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Baitos line up for greyback greeting
  |  First Published: November 2015



The southern bluefin tuna scene just keeps going on and on. At this stage we don’t know when it will end!

Recently, three local guys, Sam Hallyburton, Steve McQuinn and Chris Searle launched Sam’s boat off Boat Bay near Peterborough and ventured out about 10km and began trolling a spread of five lures in 65m depth or thereabouts in search of ‘barrel’ tuna. It didn’t take long to hook up to something sizeable and Sam took the rod for over three hours but he came up trumps with a leviathan of a fish that later pulled the scales down to a very impressive 121.6kg!

The lures that have been doing the damage have been Black Magic ‘Maggot’ head skirts and have accounted for approximately half the hits and hook-ups the boys have experienced in recent weeks. After a long night filleting the catch the boys slept lightly as they planned to go out the next morning, however upon attempting to launch once again at Boat Bay the trailer’s brakes failed so the boys had to call off their back-to-back tuna sojourn.

At the time of writing the Curdies River and lake was still open to the sea and hopefully stays that way for some time. The water up at the top reaches of the lake including the river is still murky and currently suits bait anglers over lure tossers.

I fished this area just before putting pen to paper and only had partial success with shallow diving lures and soft plastics. I had to venture well out into the lake to find cleaner, saltier water before numerous juvenile salmon and two small bream responded to my casts.

Another angler also using lures found it hard going just like I did. The odd boat lying anchored against the bank or tied up to one of the channel markers out in the lake had a creel over the side, no doubt holding a keeper bream or two.

The gossip on bait being used back at the Boggy Creek boat ramp consisted of bait sized freshwater yabbies, earth and scrub worm and frozen packet river whitebait. The lack of weed in the system is making it hard for netters to source shrimp. Many are making tea tree boughs and tying them up to channel marker poles in an effort to attract shrimp.

Unfortunately a lot of boaters help themselves to other’s boughs and basically steal their bait. It’s really not hard to make your own instead of raiding someone else’s.

If the mouth stays open long enough schools of whitebait, or as the locals call them, ‘greyback’, should be entering the system and when they do, they will surpass shrimp as the number one bream bait. Fished alive with a small hook passed through the upper jaw or dead with the hook’s barb exposed in the neck of the bait with a half hitch around the tail, greyback are deadly as a bait. The bream generally strike greyback baits like a rocket so drags should be backed right off to allow for a decent hook up.

September saw a few warm and sunny days but winter still hasn’t released her grip on the weather just yet. Hopefully October will hold more conducive weather for us anglers.

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