With the transition period behind us we can target our preferred species with more accuracy and we have had a very productive time of late.
It’s now time to click it up a gear. The warm water will bring with it some hot bite periods and great memories.
The summer whiting are now in full swing, although we’ve seen some great winter halls coming from the middle reaches of the passage. We will now see great numbers of elbow bangers coming from all parts of the passage from Red Beach on the southern end of Bribie right up to the banks around Golden Beach at Caloundra. Keep your eyes on the older land-based anglers, they know where and when to hit the slappers. As they wade out up to their knees with a rod in hand and bag over shoulder they will be on the hunt and pulling results. What these fishers don’t know about chasing whiting isn’t worth knowing – old anglers rock. Ask any one of them and they will say live worms in their position.
There are heaps of worm imitation soft plastics on the market that will work, but nothing like the real deal. It needs to be kicking and it can be the difference between having a good session or a session you will never forget.
The flathead are still being pulled from most parts of the passage. Numbers are down but the size will make up for that, with some real croc-sized fish being landed. I was told about a large flathead chasing an angler’s legal size bream to the boat and trying to attack it like a shark and another big fish eating a small estuary cod on the way into the boat only to have it regurgitate boat side. Both of these fish were estimated to be very close to 1m in length and both are still out there to be wrangled. I guess the moral of the story is if you want to catch big fish, you should think about using big baits. These big fish have been mainly found in the deeper sections of the passage hanging around bait schools. Plastics have been doing a lot of damage as well with 3” models right through to the big 7” Gulps. Don’t forget the lively lures, these guys can troll up some great results providing you can stay away from the floating weed, which fouls them up deeming your efforts useless, but in the right conditions they can be dynamite.
The boys and I have been tangling with a few mulloway of late, with every session we see a couple hit the net. They are a great fish to see come boat side. The first big silver flash you see as they near the boat is awesome as they take a big lunge for freedom leaving you with a large tail boil beside your boat as you cross your fingers and hope like crazy they don’t dislodge the hook with their next direction change, which can often happen as they change direction multiple times during the fight. It’s a nice relief when their nose enters the net and the battle has been won. The fish we have encountered have ranged in size from 60-100cm. Keep in mind the minimum legal length of 75cm and a bag limit of 2 per person. Often when you do find one mulloway you will encounter a few more, even several, as they love to hang around in numbers and stay schooled up tight. Another thing I have noticed is they hang in size groups, if you manage a fish of 70cm, his friends will be a similar size. They have been eating baits and plastics and the gun bait has been live mullet or gar and the gun plastic has been a 7” Gulp.
With the warm water upon us we will some ripper jacks taken. I have seen a few poking their nose out and getting wrangled. The hotter it gets the hotter the sessions will become and this is what all jack anglers long for all winter. They get bigger and angrier with every warm day. We will be throwing everything at them, as they love a variety of lures from surface lures, blades, hardbodies and plastics. Most of the gear on the market works well, all I can suggest is find one that you have a lot of confidence in because without confidence you may as well stay in bed or mow the lawn. Confidence is the only thing that will keep you plugging and staying on top of your game. You need this when wanting to target jacks. They can leave you fruitless on more than one occasion, but when you beat them your hair on the back of your neck will stand up giving you goose bumps and leaving you on a natural high for hours. The hit, the fight, the colours, the dentures, the photo and the release; in my book they are the ultimate estuarine species, the best you will encounter, hands down. Make sure you take your brag mat, as you want to measure that trophy jack. Any fish over 55cm is classed as a beast and rarely landed. Keep a close eye on your gear and keep it maintained as they can find weak points easily. So for all the jack junkies out there, lets hit them!Reads: 980