The author and a nice fingermark with tag, ready for release.

Fingermark fever on Cap Coast

This month I was going to do a report on the Frenchville Barra Bash held back in October, but I’m still waiting on a few photos, so will hopefully get it together for next month.

Instead, I’ll concentrate on golden snapper, or as most of us know them, fingermark. Pleasantly, I’m pleased to report that lately there has been a huge explosion in fingermark numbers.

I had a feeling this was going to be the case because we were seeing good numbers and sizes in winter.

I believe the past few years of minor flooding has had a lot to do with it.

Going back through my diary, the last time this happened was after all the flooding we had in the 2008 to 2011 period.

A few quality grunter were still kicking around the estuaries eating prawn imitations meant for fingermark.


When doing barramundi competition pre-fishing, I was finding fingermark in good numbers and also accidentally catching them when targeting barra, which was a good sign.

Recently, I did a specialised trip targeting creek fingermark and was surprised to see just how many were in each system and how easy they were to locate.

The best starting locations are rock bars.

For the average fisho, a rock bar is easy to find on Google Earth or by exploring estuary systems.

The key is to locate specific places in a given area where these fish will congregate.

With each rock bar, there are generally prominent rocks or rock piles that stick up a bit more than the rest.

These are great starting marks.

The author scored a decent creek fingermark on a Molix RT Shad.


If I’m scanning these types of areas, then this is what I’ll be casting at.

If you’ve got a good quality side and down imaging sounder, it will make the process a heck of a lot easier.

If you can identify fish sitting around the rocks, that’s gold.

Even if the rock has a good showing of bait, it’s still worth a cast.

Rock bars are the best place to start but, if you’re super keen and addicted to the hunt as I am, go and find structure in places that other people wouldn’t spend time looking at.


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