Post floods flourish
  |  First Published: May 2013

Sunny weather in the Rockhampton to Gladstone vicinity has dried out all the wet places and many fishing spots have come back into action.

Saltwater areas are almost fully recovered from all the flooding and run-off. People are now able to get out and about and have noticed the changes in the channels and sand flats. Altered environments make great new fishing ground, but can be hazardous to boaters shooting across the channels not expecting any change.

The freshwater areas in the next few month will start to become more quiet. The reason the past months have been so active is all the sun-heated water off the flood planes continued to fill the fresh, along with all the bugs and other food coming in. This combination makes for some crazy surface action on dusk.

Places like the Yeppen and Frogmore lagoons have been fishing well with the barramundi and tarpon mainly responding to poppers and lightly weighted soft plastics. Finding spots where the system closes up a bit and creates a lot of run from water trying to push through, is one of the best places to start out. This water is more aerated and attracts the fish into these points.

If you can’t find any of these pressure points, or just want to stick to the open areas, then look for the boils in the water. Casting a popper into the boil and twitching it will get the fish’s attention straight-away and have you hooked up in no time.

The river has been going well now that the river is getting back to normal yet again. A lot of people are having luck live baiting along the 400m mark and the end of Main Street. Land-based anglers have been choosing to run live perch or mullet netted around the boat ramps for their barra, which have worked very well on a running sinker rig. A decent bait runner, or live liner depending on what you call it, makes easy work live baiting these fish.

Vibrant coloured lures have been working a treat with floating divers between 90-120mm and a depth of around 6ft. Floating lures are great while trolling, as if you hook up on a fish and stop the boat to fight it, the other lure/s will float to the top and not catch on any snags down below. Trolling at around 3 knots will certainly see some fish picked up, especially on the middle of the tide in the 6-8ft region.

The beaches lately have been full of dart, queenfish and salmon. Stickbaits, split body lures and metals are great for targeting these species, and can be worked at a fair pace across the surface or just underneath to really stir up these species.

If you’re more into sitting on the beach with a rod and drink then a ganged pilchard also produces some great fish, along with the chances of sharks and shovel-nose rays.

The crabs are all fired up with many people catching large amounts at the Port, Thompsons Point and in The Narrows. Mullet heads have been getting the most workout, mainly because you can buy them in bulk at the tackle stores and are extremely inexpensive, especially when turned into a feed of crab. If your new to crabbing remember to name the pots as well as the floats.

Fish light, get the bite.

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