January brings warm water and the next four months offer the best of Flinders Island fishing.
Offshore we are now looking for the tuna moving down in the east coast currents. Early in the season trolling is the best method of finding the fish.
With few boats working well offshore, one has to find the areas the fish are working and early in the season the deep water just outside the shelf is the best place to look. Later into February and March the yellowfin will often move in closer into the 60m zone.
While much of our trolling is done using 24 kg overheads, a good trick is to have a couple of jigging rigs handy and as soon as the boat stops on a strike drop the jigs as deep as possible. Other fish will follow the hooked fish and a jigged tuna provides more exciting fishing than one stopped on the troll.
Striped tuna are an annoying by product of chasing the bigger tuna on small skirts but remember they are also some of the best bait for all other species both in deep and shallow water.
Inshore January is the beginning of the peak season for all resident and summer visiting species. Already there have been good catches of snapper, and yellowtail kingfish are to soon come into their best. Gummies are turning up almost everywhere, with the best of the fish as usual in the Potboil area, just to the east of Lady Barron.
For those fishing in the surf, reports have been good both from the North East River where good catches of Australian salmon and trevally are being taken, when the tide slows along the north beach during the tide runs.
The long surf beaches of the east coast are yielding beach flathead and gummies, with flatties well over 2kg being usual. The best time for this sort of fishing is late afternoon and into the evening.
A January non-fishing event of note on Flinders Island is ‘Music in the Vines’ at the Unavale vineyard. This is a great day of jazz, wine and food set among the vines. ‘Music’ has now been running for several years and is well attended by visitors and locals. For information Call 03 63593521
James Luddington operates the Strait Lady on Flinders Island and is the islands most experienced skipper for a wide variety of fishing experiences. James can be contacted through www.flindersisland.com.au/fishingtours
Early season school yellowfin tuna caught off Flinders Island – these hard fighting fish will be much sought after in January.Reads: 1919