Sunny weather in the Rockhampton to Gladstone vicinity have dried out all of the wet and many fishing spots have come back into action.
Saltwater areas are almost fully recovered from all of the flooding and run-off. Areas around Gladstone, including Auckland Creek, Boyne River and South Trees Inlet, have been fishing very well. In the last month, the pause in freshwater run-off and return of salinity to many waterways has resulted in the recovery of fish health and has given them a boost in size.
At this time of year the rivers, lagoons and other freshwater environments are normally shut down. This has already been confirmed for this year, although when fished well you can still get a bite. Yellowfin bream have begun to stock up for the winter and have been found in larger volumes in the river mouths and sandbars.
Through this past month places like the Tannum Sands and South Trees Outlet have been fishing well with fish responding mainly to shallow divers and soft plastics.
The main trick for productive estuary fishing is to take your time; slow rolls of the lure and patience will pay off handsomely. Working a sand flat with a dozen or so casts starting from one end to the other will effectively pick up some fish.
Shallow diving lures that have tight actions, like the Sebile Cranksters and Cranka Cranks, have been demolishing the fish population. Larger shallow divers, like the Bomber Long A, Rapala X-rap and Sebile Koolie Minnows have taken some decent larger species like dusky flathead and smaller estuary barra and jacks.
The cooler waters approaching in Gladstone should push species closer to the surface and closer to the banks making finding them light work.
Awoonga Dam has been successfully stocked by the GAWB hatchery. The lake should be fishing well in no time as the fish can gain about 4kg a year. Other species that can be targeted in the lake are mangrove jack and saratoga, the jacks will be in heavy structure while the togas will be in the skinny back regions.
Smaller landlocked fisheries are all active now that the days are shorter and the temperature has dropped. A decent effort will still see you landing the large specimens.
Anyone looking to target the estuaries should consider paying for some good hardbodies and some single lure hooks. In the past month most anglers using singles have had greater luck with hook ups and certainly less fish dropped.
Fishing in places like Boyne River, Tannum Sand and South Trees Outlet should not be difficult as the fish are plentiful at the mouths and the structure is more than endless. Sandbars riddled with rocks provide a very good hiding place for many fish species. A slow roll from a hardbody or soft plastic lure is all that is needed to get a bite in such heavily populated areas.
Whiting have moved right up into extremely shallow waters and can be targeted successful early morning on poppers; a constantly medium retrieve should see many whiting fall victim. A bit of red rubber from your old jigging lures tied to the trebles of the lure should get them keener then mustard.
Floating a small pilchard or live bait in the mouths of the Boyne and Auckland Creek should see the capture of some fine blue salmon, but also a possibility of sharks. Some strong leader and extremely reliable terminal tackle and set-ups should be used as the salmon have been over a metre and can give any angler a run for their money.Reads: 1318