Weather leads the way
  |  First Published: December 2013

It’s the first month of the New Year and for many there are some great fishing trips to look forward too. January in Townsville is a changing time with different weather patterns deciding which style of fishing will be the best option.

Blue water

Well, it may not be that blue if you can’t get out there! Offshore can be plagued by strong winds and unpredictable weather patterns. With some reasonable storms normally buzzing around it can make planning offshore trips a little bit tricky as you don’t want to take the risk then get the hell beaten out of you or even worse getting into some serious trouble.

When there is a clear break in the weather the fishing offshore can be great with all the main species coming to the table. Fishing the reef edges produces some of the best reef species, such as coral trout, red throat emperor and various others including trevally, spangled emperor, cod and nannygai.

When you are in the right spot, with suitable current and ample amounts of structure, you can catch all the above fish and even more at times, which just shows how abundant life is on the reefs when all the right ingredients are there.

Catching reef fish can be done in a number of different techniques. The most simple and effective is using fresh bait, such as squid and pilchards. Going that bit further and taking a slab off a mac tuna or trevally can get even better results. And remember the old saying ‘fresh is best’ is so very true.

More Inshore

Anglers fishing the inshore bay and headlands can look forward to some top fishing on the horizon if we receive a good amount of rain. Hopefully, this should push heaps of bait out from the creeks and rivers to then reside around the inshore areas. As always, when there is bait there is fish, so locating the majority of the baitfish should see you hooked up to a few sizeable opponents.

Expect to catch trevally, queenfish, salmon, mangrove jack, grunter, golden snapper and a few undesirables. It is still the closed season for barramundi, so if you do catch one be sure to release it in the water as quick as possible.

For all the other species, soft plastics are probably your most effective option. There are thousands of different styles to choose from and you can match any bait that the fish are feeding on. Paddle-tail and curl-tail models prove to be the most effective for catching a bit of everything and a simple jigging retrieve off the bottom will fool most fish. When the rain is around, the water can become dirtier so choosing bright colours will often get better results.

On another note, I will be leaving the QFM writers team and relocating to Brisbane for future endeavours and hopefully tick a few new species off my angling list as well. I hope the readers have enjoyed my writing as much as I have loved writing it. I have learnt a truckload of new things about many different styles of fishing and keep the passion for fishing strong.

Stay safe and tight lines.

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