Plan your sea assault
  |  First Published: December 2013

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas period with a little bit of spare time to get out on the water and chase a few fish. Over the past month we have had our fair share of storms. This will work wonders for the fishing, it gives everything a good flush out and with that comes more bait.

Along with the rain the winds have not been overly friendly either but it has allowed small windows of reasonably good weather. Over the past 2 months it has just been about being able to take advantage of those 1 or 2 days of good weather. If your days off have not coincided with them then it would have been a while between fishing trips on the bay.

When I have had the chance to get out on the bay, the fishing has been awesome with many different species coming on board; anything from snapper, mulloway, school mackerel, yellowtail kingfish and Moses perch.

There maybe plenty of species being caught at the moment but you can’t expect to just go out and catch all of them. You need to have a plan of attack in the bay depending on the tides and the wind. To carry out a plan you also need to know roughly at what time of the tides particular spots begin to fire.

Some good fish have come from the reef edges around Peel of late. We always seem to get an awesome run of juvenile snapper along the shallow reefs when we have a lot of jellyfish coming through the bay. On calm, quiet mornings you will see juvenile snapper coming up and eating the tentacles off the jellyfish. Sometimes you may not even see the fish hit the surface, all you will see is the jellyfish bobbing out of the water. This is a give away that there the little snapper are around.

When targeting juvenile snapper in this way the best thing to look for that will help you find the fish are current lines. This is where slower current runs alongside faster moving current and it creates a line. Current lines will always appear around the bay islands, they will always appear where the current changes direction. You need to find where this line runs over the edge of a reef or a corner of a reed. This is where jellyfish and baitfish will get caught and this is why predatory fish patrol these lines looking for an easy feed.

When the juvenile snapper are up feeding near the surface the one thing to think about is downsizing to a light jighead. You don't want to be using a heavy jighead if the fish are high in the water column. When the fish are feeding up near the surface changing your approach will increase your hook up rate.

Other areas to have a look around for this similar surface activity are Coochie Island, Macleay Island and Ormiston Reef. All of these areas have good tidal flow with great numbers of jellyfish floating around at times. It’s all about just getting out and having a look around, reading the tidal flow and looking for those current lines.

Hope you enjoy the time off from work over this holiday period and you all get out and get amongst the fish.

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