Jacks getting a final feed before winter
  |  First Published: June 2016

We’ve finally had our first little bit of cool weather, but it hasn’t been enough to shut down the jacks. It seems they’re trying to get in a final feed before the cold weather really sets in. Myself, my father and a friend recently went down to Deepwater Creek and got stuck into some nice jacks, and it was great to see them still biting hard. They seemed to like the ZMan DieZel MinnowZ in the red shad and opening night colours best.

Barra are still popping up throughout the harbour and the Calliope and Boyne rivers, and with this bit of cooler weather we should be seeing more and more pop up around the wharves. The hot water outlet hasn’t fired as yet, but that’s to be expected seeing as our water temperature is still hovering around 26°C. Until that cooler water moves in you shouldn’t expect to see big numbers here.

Locals have been picking up a lot of black jew in the harbour. Last month these fish started showing up more and more, and at the moment you can find them around pretty much any sort of deep structure.

Blue salmon are also showing up in good numbers – it’s the first run of good blues we’ve had this year. To have a shot at these fish, try any shallow gravel bars in the harbour and up through the Narrows. I mostly fish soft vibes for them, with my favourites being Yakamitos and Transams. Bait fishers are picking up good blues on live prawns, live poddy mullet and live herring.

Crabs are still hit and miss, but that’s to be expected given the lack of rain we’ve had this year. Some days do turn up reasonable numbers though, so it’s worth throwing in a few pots en route to a fishing spot.


Offshore anglers were treated to a run of good weather for the first time in ages. Those lucky enough to get out were rewarded with good catches. I recently went out targeting red emperor and found the reds were hard to find; we ended up getting our bag limit but it involved moving up to up to 20 miles between spots and spending numerous hours sounding around. Most of the fish came from 45-65m of water, and the average fish was only around that schoolie size of 6kg. We’re coming into a good time of year for these fish though, so hopefully there will be some great catches in the coming months.

Sweetlip (emperor) and coral trout are still biting their heads off. We recently had a great session on the trout using micro jigs. The best ones lately have been the Storm Koikas and ZetZ Slow Blatts. There are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube that show the best ways to use these little treats, or you can pop into your local tackle store and get the guys or girls to show you how its done.

On a recent trip jigging we were finding it hard to get the jigs past the red-throat sweetlip for the trout to hit (you know things are good when you’re complaining about 55cm sweetlip coming over the side of the boat!) At this time of year you’d expect the big numbers of large sweetlip to slow a little, but the unseasonably warm water still floating around has kept these guys chewing hard.

For more information on what’s biting, or to stock up with all the tackle and bait you need, drop into LJ’s Compleat Angler Gladstone at the Gladstone Marina on Bryan Jordan Drive. You can also check out the latest news, photos and specials at www.facebook.com/ljscompleatanglergladstone.

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