Freshwater firing up
  |  First Published: September 2012

Sunny weather in the Rockhampton to Gladstone vicinity has pulled all the recent rainwater off the ground and finally got the freshwater scene stirred up in areas like Yeppen and Woolwash Lagoon. Areas around Gladstone including Auckland Creek, Boyne River and South Trees Inlet have been fishing very well around mangroves.

At this time of year the rivers, lagoons and other freshwater environments are all getting fired up, ready for good fishing. And this year is looking like a great one with the Woolwash already producing decent-sized fish.

Yellowfin and pikey bream have begun to congregate around the mangroves of the major creek and river mouths, the mangrove jack have started to show up within the bream schools as well.

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. Within the next few months or so, jacks and bream will be found around rocks and pylons more often than the mangroves when the water heats up even more.

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.

Lightly weighted plastics with a slow light drop method will certainly pay off. If you’re not getting fish, don’t work the plastics faster, work them slower. Some great lures for bream and other species near the mangroves are the 80mm Wrigglers, 70mm Flickbaits and, if you can get your hands on them, some Storm Twitchin Nippers. Getting your cast right on the mangrove line is important and if you can skip the lure under the mangroves that’s even better.

Anyone looking to target the estuaries should consider paying some cash and getting some good hardbodies and, if possible, some single lure hooks. Many anglers using singles in the past month have had greater luck with hook ups and certainly less fish dropped.

Fishing in places like Boyne River, Tannum Sand and South Trees Outlet shouldn’t be hard as the fish are plentiful at the mouths and the structure is endless – sandbars riddled with rocks provide a very good hiding place for many fish species. A slow roll from hardbodied or soft plastic lures is all that’s needed to get a bite in such heavily populated areas.

Whiting have been found heavily working any yabby beds and can be targeted successful on small shallow divers; a constant medium retrieve should see lots of whiting fall victim. Many people have been using a small running sinker rig with size 8 fine worm Mustad hooks and freshly pumped yabbies.

Now is the time to fish the hot water outlet, the warming waters will see barra leave in the next few months. Deep divers and soft plastics cast around in the main channel will see one or two 1m+ fish landed. If you’re not into the lure side of things, some perch cast out will do just about the same job.

September is the time for flathead, any bream hardbody and soft plastic lures used in the same way will see many specimens landed this month and just remember – fish light get the bite!

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