Although the weather was rarely in favour in January, a lot of decent fish have still been caught. The estuaries have been fishing nicely and the freshwater areas have been going well in the afternoons.
Closed season on barra is over for our region as of midday 1 February. With the gates opening up during December and January a lot of larger fish will be down in the saltwater once it calms down, the input of freshwater from creeks will also mean a great deal of bait will move into the system making the Fitzroy will be very active.
Places to hit in these times will be rocky outcrops near creek mouths and any mangroves and manmade structures near the creek mouths where the baitfish will also congregate.
The salmon have been going well on lightly weighted plastics and flies. There have been numerous mangrove jacks caught around the area recently too, most of them being taken on soft plastics and the Z-Man DieZel Minnow in ‘ayu’ colour seems to be the lure doing the job time and time again.
In the creeks and beaches large bream and flathead in the deeper parts of the water have been reported. Areas to target would be channel mouths or drop offs in the channel from knee-deep water to water over a metre deep.
The bream on the other hand, especially the pikey bream have been a very common catch for people heading down to places like Wild Cattle and South Trees, With them have been Moses perch and odd grunter. Cod have been in the thousands and will take almost any lure or bait thrown at them.
The best places to target these estuary species would be headlands along the beaches, and on a calm day can even result in queenfish or trevally. Medium running bream styled hardbodies have been working well using natural baitfish pattern. These lures typically dive 1-2m and are around 40-50mm long.
The combination of summer heat, light rain, storms and abundance of small baitfish has turned the fresh right up! The best areas are around the lilies or tree lines.
Small curl-tail plastics such as the 3” Banana Prawn or Swimming Mullet make any fish in the freshwater lagoons come out and play! With a few more hot days getting into the middle of summer and continuing with the occasional rain the freshwater areas should be filled full of sportfish to target with grubs, hardbodies and for whoever wants to take up a challenge with the smaller baitfish floating about casting a fly around the lillies, you can get good results!
The crabs at this time of the year are extremely active and full to the top with meat. A recent influx of freshwater in the system should keep the crabbing at the port going strong as the water upstream carries a lot of muck and dead organisms that crabs like to feed on. Check out your local tackle store for any advice or for the low down on the rules and regulations.
In 2014 we saw some great techniques such as micro jigging become very popular. Some great new gear had been developed and some fantastic lures have come out as well.
2015 will be a crazy new year with new reels and revamped older reels, new and revamped rod series and two new Fishfinder GPS systems will be hitting stores this year, which look insane. There’ll be plenty of lures coming about too and I cannot wait to see what lures come on the market this year!Reads: 570