Find the structure, find the fish!
  |  First Published: January 2016

Welcome to 2016! I hope everyone had a safe holiday and enjoyed it. January is set to be a ripper of a month for fishing, with a lot of great signs in our canal systems pointing to plenty of solid fish getting around!

The weather is really warming up with temperatures almost hitting 40°C, which makes for hot and muggy afternoons. When the baitfish are active and pushed up along the rocks with the heat from the day the rocks will be hot. Jacks will attack the bait along the edges. The Coomera, Sovereign Island, Nerang River and Jacobs Well all fish very well for jacks. The Coomera, especially up around the highway bridge where it doesn’t get as much flow and the water is slightly dirtier, is prime. Plastics around 4” with a large paddle-tail rigged onto a jighead of around 3/8oz cast around jetties and rock walls work well. Cast at the same place for a few casts, as it’s likely the fish will hit it after a few casts.

There are plenty of trevally getting around, with anglers catching them around pontoons and in open water when they’re busting up. Most of the trevs are in the 30-55cm size bracket, and they’re awesome fun on light gear! Small plastics around 2.5” rigged on a light jighead work very well around the jetties. Vary your retrieve to see what works best, as some days a fast retrieve will work better than a very light and slow retrieve. Changing the lure colour to suit the water quality is also a smart move. In slightly darker water use dark colours, and in clear water try something with a sparkle.

January and February are the hottest months of the year, so if you thought it couldn’t get much hotter than what we experienced in late November and December, you’re wrong! Still, more heat means more chance of rain, and if the rain falls early in the morning, that’s fine with me! I love fishing in the rain in the early hours of the morning, and I have recently had great success with a decent flathead under these conditions. My mate also landed a solid jack during an early shower!

The warmer water also brings out another line-burning species: painted sweetlip, or as other anglers call them, slatey bream. Ranging from 30-50cm in our canal systems, I’ve caught all of mine around bridge pylons on mainly an early morning high tide, although recently I found they can be caught at any time of the day! If you’re a bait fisho, prawns would definitely be the go, but make sure you cast half a metre or so off the pylons. Soft plastics also work very well, with my pick being the ZMan 2.5” GrubZ in greasy prawn colour. Rock walls will also hold these fish. Remember to hold on!

In conclusion, January is another great and productive month of summer. Finding structure would be my biggest tip and advice. Fish the structure and hold on! Good luck to all anglers this month and I’ll see you on the water.

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