Tags: river, water sports, kayaking, fishing
Cowan Creek is one of the arms of the mighty Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney. Apple Tree Bay near Bobbin Head has a large boat ramp and ample parking. This ramp is within the national park though and park fees apply ($11 per car at the time of writing).
Known for its deep water and rocky shorelines, some kayakers may be daunted by its sheer size but there is great fishing to be had and some spectacular scenery that makes you feel as if you're a million miles from anywhere. If you continue upstream from the marina at Bobbin Head you'll find shallower water that deters many power boats, so you'll have the whole place to yourself most days.
Also at Bobbin Head you'll find the entrance to Cockle Creek which is off limits to power boats. Along the bank opposite the car park here you'll be able to cast lures for Bream and Estuary Perch, especially around the snags and fallen logs. The shallow flats also hold good populations of flathead and if you get tired of catching fish you can have a rest at the picnic areas.
The marina holds some very big blue-nosed bream and they can be quite a challenge to extract from their home among the pylons. Lightly weighted soft plastics will prove to be their undoing and make sure you watch your line as the lure sinks. If you see it stop or move in another direction, strike, as fish will often hit the lure as it is slowly sinking.
Cowan Creek is an interesting area to fish. The deep still bays hold their share of fish & the methods used to catch them are very different from the Hawkesbury River itself. There is little current in Cowan Creek & the lack of it means there are no eddies or holes to act as fish holding grounds. Where in the Hawkesbury you can be confident of catching a few by sitting in a particular spot & waiting I have found in Cowan you need to be active & go looking for the fish. Lack of current means your berley is not covering much ground so if after 45 minutes you have no fish I reckon it is time to move. For this reason I am not going to go into specific spots in any detail just name a few as starting points. Due to the lack of current to hold the boat in one spot I recommend anchoring with 2 anchors bow in to the bank. A light reef anchor placed in the rocks along the bank & a light sand anchor for the stern will do the job.
Due to the deep water, Cowan Creek will have schools of Tailor, Salmon, Kingfish and Frigate Mackerel making appearances every now and then during the warmer months. If you're lucky enough to be there when they 'bust up' while chasing baitfish, flick out any baitfish replica lure (white normally works the best) and wind like crazy and get ready to be belted! Then hang on and go for a rideā¦