Summer’s species in hot demand
  |  First Published: December 2012

The sting of baked sand on bare feet is the first sign summer heat is well and truly upon us. About time really!

Bream, whiting, flathead, king salmon, fingermark, mangrove jack and mud crabs are in hot demand at the moment. Barra may be in a closed season but all is not lost as Lake Awoonga is a stocked waterway and barra can still be targeted.

Fitzroy and the Narrows

Closed season is well and truly in gear and anglers have had to find other species to target. Many head out in search of reefies, but those still restricted to this area are pulling threadfin and jacks, and whatever else they can find.

Best place to target the fish in the river at the moment would be the shallow sections in the late afternoon, areas like shallow flats, rubble patches and rocky structures prove results again and again.

Don’t put your barra gear away just yet, this stuff is still the go-to for chasing threadfin and jacks in tight structure. Vibe styles and medium-sized minnows work best.

Rivers Creeks and the Beaches

Bream, whiting, flathead, king salmon, fingermark, mangrove jack, and crabs can all be found in various spots of Gladstone’s beaches and rivers, however the best spot to find them is around the islands in the harbour.

These islands offer limitless opportunities with rocky bars, rubble patches, deep gutters, sand flats; big snaggy areas all in the one place, any angler knows that’s fish heaven.

The harbour’s open water areas have been known to have many trevally, queenfish, dart and blue salmon busting up on schools of bait. Metals, stickbaits and lures all work well on these fish. Just keep them slightly breaking the surface as you pull them through, this will get an aggressive reaction strike guaranteed to set trebles.

The tackle box for the harbour area should consist of some: small and medium minnow in different depths, a few surface lures and metals, and some 80mm bloodworm Wrigglers with a variety of jighead weights.

Freshwater lagoons

Tarpon are in high population at any time, but during summer just on dusk is the time they will really give any lure a beating.

Never caught a fish on a lure before? Grab a popper and head on down. Casting out at any tree lines or structures in these lagoons will surely hook you up. The best retrieve for poppers is slow constant pops or a large pop; let the ripples clear then a small tap.

Stickbaits are effective on a constant retrieve, but stop after they have been hit to encourage another strike. Anything will work in these situations, lightly rigged, small hardbody minnows, surface lures, they are just going off.


Christmas has come once again, with crabs in hot demand for the Xmas night cook up. Any cheap pot with half decent bait will get you a crab in the local rivers. However, if you are going to use the pots again, invest in a good quality pot the first time, it will be more cost effective in the long run.

Bait clipping some mullet head into the pot is sure to be a real winner. Many people also pick up the odd bream and cod in their pots, which is an added bonus if you ask me!

Have a good Christmas, ‘Fish light get the bite’

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