Fishing over the last month has been pretty spectacular, from great offshore activity to absolutely brilliant inshore estuary and river fishing. Some key places would have to be Nerimbera area for the threadies, any coastal headland for land-based mackerel along with inshore islands like Ship Rock for some great pelagic action. Towards the end of October, many anglers start to stack away their offshore gear and arm up with inshore and estuary gear to correlate with the less calm conditions of summer.
The freshwater lagoons and creeks around the region are pretty much in full swing with a good deal of surface activity and a couple of tarpon caught on fly gear over September. October should prove even better. Wake baits are particularly good in the late afternoon as they wiggle across or just under the surface with a constant roll to imitate insects. The lures we’ve been using are the Ecogear SX40, Luckycraft Pointer 48 and Bevy Pop. Using poppers has been productive, but the fish are really more stuck into sub-surface lures worked along the tree lines.
The common winter season estuarine species are in amongst the mangroves and flats of all the creeks and inlets, particularly Corio Bay. Mangrove jack have been out and more active, falling well to prawn imitations along with bream and flathead. This past month, places like the Fitzroy River and Corio Bay have seen a large number of salmon move in, from king threadfin in the creeks to the blues and flat salmon out the front, on flats and beach gutters.
Whiting have been caught sitting closer to rocks and rubble than on open water areas. Many people have caught them around the coffee rock areas in Corio Bay, that’s the muddy rock that feels hard but is easy to break.
Flathead have been easy to take this year with almost all areas in our region now fishing well for them. Use anything from prawn imitations and soft vibes to the XRap 6 and Pointer 48. A very slow rolling action has been stirring these fish up lately, so have the rod tip down at the water and slowly wind the lure enough that it creates the designed movement. The occasional twitch thrown in never hurts.
The Nerimbera area of Fitzy has pulled some great threadfins recently, many are taken on live baits at night with lures being easily viable during the day. The areas to target these fish at the moment are the gravel sort of coffee rock in amongst the flats. One of the best live baits in the area at the moment is an adequate supply of poddy mullet – these can be targeted with either a cast net or fish trap.
A single 6/0 circle hook pinned through the shoulders of the bait will be easily capable of capturing any of the inquisitive salmon. The typical way of getting barramundi at the moment is to use a variety of soft plastics, most notably ZMan, Gulp and Zerek. Barramundi have been more prominent around the rocky ledges and drop offs. The rocks that emerge with low tide along Victoria parade, especially between the two city bridges, have produced cracker catches.
The inshore regions have been fishing great for the last month. Anglers have been getting great results throwing Halco Twistys and various other lures off the rocky headlands. Other anglers with the chance to take the boat out have been doing well on heavier Halco Twisties, Gulp Jigging Grubs and Molix jigs, all of which have been used in a similar technique.
As you drift a reef patch or other ground structure, drop the jig down, work it up like any other soft plastic and work the bottom half of the water column, unless you see fish on the sounder sitting above that. Once your jig is at the halfway mark in the water column, drop it back down again and keep working it. This technique will help cover a lot of ground, once you can narrow down where the fish are there are many other techniques to use.
If you have any fishing photos of the Rockhampton or Capricorn region, feel free to send them through with a brief description of where you caught the fish and how you caught it – --e-mail address hidden-- Fish light, get the bite.
Darryl stopped this mid 90cm golden with a Gomoku and Shimano Calcutta 300D.
This nice coral trout was pulled during a recent Keppel trip using a Daiwa Ryoga Bay Jigger and 15lb braid.Reads: 973