Jacks from ‘yaks
  |  First Published: October 2012

It’s finally happening! The weather has warmed up and the fish are on the move.

The water temperatures have climbed out of the chilly level and, although they still have a way to go, this month is spot on for getting in some early season lure fishing.

The fish will start to get more active and spread throughout most systems right up into the shallower top ends of our rivers and creeks. So before we get too much rain, I suggest it’s time to explore those out of the way spots in search of some lure-crunching action.

The Burnett

The Burnett has seen some great fishing over the past month and this should continue through October and November, depending on the rain.

There has been salmon, barramundi, mangrove jack and even some over the magic metre flathead caught in the river. Fishing deep with sinking lures like blades, lipless crankbaits and soft plastics have been pretty successful.

The guys getting a lot of success are using their side imaging sounders to pinpoint the fish and target the schools, rather than waiting for the fish to come to them.

I have had a side imaging unit for a few years now and it is unbelievable what you can see on the sounder. I was fortunate enough while I was at the Brisbane Boat Show recently to listen to Tim Morgan from Humminbird talk all about side imaging. I picked up a few things that have helped me understand more about my unit:

Firstly, if you picture a torch shining on your target area that’s what the image is you’re seeing on your screen. The beam hits fish and structure and you see the shadow behind it, which means the bigger the shadow the bigger the fish and in some instances you can even make out what type of fish it is.

Secondly, the beam shines down first before it heads to either side, so if the depth is 20ft the beam shines down 20ft then heads out on the preselected range. In the estuaries or shallow water selecting a smaller range will give much better definition. I use just one side at a time when searching for fish along a bank; it gives me more information on the screen and can help when looking for fish that hang close to structure.

The Baffle

Roger from Baffle Creek Caravan Park has been catching plenty of flathead around the mouth of the river, with some really big fish being caught last month.

The flathead have been taking just about anything thrown at them; trolling small lures and hopping soft plastics being the standout techniques. Walking the sand flats at low tide casting to the drop-offs is a great way to target flathead, and also get some exercise.

The upper reaches of the system will start producing my favourite, mangrove jack, especially on the bigger tides and clear warm days. Getting in early with surface lures will get some attention from the big guys as they start to move up this big natural system.

October in the Baffle can be hit and miss on the jacks but it’s still worth a try. If you find a couple you will usually find plenty more in that area.

Just ‘Yakin

Our group of kayakers have had a few trips of late but the winter cool water slowed us fairweather fishers down a bit. I have also been winged with a bit of tennis elbow which means I can only paddle around in circles.

Nevertheless, now the water has warmed up all the boys are getting keener, especially those that got into the jacks in the yaks last season. If you’re in Bundy and you’re a keen yak angler drop me an email at --e-mail address hidden-- as we are always looking to get as many keen yakers on the water as possible.

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