Logan River threadies
  |  First Published: July 2014

Quality king threadfin salmon are a real option throughout the Logan River. Many people mistakenly think king threadfin are a northern species, but the truth is that the Logan River holds reasonable numbers of this much sought-after species.

Years ago these fish were smaller, but ten years on these fish are growing, breeding and potentially turning the Logan River into a class A fishery. I regularly catch good size specimens in a handful of reliable spots.

Polydactylus sheridani, or king threadfin salmon, are well suited to living and feeding in the murky waters of the Logan. Their ability to use their barbels (whiskers) and large lateral line to sense the vibrations of their prey lets them successfully feed in silty water where the visibility is low.

When you know the kinds of places these fish frequent, you will be rewarded with consistent captures as these fish often hunt the same areas year after year. The areas to find them in have high tidal flow and also some structure like broken rock on flats with possibly a feeder creek or drain very close by. These flats usually consist of the Logan’s standard muddy or silted bottom with the odd rock or submerged log somewhere on the bottom. These conditions provide the necessary food source and environment that threadies like to feed in.

These fish prefer the last of the run-out tide when bait is being pushed out of the drains in search of cover and deeper water. Their ability to forage in discoloured water makes them the ultimate low water predator. You should also try to coincide low tide with dusk as this seems to be the best time to target them.

My best success usually involves using live bait, although you shouldn’t discount large paddle tail plastics. The constant vibration and distress signals are what is needed to get a threadfin’s attention.

Live bait can consist of large prawns pinned through the tail, a good sized herring or the ever faithful live poddy mullet, the latter being my preferred bait. Regular bait changes are a must as your bait needs to swim erratically.

Over time you tend to learn whether threadies are in the area when the water is receding, exposing a mud bank, as bait showers are not uncommon. This lets you know to be prepared for a threadfin’s sizzling run as it closes in on your lure or bait.

Tackle needed to catch these fish is pretty standard: a 6-8kg, 7’0” medium tapered rod matched to a 4500 size Baitrunner-style reel that can comfortably hold around 200-300 yards of 15lb or 20lb line. Monofilament is my preferred line as it has some stretch, which is handy with the threadfin’s erratic runs and sudden direction changes.

Connect your line to a coffin-type sinker, as this will hold your bait to the bottom without rolling around. Next is a good quality crane swivel rated to around 50lb, then the leader which should be about a rod length of 50lb as these fish tend to inhale the bait. Hooks used should be around 4/0 to 6/0 depending on bait size, and they should have a wide gap between the shank and the barb.

Baits should be pinned through the nose from the underside of the chin, coming out directly through the top of their mouth, just before the nares (nostrils). This hook positioning allows for maximum penetration when the fish picks it up.

I fish for these species at anchor so a Baitrunner is a must. Once the fish has picked up the bait it makes a substantial run which is enough time for it to swallow the bait, so winding the handle to engage the drag will set the hook for you.

King threadfin are reasonably clean fighters but be prepared for a long run before fighting them otherwise you may pull the hooks. Don’t bully the fish to the boat as they can sometimes shred the leader if you don’t let them run. With their powerful forked tail they have many good runs in them before they can be netted.

Once you have the fish at the boat, back off the drag as they have the uncanny ability to sense the net and always seem to take one last attempt at freedom – and nobody wants to lose a thready at the boat!

These average size of the threadfin caught in the river now ranges between 70cm to 1m, so targeting them is well worth it. To allow the population to grow, please take only what you need so the large breeders can do their thing for the future of the fishery.

Armed with these tips, I’m sure that if you put in the time and effort you will catch one of these special fish that now call the Logan River home. Put in the hard yards and listen to your reel scream!

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