Fishing hots up in summer
  |  First Published: December 2013

On those really hot December days there’s nothing better than beating the heat by getting out on the water and chasing a few fish.

December’s warm temperatures fire up the toothy critters like mangrove jacks and cod inside the Pin, and mackerel, cobia, tuna and the odd marlin outside the Pin. These brutes and speedsters are all phenomenal fighters and will test even the most seasoned angler. If you ever get the chance to fight and land one of these magnificent fish, the adrenalin rush is just awesome.

When targeting these hard-fighting fish, I can’t stress enough that if you can get livebait – herring, mullet, hardiheads, yakkas, slimies and the like – then you will catch more fish. Most large snags or rock walls should have resident jack or cod sitting on them, so put your livebait right against the snag and hold on.

When you’re outside chasing larger predators, look for schools of bait on your sounder and drop your livie to the same depth as the bait school and wait for a strike.

Alternatively, you can troll skirts or diving lures, which allows you to cover more ground and find where the fish are and at what depth. Soft plastics are also a great alternative as they simulate the action of livebait, and that swimming action stimulates the fish into a strike. If you haven’t already tried plastics, you should give them a go. The only problem with them is that fish with razor-sharp teeth can destroy most plastics in an instant.

It’s been a great start to summer, with whiting expected to be on the chew around the Green and Gold Banks, Short Island, Slipping Sands and the sand banks near little Rocky Point are the pick of the spots to chase some good-sized fish. If you like chasing whiting in the Logan River, my pick spots would be the Junction, Ageston Sands or the River mouth. Bloodworms, beachworms and yabbies are all working the best.

Flathead will still be about in good numbers with lots of fish between the 40-50cm mark taking baits such as prawns, pillies, whitebait and yabbies. Or once again get out the flick stick and unleash the plastics on them around the edges of the banks that become exposed at low tide. These include the mud flats north of Cabbage Tree Point, the bottom of Kangaroo Island, the Pandanus Bank and the mouth of Cobby Passage. All are great spots on a dropping tide and there are sure to be some good lizards there.

Muddies and sandies have also fired up since the new moon in November so don’t forget your pots and dillies on your next trip out. If you can nudge deeper into the mangroves at the high tide when you drop your pots, you’ll maximise your chances. This tactic has been producing the best catches of muddies lately. Fish frames or off meat have been the better baits.

Sandies have been taken along the edges of channels such as Jacobs Well Channel, Tiger Mullet Channel, north Canaipa and up near the Powerlines.

There have been plenty of bream and small squire about the ‘Pin area, with the bigger fish being taken at night nearing the top of the tide. Stick to the deeper holes and snags where they tend to school, or along rock walls. In my experience, the better baits when hunting bigger bream are chopped pillies, big balls of mullet or chook gut, flesh baits and banana prawns on size 2/0-4/0 baitholder hooks. Using smaller baits like prawns, yabbies and squid on size 4-1 hooks will usually just attract the pickers and smaller bream.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and successful fishing New Year. Thank you for all reports, and if you have any questions on conditions or what’s biting feel free to drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 07 32873868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- .

I’ll catch you next month.

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