It was great to catch up with some QFM readers at the Tinnie and Tackle Show and hear their thoughts and ideas. While my mangrove jack presentation was well-received, it was my talk about finding fish in the estuaries that generated the most interest, with many people coming up to ask more questions.
It seems that lots of people are interested in the basics of fishing, something that I often take for granted having been fishing for most of my life. In future articles I will try to explain fishing terms so that both new and old readers can understand and will also go into more detail about which gear I have chosen and why.
It’s officially bream time and the Burnett has already been producing some great fish. One of the many locals who visit my shop reported a bag of five bream that totalled 3.2kg. The fish came from around Kirby’s wall on live sprat and soft plastics. They anchored the boat, set the livies and then cast the plastics along the wall, hopping them up off the bottom back to the boat.
Matt Costar from Salty Tackle reports there are also plenty of prawns in the river and a few salmon and big jew have been caught on them. He also mentioned that there are some good Spanish mackerel around the heads and on some of the close inshore reefs; trolling live baits and big deep diving lures have been the go.
The tailor that have been stationed on the wreck of the north wall are still there and are worth a try using chrome lures. Anchor the boat a good cast away and throw your lure as close as you can before winding it back quickly with lots of pauses and jerks of the rod.
The Elliott becomes a flathead hang out in winter and catching them is really quite simple. As the tide drops, walk the sand bars casting shallow diving lures and soft plastics. The most productive technique is to walk the water’s edge casting your lure in front of you then slowly wind it back. If you’re using plastics, try a light jighead that gets to the bottom slowly, then hop it back with a few twitches of the rod tip. With a shallow diving lure, a gentle constant wind after casting will get the lure in the zone and hopefully attract a flathead.
Keep your eyes and ears open as well because trevally and queenfish will also be hunting in the Elliott. Look for baitfish being chased and listen for splashes that may indicate a predator on the hunt. If you see a bit of action, cast in the direction of the splashes and wind your lure a little faster, with lots of erratic twitches. This action imitates a fleeing baitfish and the pauses will give the fish a chance to catch it.
As the winter westerlies approach it will also be a good chance for the smaller craft to get to the artificial reef. A good friend has been getting plenty of fish using big soft plastics on the bottom around the main structure (a barge). He uses a heavy jighead (Nitro 1/2 ounce) with a 4” Berkley Jerk Shad and has caught small snapper, coral trout and sweetlip. He has also been busted up by the big cobia that sit on the bottom between the wrecks. He casts the big jighead up tide, lets it sink until it hits the bottom, then as the tide washes the lure along, he jigs the rod up a couple of times before letting the lure fall back to the bottom. The fish usually hit as the lure falls back to the bottom.Reads: 680