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Energetic Estuaries
  |  First Published: October 2010



The warming water brings the best fishing of the year all around the country. Baitfish numbers start to increase and the water clarity starts to decrease, giving predators’ a better chance of a good feed.

If you’re an avid lure fisher it’s time to get excited and time to get prepared. The worst time to discover you have a sticky drag or damaged braid is when you have hooked the fish of the season.

A good real service might cost you $30 but it’s money well spent when you hook a good fish and everything runs smoothly and the fish ends up on the deck.

The Burnett

The river has been a bit quiet but will soon wake from its winter coma. There has been some good barra and fingermark caught over winter and now that the water is warming they will really start to make their mark.

Trolling around the deeper holes and along some of the old rock walls should see you messing with some unstoppable fish. Don’t be afraid of fishing some of the shallow sandy bays between the rock walls in the river, as the fish will start to hunt these areas especially early in the morning.

A 4” Berkley Hollow Belly is a good lure to use in these areas as the enticing, yet subtle kick of its tail works on a wide array of species. I rig these lures on a Nitro 1/16 saltwater jighead, which are great to fish from just below the surface down to about 6ft as long as the current isn’t too hard.

White has been a standout colour, but I have caught fish on every colour. Adding a dip of chartreuse dye to the tail really helps when the water is a bit dirty.

The tuna will be ever-present this month and by watching tides you should be able to get out and spin a few up. This is fun fishing and a great way to collect bait for your next offshore reef trip.

The Baffle

It’s still a bit early to guarantee a good jack session in the upper reaches of the river, but if you’re keen it’s still worth a shot. I will definitely be heading up this month.

If you are planning a trip to the Baffle, don’t disregard a surface lure offering. During the day when there are a few prawns flicking around is the prime time to cast a surface lure. Keep yourself in the moving water, which may mean leap frogging the tide but it will give you a better chance of encountering active fish.

How to DVD

I recently filmed a DVD outlining estuary lure fishing tactics. I sit down and explain how different lures work and how to get more fish to eat them, I also run through tackle set up and a bit of boat set up.

This DVD has footage showing how to work a lure, where to cast it and, luckily enough, it also shows fish eating it, including mangrove jack, barramundi, bream, trevally and a host of other estuary species.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on one drop me a line at --e-mail address hidden-- the DVD is called Estuary Tactics 1.

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