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Silly season in the great tropical North
  |  First Published: December 2016



Wow December already! I guess time really does fly when your having fun. This year has been full of action and excitement as far as the fishing goes, and there is still plenty more fun to be had for the remainder of 2016.

SOOTY GRUNTER

If you want to get into some of the action, you can’t go past a land-based sooty grunter session. Up here in the Tropical North there are endless amounts of pristine systems to target this brute of the freshwater. It pays to spend some time researching locations via Google Maps to find likely looking areas to enhance your results. It’s fun to find great looking places on your computer screen, then walk in on foot and reap the rewards.

Sooties love to smack a wide range of lures, especially surface presentations, and you can have a serious amount of fun in the late afternoons working the surface. The explosive surface strikes from these fish can be extraordinary. They are a powerful little critter that love to put up a great fight on the finesse gear.

When it comes to soft plastic surface fishing, the new ZMan 4’’ Turbo CrawZ are worth checking out. Rig them weedless on a TTs ChinlockZ, and you have a deadly presentation that will catch you plenty of fish.

MANGROVE JACK

With all this extra humidity around, the mangrove jack fishing is going off. The little red dogs become super aggressive during these warmer months, and are well worth the effort to target.

In the fresh water, these beautiful little juvenile specimens love to hit just about anything that lands in their domain. I love using little grub style soft plastics when targeting the pups. Flicking your lures right in the sweet spot will get the fish. They are waiting in the snags to attack anything that looks like a good bit of tucker, so accurate casting is the key, especially in the crystal clear freshwater streams. Spend some time positioning yourself in order to make that perfect cast.

Another thing to remember is to bring your underwater camera. These fish are absolutely stunning to look at, especially when caught in the sweet water streams.

JUNGLE PERCH

Another magical species up here in the Tropical North that is a favourite among anglers the jungle perch. Not only are these fish absolutely beautiful to look at, but they are so much fun to catch and hunt down. When I say hunt, I mean hunt! All of your stalking skills come into play when searching for these silver gems of the fresh. One wrong move and you can shut down the hole, and miss your opportunity to land that trophy fish.

Walking upstream is the way to go when targeting jungle perch. The flowing water will mask your noise and will also allow your artificial presentations to flow downsteam, looking more natural to the fish. Staying in the shadows as much as possible will benefit you as well.

Jungle perch hit hard and fast – they really are the ultimate freshwater sportfish in the Tropical North. The environments you will find yourself in when targeting this ripper of a fish are truly breathtaking.

I’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and a great New Year. I will see you in 2017. Fish on!

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