After a few months of very hot and cold fishing here in Lucinda, April should bring some stability. The last few months have been very heavily dictated by the weather. But April is usually not a bad month, with lighter winds and clear skies – we can always hope.
The last month has been all about covering plenty of ground trying to locate better schools of fish. The amount of small barra in the 40-60cm range is a great sign that there was enough wet season to freshen the place up a bit. Let’s see what should see rods bending this month.
When everything aligned with good tides and weather the barra sessions have been great. A friend of mine had a few sessions where over 20 barra were landed between three anglers – that is awesome fishing no matter where you are. If you are thinking of chasing barra using live baits, I would suggest trying to get a rising tide in the evening. Gather lots of varied size mullet and set out a nice spread of baits covering the area your fishing. It’s amazing how quick you can go through baits when there is a hot bite. I prefer to fish in front of small creeks that act as a highway for fish to move into with the push of the tide. The best thing about chasing barra is the threadfin salmon by-catch. Threadfin salmon fight hard, taking blistering runs ripping drag and they also taste amazing.
Mangrove jack have been consistent all year for those chasing them on lures or plastics. Timing is critical and you want to be fishing the right area as the tide starts to push in. Sharp corners in creeks are always good spots to try as they normally have undercut banks and snags. The best idea is to push against the current working the snags, this means you are working your lure into their strike zone. Changing up your offering to see what is getting more action is another good tip. Having a few rods rigged up in different ways can mean changing quickly and getting into the action.
I always get excited around this time of year, as it marks the beginning of what I like to call the queenie season. The sugar loader jetty at Lucinda is a renowned hotspot to chase queenfish. On the right day when these fish turn it on it is simply mind blowing. With side scan technology now making finding the schools much easier it’s as simple as staying near the school and finding out what they want to eat. I don’t think queenies are that fussy and will happily hunt down and eat all kinds of offerings. It’s more that when they are not active they just don’t want to play. I have always found the days when there’s a little wind to ruffle the water the best. Hands down the best thing about queenies is their willingness to hit surface lures, I always throw poppers when I first arrive at the spot as I won’t have spooked many fish. Working a Zman 5’ StreakZ with speed from the bottom to the surface is my favourite way to hook numbers of fish. Just be prepared to see several fish chasing your lure to the surface, its adrenalin pumping fishing.
Reef fishing has been consistent and there have been a few windows to get out if you were lucky enough to take them. Mackerel catches have been good and I’ve seen pictures of horse size cobia from anglers chasing reds in the deep. I love fishing the bluewater here off Lucinda; you just never know what is going to be eating that bait or lure.
It’s also about the time to start thinking about chasing marlin for those that want to put in the time. If it’s a good season there will plenty of small blacks out there terrorising bait schools. Towing skirted lures around areas with bait is a good way to start. And slow trolling rigged gar is the best method I’ve been told. I still remember the hours of searching I did before stumbling into a minefield of marlin. In three hours I had three boat side and had multiple strikes and lost fish. This was all solo and still goes down as the most hectic fishing day I have had.
There’s reports of lots of squid being caught out around the islands at night with plenty of boats bringing home quite a few kilos of calamari to go with their fish dinner. Catching squid while chasing golden snapper or nannygai is the perfect combination – if the fish don’t eat you get more squid. It is very rare that a live squid will survive long on the bottom of the ocean as it is prized bait. Pin them through the end of their body, send them down and then hang on!Reads: 60