Bring Your A-Game
  |  First Published: October 2011

The water temperature is rising and with this the snotty weed will disappear – thank God for that.

The rising water temps mean you will need to keep your eye on the ball and bring your A-game, as the red devils (jacks) will be poking their noses out for a quick feed. When I say quick, I mean it; when these boys hit your tackle they mean business.

Ensure your knots are in top condition and if you can’t tie knots very well, then tie lots. You’ve been warned, so hold on and enjoy the ride.

I don’t know many anglers that don’t shake with joy after landing a jack; I know I never get sick of it. On the flipside the bust-ups pretty much leave me with steam coming out of my ears.

Hopefully there will also be some drag pulling action from the queenies in the next couple of months. These guys pull very hard and put on great aerial displays. However, they’re not so good on the table, no matter how well you can cook. So handle them with care and release them to fight another day. Queenfish are more fragile than most other fish once they are taken out of the water, so quickly take a happy snap and release them.

Most anglers hunt these brutes around any of the main channels; it’s too hard to pinpoint a specific target location, as queenies move around too much.

The old dusky has been ever so popular for the lure, bait and soft plastic anglers with good results. Bag limits can be managed with some gorgeous fish around the 70cm mark.

I haven’t seen or heard of any going oversize. I just have to hope everybody is doing the right thing and releasing them unharmed. They are the breeding stock; I hate to think of how many flathead are killed when these breeders lose their life. Please continue to do the right thing to ensure the future of fishing for recreational anglers.

The humble old bream is there for the taking at the moment. Fresh bait is the only way to go to be hugely successful, without it costing you an arm and leg. Yabbies, prawns, mullet flesh, chicken breast, chicken intestines and soldier crabs are a handful of the best baits available.

I saw a keen bream angler with a bucket full of soldier crabs on my rounds the other day; apparently if you want to catch large bream they are a goer. The small bream won’t touch them and the large ones devour them.

Big summer whiting have been targeted successfully on a regular basis with small poppers or bait. Bait has been bringing in bigger numbers but your poppers are much more rewarding.

There has been a good feed of crabs around, both sandies and muddies, whichever one blows your hair back. The gun bait is by far mullet with chicken frames, tailor frames or just mixed fish frames suitable altertatives. With the weed gone, it’s making crabbing fun and a lot less work than previous months.

The tailor are all but gone, but you might catch one or two if you’re lucky. There’s much size in them either; even when you do catch them, you’ll find yourself needing to measure to see if they are legal.

With boat ramps becoming ever so crowded by both land-based fishers and boaties, it is important that we all remember to be considerate of each other. If fishing from a boat ramp, please remember to give boaties some space when they are trying to launch or retrieve their boat. In return the boaties need to remember that we’ve all thrown in a line from a boat ramp at some time or another in our fishing career.

While on the water take it easy and keep your eye out for dolphins, they are all over the passage at the moment. Just recently a good mate and I had them swimming all around the boat, with five dolphins surfacing at once, they were certainly not shy. It makes for a good ending on a great days angling. We are truly spoilt with this passage on our doorstep so look after it and keep it clean and it will look after us in return.

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