Gladstone smashing grunters
  |  First Published: July 2016

New fishing targets open up as the temperature drops, and how lucky we are here to have the best of both worlds. Gladstone has ripper summer and winter fishing and now temperatures have dropped enough to play with winter species, it’s time to get out and about.

As we moved through June and into July, grunter and bream became a much more sought after catch. Grunter is highly regarded as a table fish and I would choose to eat it over some reefies. This time of year they really do start to school up and become very aggressive eaters.

Fresh prawns are always the pick of baiting options with live mullet a close second. Good-sized grunter can be found right through the rivers and creeks in the area as well as Turkey Beach and Port Alma so options are endless.

Finding the fish isn’t too tricky, in my opinion they are common throughout our systems in the cooler months of the year, and well-presented fresh banana prawns works very well. Concentrate your efforts along sand banks and gravel banks either side of the high tide. Bigger tides you’ll find them schooling along the mudflats. The Narrows, Targinnie Creek, Calliope and South Trees Inlet are a good starting point for target areas.

Blue salmon have been hitting live baits up the Narrows at night in the metre range, fish the eddies to target fish waiting to ambush bait as they like to work the moving water and the Narrows is excellent for tidal flow. The Colosseum is also reporting some nice catches of king threadfin, and winter whiting are starting to show up around there as well.

Inner reefs such as Seal and Sable Chief rocks are fishing well for cod, with nice specimens upwards of 70cm making good appearances. Float baits while bottom bouncing the area could get you racing for a screaming rod and bring in some big Spanish as they start to make their way closer in to the coast.

Rundle Island also sees good numbers of tuna, Spanish and bait-sized school mackerel, and we should start to see some bigger-sized snapper around Bass Shoals just out from Rundle.

The northern end of Masthead and Rock Cod are both seeing good catches of bigger trout on lures trolled deeper. Some fishers have caught them as by-catch while trolling for pelagics. The 12-Mile has been a little hit and miss but is still worth a stop off on the bigger tide.

The weather will hopefully remain fairly stable throughout the month as is usual for our winter season. There are some healthy catches of cobia around the Shoal areas, as well as some great reds out North West, Fitzroy and Broomfield.

That’s about it from me this month, feel free to email me anytime with your stories and photos at --e-mail address hidden--

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