Dry lead up to a big wet
  |  First Published: December 2013

It's been a hot dry lead into January this year but I believe the forecast is for a bit rain for the start of our wet season.

Of course we hope we don't get last years version of a wet season and as the Northern Territory has actually seen their wet season kicking off this year, the big wet should stay up north. On the fishing front December was a bit quiet in the salt, which is a bit odd as the fishing all year has been pretty good. This should change this month just in time for the holidays.

The Burnett River

The Burnett is always a popular place over the holidays and for the serious fisho should be fished early, late or avoided completely if you don't like crowds.

I would recommend an early start to fish the river as the baitfish are usually close to the surface, which tends to give away any potential predator activity. There have been plenty of baitfish schools moving around the river and over January there will be predators like mangrove jack, golden snapper, queenfish and trevally lining up to have a feed. I love fishing surface lures and as the day breaks around 4.30am. There’s nothing better than casting a popper at nervous baitfish schooled up around the point of the north wall. I have caught tuna, mackerel, big trevally and some meter long queenfish of that point on day break. Be prepared to share the spot though as their are other like minded fishos who will be jostling for position.

A tip is if you see another boat catching fish is that it may not be just the spot they are on, it could be the style of lure they are using or the retrieve they’re using. Keep an eye out, it may mean a change of tactic to get into the fish rather than crowding out another angler.

In January the mouth can be a seething mess of baitfish schools and of course the predators won't be on every school of bait, so keep an eye on any baitfish being chased to the surface. As the sun gets up the bigger fish will sit deeper, so watch your sounder carefully and when you see schools sitting on the bottom drop down a metal jig or heavy soft plastic. These fish will hit if you can get your offering in front of them.

Trolling also works but as the water depth ranges from 20-50’ it’s hard to get a lure to troll down so deep so jigging can be the only solution.

The mighty Baffle

Baffle Creek has been firing over the past few months, but then it too slowed in late November and early December, I would not be writing it off though as all it takes is a few storms to get some fresh running and the Baffle will fire up again. I had a few trips into the top of the Baffle lately and although I did get some ice jacks on surface lures as the sun rose, the fish became very wary and hard to tempt. Again this will change with a flush of fresh as the upper reaches are gin clear. The is still well worth look over the break as the tidal movement tends to stir up a few fish.

Roger from Baffle Creek Caravan Park reports the flathead have been like a carpet and the jacks on the run out tide have been cleaning out his tackle box. He also said there have been a few barra caught by anglers staying in his park and he has let them all now you can't target them and if you do hook one release it as soon as possible without any harm coming to the fish. Barra season is closed so we need to let these valuable fish get a chance to spawn and keep the good barra fishing going in our area.

Woodgate beach

A more peaceful place you cannot find than Woodgate unless it's holiday time then it's hectic.

It's a good hectic though as our hectic is like Noosa having a very quite day so it's still a great place to chill out and wet a line. The beach offers very safe and protected swimming and fishing, and there is a creek on the northern end and a large river system on the southern end. Both mouths produce good whiting, flathead and dart and the run in tide usually produces the best results just watch the water as it will chase you back to shore. Enjoy your holiday fishing keep hydrated and well protected from the sun.

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