Get past the salmon guards for a shot at the king!
  |  First Published: March 2016

Every autumn blows me away with how well the area fishes. Species such as gummy shark, school shark, yellowtail kingfish and southern bluefin tuna have made massive comebacks from previous years. These fish were once myths and whispers, but are now staple fare.

As in the past, large schools of salmon rock up and patrol the coastline in the lead up to March. Salmon can occasionally be seen breaking the surface as they chomp into the baitfish schools.

If you’re lucky enough to be out in the boat and come across a feeding frenzy then catching a fish should be as simple as casting a lure or bait in among all the action. The salmon range from 500g-3kg and are great sport on light line.

This season has also seen large schools of yellowtail kingfish frequent the same areas where the salmon are usually found.

A lot of the time kingfish are hiding under the schools of salmon. Getting bait or a jig down to them through the feeding salmon is no easy task though!

Another line-burning fish, which has been encountered in good numbers, is the feisty mako shark. Most of these have been smaller 35-80kg models, which I consider the best fun to catch, and they make great eating too. Don’t be surprised if a much bigger model slides up the berley trail though, fish as big as 200kg have been caught here before.

King George whiting frequent the inshore reef edges off Marengo, Elliot River and Blanket Bay with some fish up to 48cm taken on recent outings.

The whiting should be here in numbers until the end of April and are always worth targeting. Silver trevally and squid have also been taken from the whiting grounds, so make sure you have a jig ready in the tackle box.

The estuaries of the Aire and Barham rivers have fished extremely well for black bream, which have taken a liking to small hardbodied and soft plastic lures.

The fish are wide spread throughout the river systems; so don’t be afraid to move around until you locate good numbers of feeding fish.

These rivers fish best when the mouth of the river is open to the sea and the tide is close to the bottom of its cycle.

As the water recedes from the reedy edges it leaves nowhere for the shrimp and baitfish to hide, so the bream move up onto the edges looking for an easy feed. Needless to say that’s where you should cast your lure.

I do quite a bit of this type of fishing and always look forward to the spring tides in March as bigger tidal movements give longer bite times per day.

Good luck on the water this month, we should be in for a cracker of a time!

Happy fishing!

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