Find Bait, Find Barra
  |  First Published: June 2008

In June the water and air is cooler, and it can sometimes be harder to find fish in the impoundments and the saltwater. However, there are many techniques that will still work well to catch quality fish throughout the month.

Spanish mackerel

Many anglers in the Whitsundays have recorded quality captures of Spanish mackerel in large sizes. They are awesome fish and can be caught trolling large dead baits rigged to swim or large hardbody lures, like the Shimano Mackerel Mauler.

Ribbonfish of large sizes can be used to troll either on the surface or with a downrigger down deep. Try trolling around deep rocky headlands, rocky points, deep reef edges and anywhere that you see holding heaps of bait on the sounder.

The outer islands, where the water is very deep, are probably the best places for this technique. Any isolated rocks with lots of current pushing past are also great places to troll.

Impoundment barra

Impoundment barramundi can sometimes seem tougher to catch in the cooler months, but when you do find them you can have great sessions.

Warmer water in the shallows can hold fish, especially when you find a 2-3C difference from the deep main basin surface temperatures. However, they can be caught in large numbers around the coldest parts of the lake also, so obviously they chose locations for other reasons as well, like food.

We have found in the cooler months, as long as you are fishing around lots of bait, you can catch fish. So if you find heaps of bait, you can guarantee the barramundi will be close by.

Coral Trout on fly

If you live or spend time around the Whitsundays, you have got to have a fly rod! There is a mind-blowing amount of species that can be caught on fly around the shallow sandy flats, rocky edges, bommies and reef off the islands.

Coral trout and other reef holding fish, like sweetlip and emperor, are great targets with flyfishing techniques in the salt.

One effective flyfishing technique is berleying while anchoring. This technique is great on deep reef edges around points and headlands. It usually works very well in low light, afternoons and mornings when the sun is just coming up, but can work throughout the day as well.

Pilchards, tuna and any oily fish cut up into small pieces works well as berley. Just throw in a piece every now and then to attract fish from the reef or use a chum device, where you mash up the berley and it flows out as a scent. Make long casts in the berley trail with the fly and retrieve it through the trail. Anything can show up depending on how fishy the edge is, but if you’ve got a good berley trail it should attract fish to within fly casting distance of your boat.

This technique works great around dark shady ledges or bommies as the large coral trout, which are sitting under them, can become excited by the scent. When you do hook them, pull as hard as you can as they can easily get under the reef and cut your line.

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