It’s time to get ready for the Easter break again.
If you’re planning your annual trek and it’s been a while since you have used your rods and reels, now is the time to get them serviced. Nothing destroys gear faster than leaving it in storage (that’s what I tell my wife anyway) and you don’t want to arrive at your favourite camping destination and find your reel has seized.
It’s also a good idea to respool with a bit of new line as there’s nothing like the feeling of new line cast on your first day of holidays; your knots should also hold better with new line. If you’re a mad lure fisherman grab yourself some nice new treble hooks to suit your lures.
The Baffle has finally had a bit of fresh run into it, but we could do with plenty more. There were plenty of big prawns being taken in the deeper holes around the middle reaches of the river and with the fresh they should move closer to the mouth.
Plenty of flathead have been about and I’ve been getting into with 4” Berkley Gulp Minnows and Prawnstars. Driving Minn-Kotas around the weedbeds and casting to the edges has also been working well. Around the mouth you can expect to get into a few queenfish and trevally, try surface lures around the schools of baitfish and also work the black bank down the mouth on the top of the tide.
Jacks will be a bit more tide dependant as the water temp starts to cool so fishing the midday low with the warmer water left on the bank side snags will be your best chance to pull a good jack on a lure this month. Bream will start to hit your bigger lures, jacks will be a bit more lethargic, and estuary cod should also get in on the act.
There will be a bit more boat traffic around over the break so an early morning session should guarantee you a shot at the better spots before most anglers hit the water.
The good old Burnett will be a hive of activity over the break and the river rarely disappoints unless the weather is really bad.
The mouth will be the hot spot with big queenfish and trevally hunting around the north wall hitting the large schools of bait that congregate there. The easiest way for the beginner lure angler to get into those pelagics is to use steel slugs – get yourself a few Halco slices in various sizes, cast them into the bait schools and let them sink for 3 seconds before winding them back in flat out. On your next cast let the lure sink for 5 seconds and then 10 seconds – do this until you find the fish or they find you. Or grab some deep diving minnows and have a troll around the wall; this works well when there is a bit of breeze. When it’s a bit rough for casting I troll Tilsan Barra lures through there and have caught plenty of fish. My favourite colour is the pink herring.
If the weather is good and you have all the right safety equipment then head north up around Ryans Patch, there should be plenty of tuna and a few mackerel around. If you want some GPS marks for the area contact Salty’s Tackle Shop as they have a book full of them.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting QFM’s Marc Ainsworth and Steve Booth on a three day fishing trip and when I say pleasure I really do mean it. Most of you don’t know Steve but he edits QFM and Marc edits VFM. Marc and Steve love fishing and they love a good feed of fish so they’re in the right jobs.
Steve mentioned to me that he is always trying to find ways to make QFM a better read and that he was really happy with the response to the reader survey.
There were a couple of funny moments of the trip that I would like to share with you. We fished for three days and caught and released mangrove jack, trevally, queenfish and around ten 55-65cm flathead which is the guys favourite tucker. We were planning on keeping a few of the fish from the final day but after letting all these great lizards go we couldn’t land a flathead on Sunday much to the guys dismay.
Another funny moment was when we decided to give a night-time livebait session a go. We only had to push the boat 10ft from the boat ramp before we found some baitfish. Steve, being a born and bred Victorian (we will have to forgive him for that), didn’t grow up casting a net so when he set himself up on the front deck of the Polycraft and launched the cast net producing a beautiful round spread that started to sink over the baitfish I was impressed. I was confused when he started emptying his pockets and stripping off until I saw the rope that wasn’t tied to his wrist sinking with the net. We did manage to get the net back without Steve getting wet and had a great time losing perfect mangrove jack size livebaits to under-sized bream – at least it was fun!Reads: 911