Welcome all to a fresh new year of fishing and fun in the Jumpinpin waterways.
I think that we should all make a resolution this year to beat our personal best catches. Whether it’s a kilo bream, a metre flathead, 40cm+ whiting, your first jack, or a monster mulloway, it will make you do more fishing and get you concentrating on ways to better your fishing technique. A great way to learn more is to talk to anglers who catch the fish you’re after and while they probably won’t give up their favourite spot, they will usually impart some wisdom or give you a tip that when used properly will get you closer to that trophy fish.
If you’re trying for your big bream, most of them are caught at night near the top of the tide near rock walls or areas that are covered heavily in snags. Using a little heavier line is recommended as they can snag you up real quick. Berleying up is definitely beneficial and larger baits such as half pillies, heaped mullet or chook gut or large flesh baits will entice the bigger fish. For a big bream try around Kalinga Bank, the dead trees at the bottom of North Straddie, the point of Short Island, the Stockyards and any rock wall or deep snag you can find.
Trying for a metre flathead is a must for all flathead fishers and the best part is that if you get one you get to release it so that someone else has a chance to catch this great fighting fish. When chasing big lizards a lot of fishos head straight for the deep water of the Pin and while it’s a good spot to start, metre flathead have been caught in the Logan River, Jacobs Well, Steiglitz, Cabbage Tree Point and in water as shallow as a foot. They will take small baits but most are caught on large live mullet, herring, pillies, soft plastics or big deep diving lures.
Now is the perfect time to be chasing 40cm+ elbow slapping whiting at the Pin. They love bloodworms, beach worms, yabbies, squid, prawns, small soft plastics and shallow diving lures and there has been a movement to chase whiting on poppers in shallow water (it actually works). Some of the pick spots to try for these are Ageston Sands and the Junction in the Logan, Slipping Sands, the Pig Styes, top of Crusoe Island, the Gold and Green banks, Pandannus Bank and the Never Fail Islands.
When the days are sticky and hot then that’s a great time for mangrove jack, cod and trevally. You will need heavier gear than the traditional bream/flathead outfit that most of us have for fishing these waters. Usually 20-30lb braided or mono line and up to 50lb leader should be enough, but even then you will still lose big fish as I’ve seen jacks snap 80lb handlines tied to a handrail.
Live baits are a must when chasing jacks and cod as they can’t resist struggling bait. Bloody flesh baits like bonito flesh will work but they will still take most baits like prawns, squid and pillies if they are in the mood. Or if you like to move around, try trolling lures along rock walls or past sunken snags. Vibes and plastics work well too especially on dusk and although you may lose a few lures you’ll find out that is where the fish are hiding.
There are some really big mulloway in these waters up to and over 30kg, which puts them at about 1.4m long and very hard to land. Targeting fish like these is a very specialized form of fishing and not for the faint hearted. Patience is the key as you can sit out in the boat all night and possibly not even get a hit. Live baits are a must and a large mulloway will take a 30cm+ mullet. Larger flesh baits are second best, be it either mullet, bonito or tailor flesh. A reel with free spool is helpful as they can run up to a long way before actually eating the bait so be patient before striking, which is hard to do when you’re onto a big fish. Most of the really big mulloway come from the deep water near the Pin Bar but anywhere that there is lots of live bait action and plenty of structure should hold at least some small mulloway but where there’s one there’s more so a big one can’t be far away.
So good luck in this new year of fishing I hope it is a prosperous one with great fishing. Keep gathering knowledge on how to catch the fish you’re after and soon it will become second nature and they’ll become easier to catch. Hope a few or these tips help and if you like any up to date info on local conditions give me a call at Gem Bait & Tackle on (07) 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden--
Catch you next month.Reads: 869