The last half of last year was very windy and made fishing a lot tougher than it needed to be. Some good catches were had for those willing to work hard, but for most it was not what they were expecting. We can only hope for a calmer year this time with a good wet season. Storms are usually a given in January, so always be wary when on the water.
Despite the wind, local guide Groover caught more than 40 barramundi over the magic 1m mark for his clients, and that was an awesome effort.
Out along the fairway markers and on the rubble patches is a good place to start looking for golden snapper. Bait can work, but sometimes lures and soft plastics produce the best results. I took the new Prawnstar Gold in a tiger colour out for a swim recently and had some awesome hookups that made my day. While it was remiss of me not taking the camera, I will be going back so stay tuned and I will show you how good these soft plastics are. It was so good that I left a Prawnstar attached to my rod sit on the bottom while having lunch and it got hammered by a nice black jew, so when your luck is in then anything can happen.
There will be some handsome giant trevally around out the front as well and they will show up any weaknesses in your gear, from knots to reels. I use an 80lb outfit that has 50lb of drag pressure and can comfortably get them up and released in a short period of time. You do need this, but it can take some time to get them in on lighter gear.
Most baits will work, but as usual I like to troll lures to cover ground. Once you have a hookup, then poppers are an awesome way to play. If it’s a big school, then take the hooks off and cast for some entertainment. See how many different fish will take and release the popper before you get it back to the boat. My best is 10!
There will be mud crabs out the front and they are usually full, so don’t forget to bring the crab pots. Just remember that we have bigger tides now and if you don’t have enough rope out they will wander off. We get high humidity up here too, so always take plenty of water and shade even if it’s just a brolly.
David with the end result of a double hookup on golden snapper.
The author with a tasty red emperor caught at Sweers Island.Reads: 494