Pelagic Paradise in Karumba
  |  First Published: June 2007

By now the trade south easters have cooled things down enough to get the fish moving, which can be both good and bad. This is when we say goodbye to one of the Gulf’s favourite fish, the king salmon, until things warm up a bit. There is still the odd catch and but the majority are on the move.

As predicted, May was a cracker of a month. The beginning was a bit of a test for many anglers with large tides, northerly winds and the proverbial load of weed making fishing a bit tougher than you would expect.

Spanish mackerel have taken up residence around the sand island and fairway beacon, as have the spotties. Barra have been plentiful on the smaller tides, while grunter, blue salmon and skippies have been all over the flats too.

Gathering bait has been a breeze with huge schools of poddy mullet easily accessible to everyone. The mud crabs have slowed a bit, however better quality crabs are being taken up the creeks as they move back in to settle for the cold spell.


June is another favourite in the gulf. Lovely, crisp, clear days with cool to chilly nights make for comfortable fishing and camping for those who may venture further away.

Winters in the gulf are similar to those on the East Coast, as it is prime time to chase the pelagics. However, unlike the other side, the trade winds here work in our favour.

Once the onshore breeze builds up due to the land heating up, it counteracts the south easters and flattens the ocean out to a mill pond on some days. This makes the mackerel grounds easily accessible to most vessels.

Favourite methods for the big macks are trolling lures or gar with wog heads, floating pillies or mullet under a balloon or simply drifting and letting the bait move with the current. If you can successfully transport livebait to your macky spot, this is probably the best way to go.

Tuna will be mixed in too, feeding on the small baitfish that occupy this part of the gulf, so be sure to have a handful of small soft plastics ready. Poppers will also work for all pelagics and can be heaps of fun for something different. – FMG

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