December will see bulk elbow bangers coming from all parts of the passage from Red Beach north up to Golden Beach and most sand banks in between.
The mouth of Coochin Creek has been a hot spot for most anglers on the hunt with the mouth of Elimbah coming in a close second. The larger the tide, the better the success. Following the tide up the banks and into the mangrove line is the key trick as the fish push up in the shallows feeding on yabbies, small crabs and sucking out small bloodworms from the mud. Local worms are your best bait hands down. Collect a small bag of worms and a handful of yabbies, which is all you need to get great results.
The flathead have continued to show up in most parts of the passage with your better quality fish being found in the deeper sections on an outgoing tide. Fishing the bottom of the tide is yielding the best results as all the water and bait gets forced out of the banks, the lizards sit and wait, ready to take an easy feed. The lower the tide, the better your results will be. A 0.2-0.3m low tide is the ultimate. Slowly working soft plastics across the bottom is a killer option that works a treat. Small live bait is working great at the moment for he flatties with gar or herring being a good choice.
There have been a few queenfish hunting down bait schools in the shallow. They put on a great display of aggression and can be great to watch as water and bait flies into the air. As the tide pushes out, they will be hanging on the edges in wait of an easy meal, much like the flathead do.
The locals have been getting some great grunter when chasing the bream. Fresh flesh baits are the best option with a few being landed on plastics around the mouth of Glass Mountain Creek on the rising tide. Small 3” presentations are doing the damage. There’s also been a few coming from the Cut Through, which is the small gutter that is used for a shortcut from Donnybrook to Glass Mountain Creek. It can be a bit tricky to navigate as it gets crabbed heavily and is only narrow. Narrow gutters, crab pots and outboards don’t mix great; but it does hold fish and crabs.
There have been a few good crabs around if you don’t mind working for them. The top end of the creeks has been the target spots, as we have had very little rain to push the muddies out. Just be aware of the low life thieves, especially coming into the silly season. They seem to plague our passage in holiday season. The only way to beat them is to stay with your pots as much as possible.
With water temperatures up in the high 20s we are hearing a lot of stories of bust-offs. There is only one fish that uses these tactics to feed; that’s the mighty mangrove jack. I’ve seen a few being boated, but not as many as I would like, but that’s why they call it fishing not catching. These guys will feed on anything and everything when they are in the right mood, from plastics, hard bodies, blades to live and slabbed baits. You need to get it in their face and when it’s feeding time, early morning or late afternoon, there’s no better feeling than pulling up some red gold. Getting a good catch and release, watching them swim out of your hands free to fight another day. It’s gold, red gold. For more tips abouts catching these ‘red devils’, visit my website, www.jackjuncky.com.
Take it easy out there, slow down and take it all in, there have been a lot of dugongs, turtles and dolphins around of late.Reads: 959