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Winter weather challenge
  |  First Published: August 2012



The wet and wild winter we are having so far has made getting out the front fishing a bit of a challenge. Hopefully August will offer us some traditional winter weather patterns.

The Burnett

Our most popular river has seen plenty of action lately with the windy weather restricting the keen fishos to mangrove mariners. This, of course, means the more fishers the more fish that are caught, and there have been a few.

The bream have been in big numbers and big in size; both lure and bait anglers have been into them.

The middle reaches will be well worth a try around Kirbys and even into the town reach, I watched a couple of guys catch some great bream near the hot water outlet recently and they were using fresh mullet strips for bait. The hot water outlet is a great spot to hit really early in the morning as the tarpon, trevally and even some big mullet will eat a small soft plastic fished around the warmer water.

Flathead are around at the moment and should improve in numbers and size. As the month progresses try targeting these fish in the shallows as this is where they should be by the end of August. Trolling small lures around the sand flats around the last few hours of the run-out is a great time to target these pre-spring lizards. I have been having some great success on the new Halco Hamma and the Cultiva SP minnow just trolling them dead slow and zigzagging across the shallow sand flats.

Woodgate

Woodgate keeps throwing up surprises and last month was no exception.

On a recent trip with a ripper westerly blowing I managed to cast up some mac tuna from the beach that were feeding on white bait schooled up in the shallows. It was a bit of a challenge as I was only casting a 2000 size reel loaded with 10lb braid but after some running up and down the beach I did land one of four I hooked.

During one of the fights, as I was losing the last of my braid of my reel I waded out into thigh deep water hoping I could turn the fish before I had to bust him off to save my braid. During the fight I watched another school of tuna swim behind me and start feeding on the whitebait that decided I was good cover – this was an amazing site that I wish I had recorded.

There were at least 50 boats just off the beach all throwing cast nets and, from where I stood, most of them were catching a good feed of prawns. The prawns will hang around for a couple more months feeding in the mud that are still apparent along some parts of the beach at low tide. Remember there is an in possession limit on prawns, which means if you have 10kg in your boat and drive home and have 10kg in your freezer you then have 20kg in your possession which is illegal and can get you fined and charged.

August will see a few more tailor show up around Woodgate and even pick up in size as the month progresses. These fish are a great target for kayak fishers as they aren’t too far off the beach and they can be spotted easily by using the ‘eyes in the sky’, the birds. Tailor will round up the small baitfish and force them to the surface to feed on, which gives the birds a shot at them and helps us find them.

Trolling a couple of small chrome or bright lures behind the kayak will help locate the fish then you can usually cast a few up using slices and slugs.

Let’s wish for a drier August as we don’t want to head into the wet season with already overflowing dams.

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