Recent rains in the Rockhampton to Gladstone vicinity have turned the little local waterholes into land-locked fishing havens. If the rain continues we are likely to see some very healthy specimens on fishing report cards.
At this time of year the lagoons normally fire up at night, however all the recent rains have pushed barra, tarpon and even sooty grunter up to the surface chasing the swarms of insects. This means that at any time of the day the chances of fish on surface or shallow diver lures are fantastic. My most productive times have been between 2-5pm.
Yeppen Lagoon and Wool Wash Lagoon have been fishing well with fish responding mainly to surface lures, such as poppers, stickbaits and even unweighted plastics.
The key to productive surface fishing is to watch all the little clear spots in the weed. After a few short, sharp bloops in the clear patch you will have a fish on fairly soon after. Be patient, best results happen after the lure is blooped and left there for a half minute or so.
Surface lures that have tight actions, like the Sebile Splasher and R2S Bubble Pop, have been smashing the fish population. Shallow divers, like the Bomber Long A, Rapala X-Rap and Sebile Koolie Minnows have taken some decent fish just below the surface.
If you’re more of a hardcore bait fanatic, many species of perch have been caught on little surface lures around the Yeppen in the shallow waters among the lilies. A 4/0 hook through the back makes a top notch barra bait out of these little fish.
All the recent rain in the Fitzroy River has pushed the fish up into the Gavial and Casuarina creeks to escape the large volumes of fresh pouring out. These fish are somewhat shut down but 8cm brightly coloured minnows with a short diving bib seem to be doing the trick. Slowly roll the minnow back from a snag or use sharp short twitches with a little pause can get the fish stirred up and jumping onto the trebles.
Despite popular belief, Awoonga Dam is still fishing its full potential. All it takes is small adjustments to produce some fine specimens of barra and, further up the creek system, some saratoga.
Prawns have come back in large numbers in the saltwater creeks between Gladstone and Rockhampton. They are mainly being caught in nets at mudflats or rubble patches.
Next month it will be a lot easier to gather prawns and the crabs should be worth your effort, if the rain eases off.
Land-locked fisheries are expected to quieten down as the days get shorter and the temperature drops, but a decent effort will still see you landing the large specimens.
If the rains continue as predicted, bridges and water catchments, such as Roopes Bridge, will continue to see a hefty population of barra before they retreat to the deep pockets when the rain stops in the dry season.Reads: 1963