Fire up the reds
  |  First Published: December 2014

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year’s and is ready and raring to get stuck into what should be another cracking year of fishing the Pin. There are going to be plenty of boats heading out over this school holiday period chasing a feed of bream, whiting or flathead and they should all be around in good numbers right throughout January.

The hot and humid weather will also fire up the mangrove jack, which are one of the best eating fish you can get and put up a brutal fight usually resulting in the fish winning. If you’d like to take on one of these brutes then you need to target structures like rock walls, jetties, pylons, bridges or sunken snags. They use these structures for cover to ambush their prey and quickly return to it with their meal.

Any live bait drifted in front of these structures usually proves irresistible to a hungry jack or you could try casting larger plastics at these structures and twitch them away from the snag imitating a wounded fish. Trolling lures close to these snags also works well but be prepared for an explosive strike when they hit, and try to pull them away from the snag as quickly as possible because if they get you in they usually win.

If you’re trying for a big bream, most of them are caught at night near the top of the tide near rock walls or areas, which are covered heavily in snags. Using a little heavier line is recommended as they can snag you up real quick. Berleying up is definitely beneficial and larger baits such as half pillies, heaped mullet or chook gut or large flesh baits will definitely entice the bigger fish in.

For a big bream try around Kalinga Bank, the dead trees at the bottom of North Straddie, the point of Short Island, the Stockyards and, as I said, any rock wall or deep snag you can find.

Now is the perfect time to be chasing 40cm+ elbow-slapping whiting at the Pin. They love bloodworms, beach worms, yabbies, squid, prawns, small soft plastics and shallow diving lures and there has been a few fishos chasing them on small poppers in shallow water. Surprisingly they will actually rise to the surface and hit a lure.

Some of the pick whiting spots to try for these are Ageston Sands and the Junction in the Logan, Slipping Sands, the Pig Styes, top of Crusoe Island, the Gold and Green Banks, Pandannus Bank and the Never Fail Islands.

Flathead will be continuing to make up the bulk of the catches as they will still be around in large numbers after their breeding run so if you’re after a feed of flatty then now is the time to get out there and hit the water. Aim to fish at the first of the run-out tide as this is the time when lizards become more active and feed. Being an ambush predator they will be lying in wait behind snags, holes, drop-offs and where the sand meets rock walls.

Flathead will take a variety of baits such as prawns, pillies, yabbies, herring, and mullet but another great bait to try if you haven’t already is whitebait. Flathead love them and I’ve found that they work better than most bait most of the time. You can either use a small 2 ganged rig using 1/0 or 2/0 hooks or a single hook threaded through the eye and then turning the hook out. Plastics and diving lures are all the rage as you can cover more area searching for the fish.

Flathead tend to congregate in small schools so if you catch one there is almost certainly more. The better spots to try around the Pin are the bottom of Kangaroo Island, Whalleys Gutter, the top of Crusoe Island, the deep water off Swan Bay, the Stockyards, Cobby Passage and the mouth of the Logan River. So good luck in the new year of fishing, I hope it is a prosperous one with great fishing. Keep gathering knowledge on how to catch the fish you’re after and soon it will become second nature and they’ll become easier to catch. Hope a few of these tips help

• If you would like any up to date info on local conditions give me a call at Gem Bait & Tackle on 32873868 or email --e-mail address hidden--

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