Last roll of the dice
  |  First Published: November 2009

With the days really warming up and the onset of the wet season looming, it’s time to make the most of summer now. December is likely to be last month offering consistent conditions with a bit of drenching rain to stir the pot. In the new year we will be fishing at the mercy of the wet season weather gods.

In our rivers and creeks it will be worth working further upstream flicking soft plastics and skittling small poppers across the surface. This technique will attract a variety of fish including trevally, tarpon, archerfish and even sooty grunter if you are fishing in one of the systems that has fresh water at the beginning. With a new supply of food being trickled down from the mountains these fish will be waiting in ambush.

Further downstream mangrove jack have been, and will continue to be, quite aggressive amongst any structure on the banks. They can be easily enticed with a juicy fresh dead bait whether it be a bait fish strip or pilchard, or even better a combination of both. A well-presented lure in the strike zone will also prompt a swipe and don't be surprised to come across your fair share of bream and estuary cod which inhabit similar territories.

Our river mouths and estuary flats can be an interesting landscape on the fishing front with queenfish, trevally, grunter and barracuda on patrol. Sourcing live sardines or garfish is the key to tempt their taste buds on an incoming tide.

Use a longer leader and allow the bait to flutter up and down the water column and you will see the bait get hammered sooner or later.

A similar tactic can also be employed along the beaches, which have improved considerably in recent times. A variety of hard fighting fish have been registered including blue salmon, big queenfish, barramundi (which must be released until 1 February 2010), white spot shovel-nose rays and a variety of sharks.

Offshore the outer reef fishing has slowly been getting a bit tougher in the warmer conditions. The middle parts of the day have often been stagnant and with the odd northerly breeze blowing anchoring has been a challenge.

Now is the time to fish deeper; and the deeper the better for coral trout, red emperor and nannygai. Fishing in more than 25m of water and working the turn of the tides will see results improve significantly.

Night sessions can be the most productive, but be very sure of the forecast as we can experience violent storms that brew up after a hot day.

Our gamefishing season has been moving along nicely with the marlin grounds producing a typical quota of quality big black marlin. There has been a lot fish registered around the 500-700lb mark this year with the occasional one well and truly surpassing this weight.

The times I've spent out on the grounds, our best results have occurred when we have left the heavy traffic areas like the top of Linden Bank and explored the road less travelled. It's only my thought, but when there are a lot of boats in the one vicinity I believe it doesn't offer the same stimulus for a marlin to come to the surface and investigate. Sometimes I think it's a bit of over commotion and not a novelty for the fish.

On the other hand if there is only one or a few boats in the area it seems to trigger more reaction and the marlin seem keener to investigate the abnormal commotion the boat is stirring on the surface. Also the fewer numbers of boats suggest a better strike rate.

The marlin bite has been best between 4-5pm and action is expected to last a further 2-3 weeks before many boats will head further south for other commitments.

Make the most of it this month as proceedings can be turned upside down when the wet arrives.

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