When it starts to swelter, fish the shelter
  |  First Published: December 2015

December already! Wow, this year has certainly come and gone at a fast pace! This month will be a great time to spend with the family and also tangle with a few fish in the process. 

This time last year the fresh water creeks and rivers were full and flowing well, unfortunately this year a lot of the smaller creeks are still waiting on the big wet to bring them back to life.

I went for a trek up one of my favourite systems a few days ago, and I had to walk a fair distance to find the water. But when I did it was fish on! A lot of the dry creeks all hold some amazing landlocked holes that are well and truly worth the effort to find. Like most Australian species, the jungle perch is a tough customer and will be happy to wait out for the rains in a landlocked environment.

It’s big competition to get to the food in these places so often you will be able to catch plenty of them! Watching a pack of hungry JPs attack your surface lure is pretty wild stuff! 

Red dogs, AKA mangrove jacks, are in full aggression mode this time of year. From their cunning lure smashing and fast passed drag peeling, they are by far one of my favourite species to target! Via boat or land-based these troopers are sure to get the adrenalin pumping through the veins!

Making that cast right in the sweet spot will get you in the action. With my land-based adventures I always make sure I am in the best possible position before making the cast into a snag or likely looking area. A little game plan for each scenario will get you onto more fish.

Remember to have that drag nice and tight because even the little fellas will get you back in their lair any chance they get! My favourite presentation to use for snag bashing is the Z-Man 4’’ StreakZ Curly TailZ rigged on the TT SnakeheadZ, this is a deadly combination to get right into the structure. Its a weedless set up so you spend more time in the strike zone than in the snag. As soon as the fish hits you lure the hook is exposed and your rod is bent! 

Another tough specimen that doesn't mind the tough Australian environment is the sooty grunter. These brutes are full of power and strength! They love to smash just about anything that will fit inside their mouth.

Sooties can be caught on almost any type of presentation. For me, using surface lures in the afternoon is a great way to have some serious fun with these fellas. Often you can rack up big numbers when hunting them, and targeting them in the jungle is not only picturesque, but also so much fun. Watching these critters follow your lure right up to your feet in crystal clear water and attack right in front of you is about as good as it gets, often getting a splash of water from the assault! Then comes the fun part of trying to stop them as they start powering their way down stream. So much fun on light gear! 

I would like to wish you all a happy and safe festive season! I look forward to catching up with you all in 2016! Fish on! 

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