Fluctuating Fish Flow
  |  First Published: April 2011

The fishing has been very up and down this season. Hopefully, things will start to settle down and catches will become more predictable.

Bream, whiting and flathead are being caught in good numbers and size. You will need to catch some fresh prawns for bait as they are out fishing all other baits. I can’t stress enough when saying this, as the fish are gorging themselves on them at the moment. Take the time and get the nice fresh bait the fish want to eat. Trying to feed the fish old rotten bait is a bit like going to a party where everyone is eating prawns and someone gives you a vegemite sandwich. If you’re using fresh prawns you will out fish the boat beside you by 10:1.

If you’re wanting to fish with lures they need to be prawn imitation lures, like Prawnstar, Gulp Shrimps, Atomic Prongs or Rio Prawn. The Rio Prawn is my pick as they work very well when the prawns are running. The bream have been good quality making it easy to catch a feed. Lots coming in around 30cm+, they start to put on a bit of weight at this size so if you catch a handful it is well worth it.

Flathead have been coming in ranging from 30-70cm. These have been caught all over the passage from Ningi boat ramp right up to Mission Point. Fishing the deeper water will bring you the bigger fish. The bank anglers have been doing just as well as the boaties. Try the Donnybrook jetty as you can get prawns on high tide and catch good flathead and bream on low tide.

Whiting have been more prominent in the higher reaches of the passage with good hauls coming from Hussy, Couchin and Bells creeks. Hold onto your rod as there are some big jacks and estuary cod that call these creeks home. Trust me, they will snatch your rod and reel if you’re not holding it. Anybody can catch a fish, but it takes some real skill to catch a rod as it’s rocketing out the back of your boat.

There has been a few good jew coming out of the Passage. Live prawns and lures are getting the best results. Most of the jew have been undersize, however they are still a real handful on bream gear and certainly a welcome catch for any bream angler. It’s difficult to hook a legal size at 75cm but the odd fish will go over. These are a fish that don’t seem to mind the dirty brackish water that we’ve seen a lot of lately.

The prawn hauls have been awesome! The best I’ve seen in the passage for as long as I can remember. They are a little hit and miss and getting thinner by the day, and by the middle of this month they will be very thin and hard to catch in great numbers. You may still stumble onto some good prawns schooled up but they will be much harder to find and predict.

The muddies have been there for the taking. We have been working a little harder each month for them but they are consistently being caught and will be for a little while yet. Majority of them have been as full as a crab can get. Watch out for the crab pot thieves by putting your pots well up in the mangroves in shallow water – out of sight out of mind. Check them on the top of the tide ensuring you replace your baits.

There are a few sand crabs showing up slowly. Keep one eye on your pots as dillies are illegal so a lot of guys are using very light cheap pots, but they drift away with the tide. I’m sure one third of the crab pots in the passage are lost and now don’t have an owner. Think about what you’re doing and where you a putting the pots. If they are light pots, you need to put them off to the side of the channel out of the strong current. Make sure you have plenty of rope and tie a couple of sinkers to the rope so it doesn’t float on the surface. Rope left floating on the surface gets run over by boaties and cut off. I saw a couple of guys run eight pots out, by the time the eighth pot was in the water the first two pots were gone with the tide.

Think about what you’re doing and make the most of your day out on the water. Until next month, happy fishing, crabbing and prawning.


Valerie with a 3kg estuary cod caught on live prawn.


Fresh prawns are out fishing all other baits.


There are some good trevally getting around the Passage recently.


Solid hook up on a rampaging trevally.

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