March should provide plenty of opportunities to get amongst some truly quality salt and freshwater fish. With good weather conditions about there will be a huge amount of options for all types of anglers.
There will be many saltwater species on the bite throughout March.
Around the Whitsunday islands there should be good numbers of pelagics showing up, such as queenfish, golden trevally and giant trevally. These fish would have to rate amongst the most popular sportfish and there are plenty of trophy-sized specimens around.
These three species seem to prefer fairly similar habitats. Areas with some type of large cover or structure and current flow pushing past, are always consistent producers. If you find plenty of baitfish among the area, it’s a sure sign that there are quality fish nearby.
Vibes or blade type lures have become a popular choice when targeting these pelagic fish. They seem to work more effectively on queenfish and golden trevally; giant trevally will still take them, but not as readily as the others. You can cast, troll or vertically jig these lures from the boat or from a jetty – they’re very versatile. They are, however more effective for deep water work as they tend to sink quite rapidly. You can still catch fish on them in the shallows; you’ll just need to have more of an aggressive retrieve to keep them off the bottom.
One of our favourite techniques when using blades is deep jigging. You basically try to find fish on the sounder in deep water, then when you have located some activity you simply free-spool the blade and retrieve them straight back up.
We usually use a very fast and erratic retrieve when targeting pelagics as these fish respond well to aggressive presentations. A super-fast, shiny, vibrating blade is hard to resist in the eyes of a hungry and active pelagic.
The southern barramundi impoundments have experienced another big shake-up with January’s heavy flooding.
Awoonga and Monduran dams were only just starting to liven up after the previous heavy spillway overflows. But now with the lakes reaching record levels, you can only hope that there are still good numbers of fish that haven’t made the journey over the walls.
The northern lakes, on the other hand are in super condition. The closest lake in the Whitsunday region is Peter Faust Dam, situated 25km inland from the town of Proserpine. This lake has been producing plenty of quality fish over a 1m throughout January and February and looks very fine for March.
Trolling in the main basin has been providing a large amount of big fish captures lately. It’s usually the best time for open basin trolling when the water is warm and the fish are out in numbers in the deep. Large hardbody lures that dive from 4-8m are productive during the day. During the night however, the barramundi will spend more time close to the surface in the 1-3m depth range. This is why shallow diving lures or even lightweight soft plastics work well after dark.
The firm, jolt feeling of a big barramundi engulfing your lure on the troll is always an exciting experience, and is enough to make you stay out fishing just that little bit longer!
After six years of writing the Whitsundays report for Queensland Fishing Monthly, we’ve decided to hand on the job to another keen angler. We’ve had a ball writing for QFM over the years! It’s always interesting to read all the cool stories and local fishing information from a range of experienced anglers. Not to mention checking out all the photos of quality sportfish in each issue.
So it’s goodbye from us for the Whitsundays report – tight lines and all the best with your fishing!Reads: 891