April is highly anticipated and welcomed with open arms by the Gladstone fishing community. The wind starts to back off and we get to target new species not necessarily prevalent through the summer months. The days are still warm, which makes fishing more inviting on every level.
Creeks are slowly flushing out from the March rains, albeit much needed, it has provided a challenge to the fishos in the area.
Jewfish are on many target lists, and they are showing in numbers in the deeper holes throughout both the Boyne and Calliope, in and around the Harbour and the Pylons at South Trees. Night is the best time to target them, the bottom of the tide and the first of the incoming works best. Live mullet will get some good action, as will fresh strips of mullet on heavily weighted line. Legal size is 75cm, however they grow much, much larger than this, so take this into consideration when choosing your line weight and leader.
South Trees continues to fish very well, with great catches of barramundi, king threadfin salmon and good-sized bream. Live baiting is the preferred method, but don’t discount prawn style plastics, as schools of juvenile prawns are moving about in the area. Fishing around creek mouths in shallow waters and drains is also delivering good, pan-sized flathead on soft plastics.
Threadfin salmon have not come off the chew in The Narrows, with reports of up to six decent sized fish around the metre range caught in one session. Barramundi are being caught just about everywhere through our systems, and anywhere that holds structure, which in turn will hold bait is a good area to target.
Freshwater fishing for barra is excellent around Pikes Crossing, and from social media reports this area is very popular with the Kayak fishing community. Awoonga Dam has been hard work for fishos thus far.
Mangrove jack just keep giving, and Calliope has seen some fairly cracking catches of fish up to 58cm. Soft plastics with a paddle-tail and live mullet are seeing equally good results.
With April comes the Hook Up, a highly anticipated event in the area, with leave forms handed in, whispers of target areas and species tossed around the traps in the hopes of becoming the overall winner and all the accolades that come with it. The fishing competition is not taken lightly amongst the hopeful contenders, with some trial fishing weeks out from the opening of weigh-ins in hopes to get the upper hand on everyone else.
This year marks the 21st birthday of the Hook Up and let’s say the prizes are nothing short of impressive, with over $250,000 in promotional giveaways up for grabs!
The event attracts around 4000 entrants a year, many coming from all over Queensland and Australia to compete, so stakes are high. The competition is held the weekend of 29 April-1 May at Bray Park, Boyne Island. You can register through their website at www.boynetannumhookup.com.au Registrations closes at 3.00pm on 29 April.
In the lead up to the competition, the committee is giving one young angler the opportunity to win a fishing charter with local guru Johnny Mitchell. It’s a trip of a lifetime for one young person to win and gain invaluable knowledge from someone who knows this area like the back of his hand. To enter, just head along to the website and click on the news tab for more information.Reads: 651