Go hit the hot spots
  |  First Published: September 2016

Winter definitely made its show throughout August, as is the tradition through Central Queensland. The cold air catches have been fairly consistent with blue and threadfin salmon heavily on the bite in continuation from last month’s report.

Calliope, up the narrows and Port Alma are the hot spots. Fresh and live baits have successfully been catching some great specimens. Salmon fight strong and will take to the air to try and ditch the hook – both the fight and spectacle are worth targeting. They school up and love the run, so find one you’ll find more.

With plenty of prawns running in the rivers, all of the usual winter species are hitting good fresh baits, in particular peeled prawns. Concentrate your efforts for flathead around the river drains and the mouths of the Boyne or Wild Cattle Creek for flathead.

Bream have had a nice run so far this season; both the very upper and the lower reaches of the Boyne have showed some nice catches. Live bait, such as herring or the ever-successful poddy mullet, are working very well and, as always, night on the making of the full moon and a few days after is the best time for targeting.

Barra are continually being caught in the salt systems, in and around the Mariner, the hotwater outlet and the mouth of the Calliope. All fishers I have seen with a good catch have been using soft plastics, but there has been the odd one caught on live bait. In clear water I would stick with the pearl and white paddle-tail varieties, and in murkier water and at nights I would go with darker colours such as purple in the paddle-tail.

The reefs are getting some great activity with the blessing of good weather throughout winter, some nice red emperor showing up around Douglas and Northwest. The deeper waters are still fishing better than the shallower areas, bigger baits as in whole fillets of fresh fish and whole cuttlefish rigged on running sinkers with 7/0-8/0 hooks.

I haven’t seen many of the larger Spaniards picked up around the inner reefs and coastal areas as I would have expected. We’re hoping September may pick up with some great catches landed out at the reefs, such as Wistari, Erskine and Masthead. There has been some major bait runs through these reefs so it’s definitely not surprising. Trolled gar are a brilliant option but floating and trolling coming up trumps as well.

Big red-throat, coral trout and tuskies are being caught through all the reef areas. These are the dominant species being caught and are amazing table fish. Sizes are well up and no angler would be unhappy with a bag of these for the freezer.

Freshwater fishing at Pikes Crossing and Awoonga Dam have been slow as it always is at this time of the year. The still water remains colder than the tidal areas so catching barra and jack take some work. Focus your time in the afternoon in shallower waters will be your best bet.

Sooty grunter are hitting some hardbodied lures as a by-catch for barra, they are not necessarily targeted but they are definitely around and great fun on light gear.

Gladstone Area Water Board will be restocking the dam with more mangrove jack in the near future, the dam will be back to its former glory in no time. And don’t forget you can hire boats for the dam and for any smooth waters in the area from Lake Awoonga Boating & Leisure you can find them on Facebook and shoot them a message with enquiries.

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