Winter pelagics move in
  |  First Published: June 2015

Cold westerlies are the usual in June around Bundaberg and if you’re like me, you won’t like them one bit.

On the other hand, if you like chasing mackerel, tuna and bream, yes then June is a great time. Currently the Burnett River has been producing some great fishing with bream and small mulloway being very dominant in catches on fresh bait like mullet and live yabbies. The fishing in the Burnett should remain pretty consistent over this month as winter gets a good hold of SEQ.

Winter really opens up a few options with the prevailing winds being from the west. This means small boats get the chance to sneak out the front and spend time chasing pelagics. There are mackerel and tuna out the front and this should continue throughout June, so grab some metal slices and look out for the birds diving.

I recently headed out the front chasing the schools of working fish and noticed a few boats trying to troll lures through the schools of diving birds and active fish. Unfortunately, all this usually achieves is the baitfish spread out and the feeding fish sound, then they won’t take a trolled lure.

There is a better way of approaching a school of feeding fish while trolling. Firstly, you should be trolling as fast as your lures let you and head in the direction the school is feeding, which most of the time is into the breeze. Troll your lures into the path you the think the fish are moving, if you’re not getting any hits try going faster or try a different colour lure.

If you’re keen to put a bit of energy into chasing these fast cruising fish, casting metal slices to the front of these feeding fish letting them sink for a few seconds then wind like mad so your slice looks like a fleeing baitfish is a good way to go.

The estuaries in our area over the next couple of months will cool down and our target species will change and the humble winter whiting will certainly be a major target. They just love a fresh prawn and live yabby drifted over shallow sand flats on lightly weighted rigs. You will get a few extra species including bream, flathead and grunter while you’re drifting fresh baits.

If you’re like me and want to hang onto summer for a bit longer you might want to do some travelling north. I did last month and headed to Wiepa on the western side of Cape York FNQ. We had ball fishing in 28°C days and catching barramundi, mangrove jack and much more. The road up the Cape is very well maintained over the dry season and isn’t the massive journey it once was. Keep an eye out I will be writing about our great trip!

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