Tarpon are a great cool weather sport fish. If you can find good numbers, it’s a good time to get the kids into lure fishing. It can be a fish a cast at times.

May is fishing magic month

Is it just me or does time seem to be flying by?

We were only recently celebrating bringing in the new year and, in the blink of an eye, it’s May already.

A few more casts and I’m sure the jolly old fat man will be burning that sleigh around the corner.

It’s a timely reminder that, with the year getting away from us quickly, we all need to utilise our time on the water wisely.

How do we utilise that time?

The answer is quite simple… by having fun and being happy.

What makes an angler happy and enjoying being out on the water will vary from one person to the next, but if we aren’t enjoying our time on the water, why are we even doing it?

It could be casting poppers for whiting on the flats, live baiting for barramundi or even dragging some fish heads across the sand looking for beachworms.

If that’s what you’re into and you enjoy it, then that’s all that matters.

School mackerel will start to move into the bay with the cooler conditions and stable weather periods.


The going does get tough at times, believe me.

Like when you’re taking the kids for a fish in the boat and you are doing everything in your power to get smiles on their faces.

If what you’re doing isn’t making anyone happy or they’re not enjoying the trip, then it’s time to change.

Pull that anchor up and go for a boat ride.

This may sound a little strange, however there are a few things you can do to get the morale back in the boat when the chips are down.

The first thing is to simply go boating, and this is especially important during summer.

When it’s 100 percent humidity and the fish aren’t biting, nothing puts a spring back in the step like having a nice breeze on your face.

It can be a soul-cleansing moment.

Bream will start to fire up, Mick Slade released a solid Corio Bay bream.


Pulling up to a new spot that you haven’t fished that day will have all the anglers keen to find out what might happen.

If you can combine a boat ride with food, it’s worth double points.

Getting food in your belly helps to reset your stress meter, I reckon.

Watch a boat where anglers are having an ordinary day and they grab something out of the Esky such as crackers, dip and a soft drink.

I can assure you, by the time you’ve finished eating, everyone will be chatting again.

At the end of the day, you want to look back and say to yourself, “I really enjoyed today.”

Remember, it’s not all about catching fish – the fish are a bonus.

Now, let’s have a look at what’s been happening locally.

The best part about cooler water temperatures is that flathead start to fire up. There’s nothing like light gear sportfishing for this species.


With the conditions cooling, it’s no surprise that the changeover has started to occur.

The summer species are starting to slow a little and the winter species are starting to wake up.

While the Fitzroy River is recovering from minor flooding, the top half of the river is still fishing tough.

Though on neap tides, the bottom half – from the cut through to the mouth – has been fishing fairly well for barra and king threadfin salmon.

And with the cooler weather, massive schools of blue salmon have been spotted already, both on electronics and feeding towards the top of the water column.

A few of the bait specialists highly recommend live yabbies when targeting blueys.

If you don’t have a yabby pump, securing live prawns can be just as effective.

If you’re out and about chasing blue salmon, there may be a couple of other species you run into too.

The Humminbird Apex displayed blue salmon schools in their hundreds. The cooler conditions get them grouped to make easy targets.


When looking at them on side imaging, sometimes tarpon can be mistaken for blue salmon.

Don’t ever get disappointed if this happens as tarpon are absolute nutters once hooked.

If you’ve got the kids onboard, this is exactly what you want.

Using plastics such as small grub tails would be my pick for targeting tarpon.

Make sure you use a small gauge very sharp jig head because they have very bony mouths.

Jig heads such as small TT and Harpax inshore are my pick.

Bream are another species that should start to fire up this month.

The best place to start looking for bream are around rock bars and also mangrove roots, once the tide starts to drop.

Small grub tails, crab imitations and vibration lures are a good start.

The lighter you can keep your setups, the more bites you will get.

Hopefully, with the water temperature dropping, we’ll start to get a few better weather periods.

Live prawns are highly effective when the water temperature starts to cool off.


Once the bay cleans up and the herring schools start to move through, school mackerel should become very thick.

If you can find a dense hungry school of macks, the kids will have a ball.

Floating pilchard and garfish on ganged hooks is an easy technique.

Make sure you leave the wire off though.

You do run the risk of a few snip offs but you’ll get a lot more bites.

I’ve actually proven this.

We had macks swimming around the boat that weren’t touching a bait connected to wire.

We took the wire off and they ate it straight away.

Always observing and always learning.

Well, that’s it from me this month.

Stay safe on the water and be sure to get the kids out every chance you get.

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