Summer is just around the corner. How fast has this year gone? Already the fishing is heating up and so are the water temperatures. It’s still cool enough to chase a good mulloway and big flathead. I’ll be focusing most of my efforts on jacks and if you’re up for a challenge, so should you. Be warned, it’s slightly addictive.
A good place to start would be Boyds Bay Bridge and surrounding areas such as the Ivory Tavern Marina and the Anchorage Canals, if you’re blessed with access to a boat. If not, I would be perched land-based around those locations anyway.
Land-based fishing with lures is hard and there’s no doubt about that, but it’s not impossible. A good tip, particularly on rock walls, is to cast and swim your lure parallel to the wall itself. A good steady medium pace retrieve works awesome. In fact, my first mangrove jack on a lure was caught doing exactly that. You’ll pick up species like trevally, mulloway, lots of flathead, big bream and obviously jacks.
If lures aren’t your thing, try your luck with some live baits – mullet and herring work well. Fish at your feet, nine times out of ten, that’s where they’ll be. Casting as far out as possible is where a lot of people go wrong. These fish are extremely structure oriented. They’ll be sitting in 3-5m of water around rocks, timber and gutters, as opposed to 20m out of the bank in the middle of nowhere.
If you’re up for a challenge, tie on a ZMan 4” SwimmerZ or similar large paddle-tail soft plastic. Lock your drag up and hold on. Focus your time on man-made structure, pontoons, bridges and other structure. Cast parallel to the structure and slowly roll you plastic along. Slow steady retrieves are fine, but mix it up. Adding a few jerks and speedy twitches can turn a slow bite into a good one.
There’s no time for day dreaming though – anyone who’s hooked one of these fish can tell you that. It’ll be done and dusted before you have time to react and leave you thinking about it for days on end. A mate of mine has been targeting flatties and mulloway and has come up with the rewards. There’s still plenty of good colder climate fish to be caught.
While I haven’t been chasing them lately, I’ve been informed Terranora inlet has been on fire for those looking to catch flathead. The low tide and the start of the high has been the best bet, as the sandbanks are exposed and the baitfish are typically schooled up in the channel, giving predators a chance to grab a few. Match the bait profile with soft plastics around the 3” mark. Have a cast and you’ll be sure to come up trumps.
A lovely by-catch caught from the bridge.
GTs are a common by-catch when chasing jacks.
Lovely jacks like this can be a challenge, but lots of fun.
Nick Cheevers with a solid schoolie.
This jack was caught off a rockwall. Fish close to the walls and structure.
The fishing heats up in summer, but there are still cool water species on offer.
This trevally wolfed down a soft plastic. Try a medium pace retrieve.Reads: 310