Everything getting better
  |  First Published: May 2012

What a great Easter break for weather and fish and as May is upon us I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

We should see a cooling down of temperatures and easing of the winds which will see the activity of some fish slow down and others fire up. My favourite, the mangrove jack, will still bite well if May doesn’t get too cool but if you’re keen to tangle with a few fish, try the midday low tides as the water will be warmer and fish more active.

The flathead and bream will fire up as they don’t care too much if the water is cooling, which is handy as they will be the main target over the next few months.

The Burnett

Our main river is looking good after a summer of big freshes down it and the fish life is amazing.

There are plenty of baitfish around and this attracts the predators. The town reach end will produce some good fishing over the next few months with Toft Rocks being a great place to start. The grunter will be well worth a look in May with the fish heading into the shallows in the morning to hunt, then they will move to the deeper water around the bridges during the day when the traffic hits the river.

Try fishing deep plastics around the holes you will be surprised at the fish that hang in these holes that are happy to hit a plastic. My favourite for this job is the brown coloured 4” Gulps fished on a light wire jighead that has enough weight to get the plastic to the bottom but still lets the plastic move around a bit. The actual weight of the jighead will depend on the tide.

Towards the mouth there have been some nice jacks caught around Kirbys Wall the fish seem to be sitting in shallow, but this will change as the weather cools and they will move to the deeper holes. The mouth itself is a great place to fish in May with light winds, warm days and cooling nights making it a very pleasant time on the water. There will be pelagics hanging around the bait schools so an early morning popper session should produce, but if the fish are reluctant to come to the surface try a metal slice ripped around the schools of bait.

Trolling is always a good option as it keeps your lure in the water longer. Don’t get drawn away from the bait, if the weather is good the hunters will know where the bait is and that’s where they will come. I have seen a few boats trolling the paddock which is the water to the north of the mouth. This can be good but it’s mostly used by fish to travel through. You will do better putting in the time trolling closer to the deeper water in the channels. Favourite lures for this include the old Halco Scorpion in the chrome and purple or even the gold or for those clever enough rig a few baits to troll use gar, pilchards or pike.

The Baffle

I had a fantastic Easter break up at the Baffle. I spent nearly two weeks there and really enjoyed my time relaxing and fishing. We were camped up the top end of the creek which had only just dropped after another big flood went through the area. The river has changed a fair bit from that flood as it was a very hard running fresh.

There are quite a few more bank collapses, which unfortunately puts more dirt and sand in the river which has actually made the upper section of the river un-navigable by boat at low tide.

I had my kayaks and fished every day. I did manage to catch a few mangrove jack that my lovely wife cooked up and we ate like kings. I caught a few of my jacks on Transams fished around the rock bars. I cast them in to the shallows, then hopped them back down the rocks in to the deeper water. This is a great way to fish these rock ledges but it can be costly as when a big jack climbs on it is already down deep in the rock and can bust you up pretty quickly. These lures aren’t cheap but they do work.

One thing I did that I hadn’t done for a long time was sit on the bank and fish with bait and I loved it. I took my cast net and caught a few small mullet and gar and these made great baits that caught bream, shark, stingray and we even jumped of a barra all from the comfort of my camp chair. May should see a the salt start to push further up river and the fish will fire up before it cools down in June.

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