The early bird gets the worm
  |  First Published: December 2016

January holidays are great fun, but with crowds, heat and family holiday commitments it can be frustrating for the obsessed angler.

The key is to get in early, fish hard, then get back out. This time of year I am out of bed at 3am regularly to make sure I am on the water as the sun is rising. I have a few mates that struggle with early rising, but once on the water it’s all worth it. Besides, there is nothing better than an afternoon nap in the holidays.

In the early part of January, the tides are coming off the big Christmas tides, so if you’re into crabbing, get those pots out. If you like to fish the bottom of the tide, you will need to be early.

As the tides pick up for the full moon on 12 January, the high tide is early in the morning, so I will probably hit the freshwater for bass at Lake Gregory or barra out at Monduran Dam. Monduran Dam has been fishing very well of late, so if you’re keen for a SEQ barra, this lead up to the full moon will be worth the effort. Just check in with Rob at the park to find out what’s happening before you head out on the water.

If the weather is good enough to get out the front early on, you might find a few mackerel and tuna working around the mouth of the Burnett River. As the tides get bigger, the bait move around and they like coming in close to shore, always closely followed by schools of predators. An early morning troll around the lead markers should be produce some action, and while you’re out there, always keep an eye out for diving birds, as they will let you know where the action is.

As the tides drop away again off the full moon, I would book in as many family outings as possible, as the fishing tends to drop off straight after the moon. The tides don’t really start to build again until the 21 January, and this is when I will start to hit the salt again.

The week leading up to the new moon has morning high tides and lunch time lows, which can be hard to fish in during the heat of January. The late afternoon incoming tide will be well worth a fish, and if you can hang in until a little after dark, a bit of live baiting for some big jacks should be on the cards.

The summer whiting also love to move around on those late afternoon incoming tides, so grab some fresh bait and drift the sand bars.

January can be great for fishing, but it’s all about picking your window and your target species. Get up early if you need to, or even plan an evening on the river. Remember to keep an eye on the local radar, as storms in January can be a bit scary on the water.

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