With all the rain that we have had over the last year and a bit we are only just reaping the rewards in the bay now with some quality fish caught over the last month.
It has been a long time since I have seen the amounts of bait like we are seeing at the moment. From surface bait being hit up by longtail tuna and late season spotty mackerel to the bait hanging around the reefs being harassed by jew, snapper and tailor. We are in for a great winter.
During May I was lucky enough to take some time off during one of the best weeks of weather we have had in a long time. It allowed me to spend plenty of time on the water and really put in the hard yards in the bay testing some new lures and rods but also sussing out some of the spots I will be targeting more through winter.
For the first time this season I stumbled across some rather large schools of longtail tuna busting up bait on the surface. I had a couple of mates on the boat who don't really fish much, and who had never seen a fish let alone caught one the size that these fish were. On average they were up around that 14-16kg mark, which for the bay is quite large. So as you could expect the excitement levels definitely rose a few notches.
When chasing longtails most people are throwing slugs or plastics for them because the common misconception is that they are picky when it comes to the size of the lure, but one technique you should always keep in mind is casting surface lures for them.
This would have to be one of my favourite techniques as it is so visual; you will quite often have tuna jumping clean out of the water after your lure. Having a mixture of surface lures and subsurface stickbaits can improve your chances of hooking up, as they will not always take a lure off the surface.
When casting at schools of tuna whether it be with a plastic, slug or surface lure you want to be casting past the school and bringing it through the feeding fish, so you don't spook them with the noise of the lure landing on the water. No matter which lure you are using you don't always have to work them fast, more often than not a more subtle approach can be more effective as you stay in the strike zone a little longer.
If you don't see fish busting up on the surface it doesn't always mean that there aren't fish around. Keep an eye on your sounder to look for bait and watch the birds flying above you. If the birds are above you this generally means that the fish are still in the area and may be down a little deeper. This may also open up your chances of hooking a different species like snapper or mackerel. So fishing your plastic down a little deeper is definitely worth a shot. If you have a surface popper on it should bring the fish up.
There has been some really good snapper caught so far this season with plenty reports of fish over the 80cm mark, which for the bay is an exceptional fish. Again fishing vibration style lures has been the gun technique; just hop them slowly along the bottom. Fishing this technique will also account for some good jew, which are great fun on light gear.
So get out there and have a crack as there are plenty of good fish to be caught at the moment. If you have any questions or would like any advice please come down and have a chat to us at Fish Head Tackle Store, 349 Colburn Avenue, Victoria Point.Reads: 910