March is my favourite time to fish here in Lucinda. The fish seem to become extra aggressive and the number of different species on offer is amazing.
A perfect March day on the water starts by hitting the islands in the morning for some reefies, fishing the jetty on the way home for some GT and Queenie action and finally lobbing some lures for barra and jacks in the evening.
In saying this there is also a good chance that the wet season is still in full force and fishing will be impossible or rather difficult. It is a lottery up here in the wet season.
March is a great time to be fishing and exploring the channel. The run-off period brings new life and fish are active and aggressive. It is this time to be twitching shallow lures along sand and mud banks concentrating on the drains coming from the mangroves.
Barra will be sitting just out of the draining water and ready to ambush any hapless baitfish that swim out. At this time mangrove jacks will be also found in the same area especially if there is some kind of structure near the drain.
Concentrate your efforts at this time of the year in fishing the drains instead of the snags and you should see better results.
I’d also like to point out that standard trebles on most lures these days are not up to scratch, so it pays to change them to the strongest fine gauge trebles you can buy.
A journey up to the Benjamin flats area is a great idea as this area features extensive mud banks with many drains. But if you’re after big barra you should troll larger lures in deep channels and holes and concentrate efforts around the many rocky headlands.
Big oceanic grunter will be hanging around the jetty on the larger run-out tides. Keeping a good eye on the sounder is vital and it is possible to find schools of them in a certain area and nothing at all in another.
Setting up a good drift is a great way to target them as we can cover more water, if we find a spot with plenty of fish we will drop anchor. Squid is still my favourite bait for grunter with sardines (sliced open) a close second. The first half of the run-out tide seems to fish better with water movement and fish becoming active.
The first half of the jetty just past the red triangle seems to be the hot spot for grunter. Fish seem to be up from the bottom in the half to bottom third of the water column, so baits need to not be anchored on the bottom.
Correct weight will see you getting more bites, and by allowing your bait to slowly waft down to the bottom, the fish will hit it as it’s dropping.
Early morning tuna action is a great way to spend a few hours before it gets too hot. Mac tuna will make up the majority of fish but northern blue and longtail will also get in on the action. Trolling lures such as Rapalas and Halcos at a minimum 6-8 knots will give you a good opportunity to hook up.
There are some massive barracuda around at the moment that resemble large floating logs and will attack anything that moves. We saw one in our 4.3m tinnie and we are pretty sure it was eyeing off the shiny stainless steel prop.
The islands will also be dishing out many surprises at this month, although not as exciting as the reef the Palms offer many hidden secrets that can be very rewarding.
Recently we were fishing for red throat emperor in around 6-8m and boated a 15kg+ cobia. For those into sight casting and self-punishment, the GTs will be hanging on most points and reef drop-offs.
Working the drop-off where the water depth drops suddenly from the fringing reef is a plastic hot spot and there is no telling what will try and take your plastic home. Correct drag settings need to be used or you will get buried every time.
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