Winter has arrived, bringing seasonal change to the weather, the different species on offer, tactics required to catch them and areas where they are located.
Within the Gladstone area, there has been season transition in the dominant species being caught from barra to salmon. Blue and threadfin salmon have been the most notable species being caught since the temperatures have been dropping. For anyone who hasn’t yet encountered a blue or threadfin salmon, you will find that they are a strong fighting fish and like barra, they will take to the air trying to shake the hooks. Once you hook one, there’s a good chance you will find more in the area as these fish school up and it’s not an uncommon sight to see a few salmon chasing the hooked fish to the boat.
The Calliope River and Grahams Creek seem to be the hotspots for salmon, and they can be caught using live baits such as poddy mullet or herring.
As for lures, on a recent trip down at the colosseum we were using hard bodied deep divers, to about 2.5m, white in colour and scored a few blue salmon.
Speaking about hotspots, the hot water outlet in the Calliope River has become very popular for land-based anglers since the cooler weather has set in, with barra, salmon and queen fish pushing up towards the metre mark being landed. If you haven’t been to the hot water outlet before, it doesn’t take long to figure out why so many fish are attracted to this area, with the water temperature being roughly 5°C warmer than the main body of water in the river.
Good sized flathead have been caught around the mouth of the Boyne River and Wild Cattle Creek on soft plastics.
As for baits, you can’t go past live nippers or fresh prawns.
There have still been some crabs being caught in the deeper reaches of Wild Cattle Creek and in South Trees toward the Boyne end; however there have been a lot of jennys between bucks.
Fishing up at Pike Crossing has slowed down somewhat, with the barra becoming more lethargic in the winter, so if you’re using lures, try in the afternoon when it’s a bit warmer and focus on the edges and shallow water.
If you’re not in the mood for casting lures, you can try soaking some bait such as prawns, nippers or pilchards but be prepared to catch a lot of catfish between barra or the odd mangrove jack.Reads: 670