Gunning for Grunter
  |  First Published: December 2008

The weather in November throughout the gulf lived up to expectations. The consistent winds gusting up to 25knots at times made it difficult to fish out wide, so most fishing was done in the river.

The tides are now getting bigger as we move into summer and they will peak at around 4.75m. This movement and the 90% humidity will keep the black jew moving up and down the systems.

The grunter have turned up and they have been great fun to catch on light gear.

December will have very hot and humid conditions that make fishing uncomfortable without good shade on your boat, so at least take an umbrella if you have nothing else.

Black jew are now a viable option off the beach on the outgoing tide. Make sure you get your bait out into the deepwater, so fishing near the hut at the point will be the prime position. A 7/0 hook holding a big slab of mullet fillet or a set of ganged hooks holding a pillie will do the job, as long as you remember not to strike too soon. These fish tend to hold the bait in their mouth initially so be patient and wait for them to move before striking.

Travelling out wide very early to rubble patches can turn up some interesting catches. I managed to catch a 1.05m black jew on a Prawnstar, along with plenty of other species. It was quite rough when the wind turned up, so be safe.

It’s great to be able to chase grunter again out the front and the effort to get there is usually rewarded with some fine 60cm+ specimens. You know you are in the wrong place when you catch catfish, so move around to find them. The catfish king award went to Darren Godwin recently who nailed over 30 catfish in one session.

Make sure you check the weather charts if heading up this way as we look like we are in for an early wet season. This statement will undoubtedly stop it from happening but don’t say you weren’t warned.

We get an amazing array of bird life up here in the wet so don’t forget to checkout the monsoon centre at Normanton. You can also catch some nice king salmon off the bridge in Normanton at night with up to 30 caught in one session. This old bridge has had lights installed and cleaning tables fitted so make sure you do the right thing. The lighting was placed there through the Carpentaria Shire Council with Fred Pascoe being the driving force so please thank them when visiting. It is awesome to see councils helping their communities.

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