The festive season is over, and a new year has arrived, so we can now focus on fishing and enjoying the beautiful waterways of the Jumpinpin area. School holidays are in full swing, and there will be plenty of boaties out and about trying for a fish or two. I hope everyone tries to improve on last year’s catch.
Whiting catches finished strongly last year and should be off to a flying start this year around the sand flats at the top of South Straddie, the Pig Sties and Fishermans Channel. The current runs pretty hard through those spots. A great time to give it a go is close to the change of the tide, in the first hour or so as the water slows.
You could also try around the Never Fail Islands, Tipplers Channel, Tiger Mullet Channel, Dinner Island and the mouth of the Logan River. Stick with blood or beach worms as bait for best results. Bream will fire up too as they feed on the influx of nutrients that have come from the river.
All the baitfish, and prawns they feed on will be in abundant supply which should send them into a feeding frenzy as they start to fatten up for their winter breeding season. When they feed like this there are great opportunities to try and lure for them with small plastics, hardbodied divers, or small vibes. They will be more aggressive and likely to hit a lure. Some good luring spots are the bottom of Kangaroo Island, up against the mangroves, on the Pandannus weed banks, Tipplers Passage, Steglietz and the Stockyards, although it is very snaggy there and known for claiming many lures. If the water is clean enough, you will have more success with lures, but if it is still too murky then bait is the best option to pursue.
The same principles can be applied to flathead as well, with greater catches coming from the cleaner water. You don’t want the water to be crystal clear, but make sure the clarity isn’t that of a chocolate milkshake. Behind Tabby Tabby Island, Eden Island and right up through Tiger Mullet Channel is great lizard country and these spots are usually protected from the wind so they can be fished on most outings. These channels are lined with mangroves, and the edges are all 2-6ft which makes it easy for the flathead to lie in wait as the tide drops – and all the baitfish that hide must come out. This is an easy feed for a cunning lizard.
Throw a lure or well-presented bait and off those edges you should score a few good fish. Remember, if you think like a fish you’ll have more success. There should still be a few pelagic fish hanging just beyond the Bar around the dirty water line, so if the weather improves troll small skirted lures on the surface or big diving hardbodied lures to produce some mackerel, tuna, bonito or even a small marlin.
January is always a good time for tailor, and there should be some decent greenbacks off the beaches of North and South Straddie. The big ones don’t normally come through the Bar, so you’ll find a lot more chopper tailor inside. They like chasing the schools of whitebait that come through the Pin so using any small metal slugs or plastics that look like whitebait is a great way to fish for choppers. The mulloway have been slow, with only the odd schoolie around 3-4kg. This is still a nice fish, but just under the legal 75cm length. Try from the Logan near Marks Rocks, Short Island and out front of Swan Bay in the Jew Hole.
Thanks for all your reports, and if you have any questions on conditions or what’s biting, drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 07 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden--
I’ll catch you next month!
• Thanks for all your reports and keep those fish coming in. If you’d like any advice or up to date fishing information drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on (07) 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 619