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Weather widens water options
  |  First Published: August 2013



As we creep into the last of the winter months, the weather is once again the defining factor in providing us with some great opportunities to get out on the water and catch some fish.

August can turn on some ripper days with the calm seas and light winds proving ideal conditions for offshore reef fishing. The common species on the reefs will all be in good spirits as the cool water temperatures, flowing on from the previous months, have provided copious amounts of bait fish to keep the fishing consistent.

Species such as coral trout, red throat emperor, nannygai, red emperor and many others will eagerly be taking well set baits on the bottom. Fishing at various depths will see you catch more of one species than another with the bigger red emperor and nannygai preferring the deeper water of 40m+.

Coral trout and red throat emperors are much more common in the shallower water with the increased amounts of reefy structure proving to be the better habitat for them. Fresh bait works a treat on coral trout with slab baits of mullet and slimy mackerel the top choices.

If you can drop a bait jig down and get a few livies, like fusiliers, you will have a ball as they don’t last long and generally get the bite from the bigger coral trout. Most of the times they are rigged up on one of the heavier rods on the boat and you still have a hard time getting the fish up!

Following the recent cooler weather there are still healthy numbers of mackerel around with the inshore waters of Cape Cleveland and Magnetic Island great spots to chase a few school and Spanish mackerel. Trolling a few smaller diving lures is top technique to snare a couple of fish.

Trolling baits, such as gar, work awesome and will often work better than lures at times and garfish can be rigged in a few different ways. The first and most simple are on a chin guard with a set of gangs attached to the head, this can be trolled at a reasonable speed but works best around 4 knots. The second is on a wog head rig, which has a head of coloured material with the hooks attached via single strand wire running through the whole rig, these can be picked up fully rigged from Tackle World Townsville. The wog head rig works well between 4-6 knots and is irresistible to the mackerel at times.

The Creeks and Rivers

Many of the close by rivers are fishing well for a wide array of fish species with numbers of grunter, black bream and flathead jumping all over small soft plastics and blades, as well as fresh prawn bait.

The mouth of the Haughton River is an ideal spot to chase all these fish in the same cast. There are many sand bars that flow into deeper water and this is where soft plastics and blades work well. You can retrieve your lure along the drop off and the flathead will lie in wait for any unweary bait fish to cruise past.

In conclusion, August is another excellent month to have your line in the water in Townsville, so go get rigged up and get out there into the thick of it!

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