HOW quickly is time flying by… before we know it the big bearded burbler will be crawling down our chimineas and the Christmas decorations will be going up! Winter is upon us and with the changing season you should also adjust your piscatorial radar.
Though, you’ll get the back end of the summer species until we see the first big winter change. Species such as fingermark and mangrove jack are viable targets for June. The better days will be those with nice flat warm stable conditions.
Last month, we saw an influx of blue threadfin and steelback salmon throughout the estuaries. You know the season’s changing when blues become a pest, taking lures for barramundi and king threadfin, but for those looking for a fresh feed it shouldn’t be overly difficult to put a few blues on ice. It’s still breeding season for mega threadies, so the extra oversized king threadfin you may see gracing social media pages will continue through to September. Changing cooler weather
With the cooler water temperature, they may be a pain in the butt to get a bite out of. Live prawns are my go-to, if they have proper lockjaw. If you’re not into bait fishing and want to get a threadie on lure, here’s a piece of simple advice. Once you have located a good school of threadies, try and spot lock out to the side of them.
By doing this you’ll be able to keep your side imaging transducer continually reading them. This lets you know the target fish are still in the zone. If they move, try turning the boat to find their location again. Once they are stationary, you can start to try different retrieves and lure selection.Changing cooler weather
My advice is… if you can get a dozen good casts with the same lure through the school and have no luck, then it’s time to change. If you do get a hit, try using the same model of lure but a different colour – varying contrast is very important. If the big threadies are being a pain to get a bite out of, it’s time to downsize everything.
On our last trip we downsized leader, line and jig head weight to get a bite. I prefer not to catch big threadies on light gear but if they’re not playing the game then you’ve got to try everything in your power to get the nibs. We should start to see the humble flathead start to fire up this month. I’m looking forward to a light gear trip chasing the flat fish.Changing cooler weather
They can be a challenge on light gear because you run the risk of being rasped off by their sharp teeth. The anglers in the know who fish Corio Bay can have days where they bag anything from 10-30 flatties in a day, and many of the fish are around the 50cm size, with 60cm also common models. I’ve heard of a few fishos getting 70-80cm models but haven’t seen these in the flesh as yet.
Another great winter option are tiger squid. This is the time of year when the big tigers come out to play. The large breeders come in plague proportions at times and take refuge on the shallow reefs around the Keppel Bay islands. If I was looking for my perfect area to target tiger squid, I would be looking for areas of broken ground with a lot of sand in between.Changing cooler weather
If you can find a bit of weed on top of these areas, I’m sure a few good tigers won’t be too far away. Casting and jigging Yamashita Live Warm Jacket jigs has been my go-to technique for years. I thought the ‘warm jacket’ was a load of rubbish when I first did my research – something about the cloth turning light to warm and mimicking a baitfish. It turns out those clever clogs at Yamashita were spot on and now those jigs are my absolute favourites.
Don’t pack away the crab pots just yet either. Mud crabs will still be on the move and this is one of the best months of the year to catch a full muddy. The best crabbing we’ve done has been in the lead up to a full moon in June. If you’ve got a few friends who come back with reef fish, go and grab the fresh frames and give the pots a soak.Changing cooler weather
You’ll be surprised how much difference fresh bait makes to muddies. Well, that’s it from me this month. I’m off to dust cobwebs off the squid jigs.
Catch you next month.