With the temperature warming up, I’ve noticed a definite increase in enquiries to go fishing this month.
Let’s hope the weather plays the game and we can all get out on the water a few times over the coming month.
Of course, as the water temperature heats up and overall flathead numbers decrease slightly, bigger flathead quantities surge.
So, for the coming weeks, they’re going to be a target species on my charters.
With the larger-sized fish, we may throw bigger plastics and swim baits at them to see if we can entice a few on the ends of customers’ lines.
The other species we’ll be targeting is summer squire.
They should start to arrive at the same time as this issue comes out.
We’ll be chasing this species around the bay islands on rubble ground using a few techniques.
One will be soft plastics, the second will be trolling hard-bodies and the third, we’ll be using fresh bait.
When targeting squire in this way, we’re not using very heavy tackle.
If using plastics or trolling, we’re usually in a depth of somewhere between 4-8m and keeping the line class down to 15lb braid with a 20lb leader on a 6-12lb graphite rod.
Remember if you’re fishing like this, you’ll probably be using a 3/8-1/4oz jig head, depending on how much current you’re fishing in.
Also, have a look at the colour of the water you’re fishing in – it has a tendency to dirty up in summer.
So, if the water isn’t looking too clear, the general consensus is to go with darker colours.
Also, as the water heats up, don’t muck about with the fish too much.
Try to get them in the boat reasonably quickly because the warmer conditions mean the taxman won’t be far away.
If you’re going to target squire on bait, don’t be afraid to deploy something decent sized – such as a large banana prawn, squid or pillie about 10-15cm long.
My preferred bait is a fresh strip of mullet fillet – 10-15cm long and 2cm wide.
Attach the longer bait to a two or three gang 3/0 or 4/0 hook, with not too much weight on the sinker – you don’t want the bait plummeting to the bottom too quickly.
To get the bait down slowly to where the fish are sitting close to the bottom, use a running sinker straight to the top of the hook or have your sinker, a swivel, 500-600mm of trace and then your hook.
I use both and berley up for these fish.
If I’m bait fishing and a small shark turns up, so be it – there’s always a little fun on light gear.
Shark will be another species we’ll target during summer – plenty of clients enjoy a feed of flake.
While they don’t usually arrive until December or January, we may see spotted mackerel and pelagics north of Peel Island start firing up if the water temperature increases quickly.
And, if they do turn up in numbers, we’ll definitely be chasing them, albeit a little earlier.
Let’s see how things pan out.
One thing I can confirm is that if everything continues to heat up rapidly – as it currently is – we’ll be doing a lot more bait fishing this month.
After a crazy few weeks, it’s only a short article this month.
Though before signing off, I have to say a big thank you to Ben Collins, the publisher of this magazine.
We fished the Flathead Classic together with George Mole.
While we had a few little problems and weren’t able to get on the water to do any pre-fishing, we didn’t do too badly, and we had a good time regardless.
After a couple of days at home, we were off again, with Ben and me fishing the Fitzroy River Barra Bash in Rockhampton.
It was a very tough competition.
The fish did not want to play the game – and not only for us but for a lot of teams – some crews not even boating one fish over the three-day event, and not through lack of trying.
We were fortunate – we managed to catch a couple of fish, learnt heaps, had a good time and met some great people.
The Fitzroy River Barra Bash is a great competition – if you’re thinking about doing it, I can thoroughly recommend it.
The crew run an awesome comp and we had an amazing time.
Now we’re home and back into work, but thank you Benny for the past few weeks and putting in a huge effort to get everything organised.
As we all know, with our jobs and lives we are time poor, so if you can learn more to optimise your time on the water, why not – remember knowledge is key.
Until next month, stay safe on the water and, if you’re interested in our fishing tuition or want to do a fishing charter, give me a call on 0432 386 307, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Facebook page Seano’s Inshore Fishing Charters and Tuition.