With the shortest day of the year well behind us now you can already feel the good times that are ahead. Longer days mean the nine-to-fivers like myself get a better chance at the species that are on offer at this time of year.
The main feature of August for our area will be shallow water snapper. There have already been some crackers caught this year by the local kayak fraternity. The close reefs off Grassy Head and Point Plomer are great places to start. Combine these hotspots with low light times of the day and you are in with a great chance. Working a 5-7” jerk shad plastic in front of your drift is by far the most popular form of fishing these days but it also pays to have a grub tail or paddle tail soft plastic trailing behind your drift, just working itself gently in the rod holder. Taking care not to travel straight over the top of your mark and setting up the correct drift are very important factors in this form of fishing.
A lot can also be said for anchoring up and setting a good berley trail. Plenty of quality fish are taken this way and although some days you may attract some undesirables, more often than not the bait you were floating down for a snapper will be devoured by a mulloway, tuna or one of countless other quality tablefish that are available at this time of year.
Tailor numbers have been consistently good with the majority of the fish around the 1kg mark, although there have been a couple of reports of fish above 5kg. The numbers of kingfish through winter have been better than the last few years. There aren’t too many giants amongst them yet, but hopefully this will change as we head into September and October with early signs pointing towards a good kingfish season.
Mulloway have been everywhere over the last few months, and the majority of catches have been of a better class of fish. Hopefully with the new strict laws regarding this species the trend will continue and allow them to return to their former glory. So far this year, 6” Lunker City Shaker paddle tails have been the stand-out soft plastic for the big fellas. The Shaker’s oversized paddle tail definitely sets off an attack trigger in the jewfish. If the mulloway are there, you’ll usually know within the first couple of casts.
Pearl perch have dominated on the deeper reefs along with the ever reliable teraglin. Sending a live yakka down on these reefs is a practice well advised and is a great way to draw a bigger trag out of the school.
Love them or hate them, leatherjackets are around in numbers ready to devour anything sent their way – whether it be sinkers, line, jigs or the catch you are retrieving from the depths, they don’t seem to discriminate. Wire rigs sort them out but can greatly reduce catch rates of most other species.
Micro jigging is another form of offshore fishing that has been getting great results on our reefs. Snapper and kingfish are the most common catches. With this form of fishing every strike can leave you guessing as to what you are attached to.
Big bream are still being caught throughout our river system and along our beaches in probably their best numbers of the season. Commercial presence on the beaches has eased a little of late and the recreational results are definitely on the improve.
August marks the last month of the closed season for bass. Due to low river levels throughout winter it will be interesting to see where the fish are holding when the season opens on September 1, as at times areas of the river have been almost impassable, not to mention the pelicans that have been sitting at every set of rapids awaiting their prey.Reads: 1003