Up and over the winter hump
  |  First Published: September 2012

Bring on the warmer weather, I am so over winter.

At least we can start seeing daylight before we get to work and see some when we get home in the afternoon. This means the fishing season is changing and it’s time to get excited.

Spring is the time that all budding lure fishers should spend every weekend on the water targeting flathead and trevally. Now is the time that flathead start doing the thing that makes more flathead, which means they are on the move and hungry. Most estuaries will have good numbers but it’s the spots that get little attention that will have the better numbers and bigger fish.

The Baffle has been producing some good numbers of fish and the larger ones will start showing up this month.

Trolling the sand bars around the mouth is the simplest way of keeping lures in front of the fish. I recently fished the Baffle and had a ball with most of the flathead caught within sight of the Winfield boat ramp. We caught flathead on trolled diving minnows, casting blades and soft plastics. They were pretty much everywhere and should stay that way for September.

Remember to try and troll as slow as you can in the same direction as the tide. Flathead will be facing into the current waiting for the tide to deliver their next meal. When you’re trolling with a noisy outboard, drop your lures way back and zigzag across the sand flats. This will put your lures in front of fish that haven’t been spooked, which will improve your catch rate.

If you come across a few fish in a patch stop and drop the anchor and have a cast. Again, the key is to keep your lure or plastic on the bottom just giving it enough life to hop up a bit to attract attention.

The trevally will really start firing up in the creeks and rivers too and, despite them not being the greatest of eating fish, they are a great sportfishing target. They will start snatching lures that are meant for flathead that are being retrieved a bit quick – this is really the key to catching trevally. These fish are speedsters and they like nothing better than chasing down a feed. Use a fast erratic retrieve to stir them up and get them to bite.

My favourite technique for chasing trevors is surface fishing. This can be done with cup-faced poppers, propeller blade poppers or sliding surface lures. The key to surface fishing is to always have one rigged up on a rod and when you see or hear any surface activity get a cast in. Always watch for shimmering water as this can indicate a school of nervous baitfish that are about to be set upon by a pack of marauding trevally.

We are very fortunate in our area as we have upwards of 10 species of trevally that travel and feed in our estuaries and all show a willingness to eat a well-presented lure. Don’t believe the rumours that you can only catch fish on surface during low light periods, like early morning and dusk. If you get yourself away from the crowds, fish will come to the surface to feed at all times during the day – you just have to try and have confidence in what you are doing.

Spring is the onset of the best time of the year for us mad keen fisher folk, so get out there and enjoy.

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