Time to get serious
  |  First Published: December 2013

Another year is drawing to a close, and what a great year it has been for anglers in Lucinda.

It is actually the first time in years I am finding it hard to complain about the weather. The recent months of light winds and plenty of magic windows to get on the water has been terrific (hope it continues).

So what will December bring us in the way of bent rods and screaming drags? I can safely say that if you can put up with the heat and the rising humidity with the odd torrential downpour of rain, plus the thick clouds of mozzies and sandflies trying to carry you from the boat, you will get some great fishing action.

Hinchinbrook Channel

Spending a few hours up the channel with some live bait in search of king threadfin salmon and golden snapper should pay off as both these fish will be about in good numbers.

Golden snapper can be found throughout the entire channel. For visiting anglers I would suggest heading across the channel and finding some structure in the 10-18m depth range. The Bluff area is a well-known hot spot and with some prospecting you will find plenty of fishy looking ground on your sounder.

Time your trip around a tide change as the current will run hard in these areas. I prefer the last few hours of the run-in tide and, although your fishing window will be smaller, the larger tides will normally see more frantic action take place as the fish have less time to eat before taking cover.

At this time of year it is smart to do some fishing during the night to escape the extreme heat and on the plus side golden snaper bite well during these hours. Live herring or sardines are easy to find (normally) and are like lollies to these fish; put 2-3 on live and use a running sinker rig (sinker, swivel, trace – hook).

For those not wanting to use bait, then finding good ground and slowly drifting over jigging vibes and plastics such as Gimps and Threadybusters will produce fish, as will soft plastics such as Berkley Gulps in the jerkshad, Squid Vicious or my favourite the Nemesis profiles.

Choose a jighead that will get you to the bottom and keep you close while drifting. Take care not to go too heavy as you need the plastic to look natural. I regularly talk with plenty of fishos that have tried plastics for little result, but when asked what size leader and jigheads they were using it is nearly always the case of too heavy in both departments.

King threadfin salmon will be found in the waters that drop off sandbars. These fish will use the rising tide to head onto these sandbanks to feed. If you are lucky and are in the right place at the right time it is common to sight cast to feeding fish; stealth and pinpoint smart casting may see you hooked up for an amazing fight.

Threadies have amazing speed and can quickly strip line off reels, so it is important to have drags not overly tight as you will pull hooks. They will respond well to live baits and artificials, finding good water or fish on the sounder and anchoring over them while deploying live baits and vertically jigging will cover all bases.

Reef and Islands

During the summer months it is not uncommon for my run out to the reef to be cut short as I can’t resist a quick cast at the jetty on the way out – 5 hours later I am still at the jetty as the queenies and GT can be around in great numbers and they are aggressive.

Add to this the big golden snapper on the bottom ready to smash your plastic and destroy you through the pylons and you have a recipe for sports fishing heaven.

With the aid of Side Scan technology in the new fish finders prospecting the jetty became quicker and easier. It is possible to slowly motor around until fish are found and cast straight at them.

The reefs will be fishing well and efforts are normally spent in the deeper water.

With hot water temps, trout should be out in the 25m+ depths and plenty of guys in the know will be chasing trout in 40m and doing well.

Plenty of my marks will produce nannygai in the dark hours and as the sun rises the nannies will turn off and the trout will become active. It’s perfect, a few nannygai and a couple of trout for a feed off the same spot.

Big emperor will be in the deep dark depths, 60-80m and will really hurt the back when trying to bring them up. Just re-baiting tires you out so don’t miss that fish.

For the sportsfishing nuts, throwing poppers around the reef edges will produce huge GT and thugs such as red bass that will really get the heart beating.

If all else fails drop into the Lucinda Store for some delicious fish and chips and grab some info on what’s biting from Brian or myself or feel free to shoot an email through. Stay keen, mad keen.

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