines from a boat the drop-offs are easily found by the use of a depth finder. Once again the use of a steady stream of berley is essential to your fishing success at these spots if you are bait fishing.
Great place to chase tailor, flathead and bream underneath the bridge at the entrance to the Iron Cove River
If you are restricted to fishing from the shore, you couldn’t go past trying Exile and Hen and Chicken Bays. It is here you will find a two-laned concrete ramp (fee applies), a small rocky point that juts out from a sandy beach. There is also a wharf that runs out into slightly deeper water. Plenty of whiting, bream and flathead have been caught here, and it is a great place to bring the kids.
Try targeting bream, flathead and trevally in and around the boats in the Iron Cover River
Upper Paramatta river
At first when you look at the stretch of water between the Ryde Bridge at Rhodes and the weir at the centre of the City of Parramatta, with an untrained eye you will think that this section of the Parramatta River doesn’t have much on offer to the angler. Well you couldn’t be further from the truth. If you get your street directory out and have a good look at it, you will find plenty of spots that the land-based angler could go and chuck a few lures and plastics about. For the sports fisher you will find bream that will bust you off as quickly as look at you, and flathead that are as dark as the bottom they feed on.
Any of the fish that I catch up in this stretch of water I do not keep to eat, but this is a personnel choice. If I am targeting them in a bream competition I do keep them for the weight-in and they are release further downstream. I am not saying don’t keep a few for a feed. That is a decision you will have to make.
Great shore-based fishing can be had from here
While driving around having a look for likely fishing possies you will notice sandstone retaining wall, old disused wharf, jetties, rows of mangroves, oyster cover rocks and mud flats. All of which are worth a very long and hard look at. Whenever I fish this stretch of water I will only us either minnows or soft plastics, and at all times practice catch and release from this section of water.
I have put together a chart of what months of the year I find are the best times of the year to chase different fish species that are available in both sections of the Parramatta River. What I would suggest that you do is keep a diary of the times that you go fishing and a pattern will start to emerge which may be different to mine.
Land-based fishing at Bayview is worth a shot with the family
Fishing is allowed off the wharf at Bayview Park. Just remeber to keep it clean
Species SYDNEY Best Times
Month J F M A M J J A S O N D
Bream X X X X
Flathead X X X X X X X X
Garfish X X X X X X X X
Kingfish X X X X X X X
Luderick X X X X X
Mullet X X X X X X X X X X X X
Mulloway X X X X X X X
Tailor X X X X X X X X
Trevally X X X X X X X X
Snapper X X X X X
Whiting X X X X X X X X X X
Well there you have it, the Parramatta River exposed for all to see. The next time that you are feeling the urge to go for a fish why don’t you get out the fishing gear and go and explore the Parramatta River. You will be pleasantly surprised at what it has to offer.
Boat hulls with growth on them will usualy hold a bream or two
Aaron with a couple of bream that were caught while fishing in Hen and Chicken Bay
A 2 inch Gulp Shrimp on a quater once Nitro jig head was the undoing of this silver trevally