AT LAST – some decent rain for the big estuary! The minor floods that have gone through the Jumpinpin area have been great for the fishing. There have been catches of big bream, horse tailor around the bar – both in the surf at South Stradbroke and on the inside of the main wave action banks – and even fair numbers of big flathead. Folk chasing mud crabs have been getting their share of these tasty fellows as well.
As well as all this, the 'Pin this month could yield some early running luderick and also the great predators – the jewfish. Following the heavy rains of late February some really good quality jew were taken in the discoloured water. If another flood comes down from the rivers, even a small flood, the fishing for these big line burners should be just as good during autumn. As always, live bait is the way to go. A smart way is to use a livey hooked up to as little lead as is possible and with some 50lb braid as the main line. Sock it to 'em!
For those of us who can’t find the time to fish for the more exotic fish in our estuary, there’s nothing wrong with securing a good feed of whiting. While worms are the best bait for these fish, a lot of 'Pin whiting have been taken on yabbies lately. There’s also a chance that a good-sized bream will latch onto the offering.
I like to use smaller yabbies for whiting because I can sneak them onto a no. 4 hook easier without too much hanging over for a fish to rip off the hook. There is usually a fair amount of current at Jumpinpin so make sure you use enough lead to get the bait down in the deeper channels, and employ a metre-long trace to ensure that the bait can move a bit in the current.
Another good method is to park the boat on a bank and target the smaller fish than we get in the deep channels. These fish are often found in fair numbers along the edges of the sand banks, and an ideal spot to try is the bank parallel to Kalinga Bank, just a little down from the remains of Squire Island. It fished well for us recently on a run-in tide of early morning, and my nephew Steve scored some good fish on his ultra-light and very fine-tipped rod mated to 3kg line. (Actually, the lad out-fished me by around three fish to my one, but that's another story. Fishing journos don't like to admit to such things.)
In all, the ‘Pin shows a lot of promise this year. I'd like to see another really good flood before late May to kick things along, but either way the ‘Pin a great place for a morning on the water.
1) Steve Kampe holds up a whiting from a Jumpinpin sand bank.Reads: 4850