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Flathead on the rise.
  |  First Published: September 2013



The prolonged cool weather this winter has done wonders in the estuaries, all the typical winter species such as bream and flathead are very active while barramundi are still a good estuary species to successfully target.

The prawns are on the rise and are being successfully captured with ¾” mesh and 8’ drawstring cast nets.

The freshwater lagoons and creeks around the region are also beginning to fire up, shallow fish plastics and surface lures are the way to go to get the fish at this time. The idea of using surface lures at this time of year is to stir up the surface water and get a take from the barra and tarpon sitting just below.

The common bream species are all in among the mangroves and flats of all the creeks and inlets, particularly the Boyne and Wild cattle. The mangrove jack and grunter have started to mix in with the bream schools as well. Through this past month places like the Tannum Sands and South Trees have been fishing well with fish responding mainly to shallow divers and soft plastics. Within the next few months or so, jacks will start to be found in even tighter structure with the barra again while the bream and grunter will still be schooling up together.

The main trick for productive estuary fishing is to take your time; slow rolls of the lure and patience will pay off handsomely. Working a sand flat with a dozen or so casts starting from one end to the other will effectively pick up some fish.

Lightly weighted plastics with a slow light and drop method will certainly pay off, if you’re not getting fish, don’t work the plastics faster, work them slower. Some great lures for bream and other species near the mangroves are the 60-80mm curly tail plastics in natural colours are working wonders in the estuaries and prawn profiled plastics will start working even better when the prawns begin to show up in good numbers in all the estuaries. Getting your cast right on the mangrove line is important and if you can skip the lure under the mangroves that’s even better.

Whiting have been found just along the drop-off line around the estuaries coming off the flats, fresh yabbies and worms will see you bag out on these in no time. On the lure side of things, walking the flats and fishing with prawn and worm profiled plastics lightly weighted and slowly twitched along the bottom will see great results, if you feel the whiting trying to suck the lure in, leave it sit and strike the next time it goes to try and eat it.

Now is the time to fish the hot water outlet, the warming waters will see barra leave in the next few months, deep divers and soft plastics cast around in the main channel will see one or two larger specimens landed, if you’re not into the lure side of things, a perch cast out will do just about the same job. Barra in the Rockhampton city area have been frequently captured on vibes around the rocks and bridge pylons, whereas the threadfin being taken have been at the mouths of creeks scattered along the river.

Crabs are getting better with many large full bucks being caught around the port and narrows, not much crabbing action is happening in the Rockhampton city area.

If you have any fishing photos of the Rockhampton/Gladstone region, feel free to send them through with a brief description of where you caught the fish and how you caught them.

Fish light get the bite!

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