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Grunt time in the Bay
  |  First Published: June 2016



The weather had finally cooled down and seems to have entirely skipped autumn and has gone straight into winter this year. Last month the water temperature was still over 25°C, but if it’s anything like last year when the temperature drops it will drop fast.

ON THE LOCAL REEFS

There have been good mixed bags of keepers caught around places like the Arty, Moon Ledge, and Bagimba. Fishing the big tides at night has produced juvenile snapper, blackall, coral bream, grunter and sweetlip on baits of California squid, herring and yakka fillets. Live bait still account for plenty of cod averaging 3-6kg. I’ve been using a Bung Light for a while now, and if you want live bait at night you can’t go past them. Just switch it on and wait for baitfish or squid in the area to come around, I’ve even had garfish and flying fish jump in the boat some nights!

ON THE FLATS

Flathead have taken it up another notch and big numbers of fish in the 45-60cm range have been smashing hardbodies at all stages of the tide. Cod and bream have also managed to hit a lure when the flathead give them a chance. Whiting have been all over poppers in the shallows at the bottom end of the big tides. Work surface lures back towards the bank in the first 10m of water to make schools of whiting fight over your lure and generate some spectacular surface action.

We have caught some quality grunter along the flats on Fraser Island around creek mouths and the shallow reef south of Moon Point. Live bait, prawns and squid have worked well on grunter up to 65cm on the incoming tide. I usually fish the start of the run-in close to the beach and as the bite tapers off I move out on the reef to continue the action. Grunter are almost the perfect fish, they bite well, fight hard and are great to eat, which makes them highly desirable in my book.

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