August is not my favourite month of the year but it can produce some good fishing if the weather is favourable. The southwesterlies have been pretty consistent this year and so far the inshore fishing has been pretty good. There have been good schools of tailor and mackerel cruising up the coast and this should continue through August.
The water temperature will get down to its lowest this month and this should really get the bigger snapper moving. This is a good month to try those spots that haven’t produced yet this year, as the snapper will turn up anywhere.
In the creeks the clear cold water will make sneaking up on wary fish harder, but light tackle and long leaders will help to get more bites.
The upper reaches of the Burnett should hold hordes of chopper tailor and small trevally. These fish are easy to spot in the early morning harassing the baitfish that school around the hot water outlet in town. Target these little speedsters with a light spin outfit rigged with a small curly tail plastic. Vary your retrieves from a slow roll to flat out, as each species will sometimes respond better to different retrieves.
Pelagics like tuna, tailor and mackerel have been my main target lately and I have been catching plenty of all of them. I have been mainly fishing out the front, no further than 12-miles out and sometimes within casting distance from the shore.
My technique, which is pretty much the same for all pelagic species, is to imitate a fleeing baitfish. This can be achieved by casting a small metal slice into or around the diving birds and then just wind it back as fast as possible. My catch rate has improved by varying the size of the slices. Letting the slice sink to the bottom also helps catch bigger fish. The better class of fish are usually patrolling the bottom, just picking up the scraps the smaller fish are leaving.
A small slice, like a 20g Halco Twisty, is also a good lure to throw into a bait school that is being munched by an unknown larger fish. If you see tuna punching through the surface the slice can usually be upsized to 30g, or if the baitfish are really big, even 40g. The extra weight in the lure aids longer casts and quicker sinking.
In order to cast long distance with small slugs a well-balanced outfit is also a must.
I tried a new product recently that would greatly aid pelagic fishing: the new Code Red braid from Berkley. A few months ago I spooled one of my spin outfits with Code Red and it dramatically improved the distance I can cast. Now nearly every outfit I own now has Code Red on it.Reads: 1000