Gifts That Keep Giving
  |  First Published: December 2010

For all those die-hard anglers who were lucky enough to acquire angling candy for Christmas, there is no better time to christen those gifts that keep on giving! Whether it’s a new bait board, filleting knife or hardbody lure, these new toys give us a renewed vigour to chase our piscatorial counterparts.

When adding new toys to your arsenal, it’s a great opportunity to take the time to service (or replace) your existing tackle to ensure its maintenance is up to date. Taking the time to look after your gear goes a long way; it not only adds longevity to your favourite reel or rod but it can avoid a costly replacement bill.

Take your reel to an authorised dealer for servicing. It will not only save you time but also keep the warranty up to date for replacement parts. Also careful inspection of your fishing rods can pick up minor problems before they become a major one.

On the fishing front, the weather is finally beginning to heat up, which has been long overdue! The weather patterns of the past few months have been harder to pick than a Melbourne Cup winner. Water temperatures have also been up; spiking catch rates due to fish being increasingly aggressive, especially in times of higher barometric pressure.

Sand whiting have been the pick of the bunch at the moment with widespread reports of good bags being caught in the Pumicestone Passage, the sandy flats near Cooks Rocks, outside the sand hills of Moreton Island and near the mouth of the Pine River. Also try Deception Bay where dropping a few crab pots while chasing a feed of whiting has been quite fruitful.

Bloodworms have been a popular choice for bait as well as live yabbies and squid strips. Using a dropper rig with two size 4 long shank hooks can be a blast. It increases your chances of hooking up on a couple of decent whiting and can also give you a great fight. These fish are a tasty table pleaser and great fun for kids to catch, as handling whiting can be easy for the most delicate hands.

With steamy days occurring more regularly, the odd mangrove jack is still being caught around our northern waters. The most popular places being the canals at Newport Waterways, Ningi Creek and the upper reaches of the Pine River.

Live baits and hardbody lures have bagged the most jacks. The peak times are at dusk and at night, as these aggressive feeders love targeting their prey when the light is low, especially around fallen tree snags, rock bars and under pontoons.

The best hardbody lures to try are Ecogear SX48F and SX60F, Jackall Squirrel 61SP and 67SP and Lucky Craft Pointer 65XD. They all dive quite deep with some possessing suspending capabilities.

Bream have certainly made their presence known over the last few weeks with some good catches being reported on bait, lures and soft plastics. North Reef at Scarborough, Woody Point Jetty, the shallow flats of Deception Bay have been the pick of the places, with shallow diving hardbodies doing most of the damage.

My lure picks are the shallow Jackall Chubby and Atomic Mid Crank 38 because of their diving depths and internal rattles that seem to keep the bream coming for more and more. Rolling these lures over weedy flats, rock bommies and rubble patches have been known to trick the most finicky of our scavenger feeders.

The word on bait has been green prawns, chicken breast and mullet strips threaded onto a 1/0 hook, with the popular soft plastics worth trying being 2” Gulp Shrimp and 80mm Squidgy Wrigglers on ultra light TT jigheads, which ensure a nice slow sink rate.

Estuary cod have been a little shy of late out on the Peninsula with good reports of the odd one being pulled out of the Brisbane River. The Brissie River is often a good place to seek refuge when the weather turns sour outside with good fish still found around the many rock walls and the mangrove-lined banks. With good weather being far and few between, sometimes ducking into your local estuary system is a safer choice with our easterly winds have been so unpredictable.

So with all your new toys and newly serviced gear ready to roll, there should be absolutely no excuse to get out on the water and enjoy our great summer days; we sure have waited long enough for them to arrive!

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