I’m going to start by saying this is my favourite time of the year for fishing out of Lucinda. The transition out of winter can take a while, especially if those persistent southerlies keep blowing. Water temperatures are rising and some days you can feel the humidity start to soar… it feels fishy.
We have also been having lots of small storms build up in the afternoon, which really can get the fish fired up. Another reason why this is such a good time to be fishing is the fact that the species list is very open. It is still possible to have fun on the pelagic type fish, but also have a hot session on barra and jacks in the channel.
So with the barra season closure starting to loom, everyone wants to get into those iconic chrome barra. The good news is they should be biting well, and all kinds of techniques will work. Live baiting is always a safe option, as if you get yourself some good baits and pick a good spot, you will catch barra. If you are fishing with multiple rods, it’s always a good idea to use different baits. Barra can be picky sometimes, and if they are eating a certain kind of fish or prawn, they can sometimes ignore everything else. Using a live mullet on one rod and a live herring on another for example hedges your bet. If you find that a certain bait is getting more attention, it’s easy to change over.
Chasing barra and jacks on artificial offerings is my preferred method. Finding a good run, using the electric motor to sneak up and lobbing plastics and hardbodied lures into structure is so much fun. This form of fishing does take some practice, and it isn’t fun constantly unhooking lures from trees and snags from wayward casts. As a rule, when fishing snags, the closer you can get your offering to the structure, the more chance you have of provoking a response. This means getting snagged and losing gear, which is part of the game.
I talk about them every article, but if you haven’t checked out the TT Snakelockz jigheads, then you are missing out. Rigged correctly, they are very snag resistant and allow you to basically let your plastic sink and swim through horrible terrain, without hanging up. They are also excellent for beginner snag fishing, the kids can throw them into trees with less worries.
Jacks should be really starting to fire up as NQ warms up. Like barra, they respond well to baits and lures. But although you do find them on flats and drains, great numbers of jacks normally hang in and around structure. I fish corners of creeks the majority of the time, as corners have undercut banks with a channel and as the main current hits this bank hardest it will have fallen structure.
Jacks love some water movement. They just lie in wait deep in the structure and as soon as something is close enough… bang.
I’ll share with you an old method I got shown years ago from some lifetime locals of Lucinda that was and still is a very effective technique. They would anchor about 10m off the snags and allow there bait to float naturally into the strike zone. Half pillies were dynamite, and they would add small split shot sinkers if needing to sink it quicker. These were handline only fishos, and I always noticed when chasing jacks how they would wrap the line several times around there hand and would hit them hard on the strike to turn their heads… the power and speed of jacks is beyond any other fish for their size.
Thanks to persistent winds, the last few months have been horrible for getting out into the bluewater. There have been small windows, but these would only last a day or two at max. On the few days it was flatter, everyone was on it and there wasn’t a park at the ramp.
Results have been good from the reef for most, and there were plenty of reports of big nannygai and emperor biting, especially in the early morning on sunrise. Spanish mackerel have been in good numbers again, and it normally wasn’t difficult to get that drag screaming and add a tasty fish into the esky. Spanish mackerel numbers will be decreasing now, but they will still be about, just find the bait and you’ll find the mackerel.
The jetty has been providing heaps of fun and games over the last few months and this will continue. Morning and evening are always the best times to get out there. Queenies in big schools have been the highlight, along with longtail tuna coming right in and chasing bait through the jetty.
Hooking a solid longtail close to the jetty structure is big trouble, as those super quick long runs can see you with 100m of braid being ruined when it comes in contact with the pylons.
Golden snapper (fingermark) captures have also been consistent, especially for those fishing with live squid at night. The first few hours of the incoming tide is the best time for golden snapper to bite in my opinion. If you can’t get live or fresh squid, then using live or fresh sardines is second best.Reads: 925