JUMPINPIN looks good at the moment. On a recent trip we took some decent tailor out from Swan Bay on a flood tide just after daylight, and flathead are definitely still on the move. With the increased boating pressure which late spring usually brings, the best catches are usually made by those anglers willing to get on the water at the crack of dawn.
The first of the flood tide has been the key to success during the last month, and the tailor usually work in through the bar area to chop into white pillies anywhere from the sand bar out from Swan Bay to around the beacon at the northern tip of Crusoe Island. The tailor aren’t just being taken on baited gang rigs – I’ve been interested to see just how well they respond to lures. A recent trip gave us the opportunity to test out some new Javelin slugs. The 20g Lazer slug was a great winner with the fish and my friend John Jerrard scored impressively on tailor working a patch of white pillies. The 20g Lazers are just the right size for fish like tailor, trevally, the smaller tuna species and other finny friends which hoe into the small baitfish – and on light line or fine braid these lures cast a long way.
Flathead seem to be biting best on the first of the flood tide or right at the back end of the ebb. Any area of deeper water which joins a section of shallow bank is a likely hiding place for lizards when the tide has backed off, but remember to go softly about your business. These flathead have seen many lures and other offerings and can be wary. Casting from a drifting boat, or a boat with an electric motor to place it just right, is usually the best way to get an offering to a flathead without scaring the scales off him.
Although soft plastics seem to dominate the flathead scene these days there are still plenty of fish for those anglers willing to round up some live bait. Small herring, which are easy to catch with a bait net, are ideal for flathead at the 'Pin.
At the moment there are some very big whiting around, and at Jumpinpin the best fish are usually taken by anglers who anchor up rather than drift. 'Pin whiting tend to hold very deep by day and mooch into shallower water at night. I like to fish the last of the ebb tide in the deepest water I can find during daylight hours, and have caught plenty by using a long trace, enough weight to keep the bait down where it should be, and worms for bait. Yabbies can take whiting all right but these crustaceans never stay on long enough to be eaten by a whiting, thanks to all of the pickers which love them so much.
Banks with just enough water to cover them, adjacent to deep channels, usually attract foraging whiting at night, but be on the alert for bream as well. Some very big bream sneak into the shallows for a nightly snack and will really test out the standard 2kg breaking strain whiting line. Keep the landing net handy at night is my advice.
1) John Jerrard took this neat tailor on a Blue Pearl Lazer 20.Reads: 562