The spoils of a well-planned trip in search of snapper.

Strategies for winter species

It will soon be the start of May and that means cooler mornings and warm days. Strategies for winter species

The sea will begin to flatten out, the days will get shorter and the winter species will move into closer grounds. Strategies for winter species

The heavy rains we had earlier in the year made the water dirty, so this meant going a little further afield to find where fish were biting. Strategies for winter species

From the Gold Coast, we have some wonderful areas to fish in depths of about 80m.

Strategies for winter species
Kane Barclay with a good mud crab after the rain.

For many people, this is a little too far to go, but for those who manage to get out that far, it’s an insight into what we might be in for over the next month or two.

On a couple of recent trips on fine days, we’ve managed to get out and explore a few new areas.

Exploring new areas can sometimes seem a waste of time because you’re not sure whether you’re going to find something worthwhile, and in the back of your mind you have a few other marks in the GPS that you could fish – so why all the effort?

The way I see it is if you already have the mark, then so has someone else, and it has been fished already too.

Strategies for winter species
Jason Woodall connected to this nice squire 50 fathoms east of the Seaway.

How often do you turn up to a spot you want to fish and someone is already on it?

If someone is there, you will need to go to plan B.

Therefore, exploring new areas is so important – more often than not, that isolated rock or bump on the sounder is holding a trophy fish nearby and being aware of where the new grounds are is so valuable.

Having a selection of unfished marks in the GPS can sometimes mean the difference between coming home with fish and not.

I’ve been over marks before that I thought were nothing in particular, however a week or two later you go back and they’re loaded with fish.

Those are the days when we often get a good portion of our catch on bait and then switch things up – using jigs or plastics for a bit of fun to finish things off.

As the cooler months move in, we obviously won’t have to travel out that far but having an accumulation of marks on the 18, 24, 36 and 50-fathom reefs will give you many options to work with.

Strategies for winter species
A solid pearl perch found on an isolated bommie in only 30m of water off Seaworld.

Making your fishing trip successful is up to what you do and how you prepare – having a variety of quality bait and soft plastics as well as jigs and other lures is very important.

Make sure all of your equipment is in top condition, including rods, reels, line, leaders and terminal tackle.

Start looking at weather patterns at least a week out from the trip – to ensure that when you have planned to go, the weather is going to cooperate and the areas you plan to fish are going to be accessible in the size of boat you have.

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