Winter time in South East Queensland can be quite tough at times, with plenty of long days out on the water resulting in just a couple of fish or even less. Up here in on the western cape however, the fishing couldn’t be better.
A large amount of swell has been rolling in lately, dirtying up the beaches, making fly fishing for species such as blue bastards and permit more difficult.
Offshore the action on species such as tuna and queenfish has been spectacular, with an impressive show of surface action on poppers and stickbaits. This is mainly due to the fact that there have been lots of flying fish and garfish hanging around this area lately.
Down deep on the reef, vibes and micro-jigs have proven their worth on species like golden snapper, trevally, mackerel and even black jewfish.
On days when the reefies are being a little reluctant, dropping a bait down onto the reef can prove very effective, and a live mullet, whiting or prawn works well with most species. If targeting golden snapper or hard-fighting black-spot tuskies, a crab (live or dead) almost always results in a solid fish with no pesky pickers tearing up your bait, as opposed to when we use softer baits like prawn and squid.
If the wind really gets up and it’s not possible to head out into the ocean, the estuaries up here can produce many species like barra, mangrove jacks, big cod, giant trevally and even queenfish, which can be found many kilometres up stream in dirty waters.
There is also the freshwater options, where clear lily pad choked creeks can produce some impressive sessions on species like barra, sooty grunter, archer fish and saratoga. These can be caught on a light fly rod with surface flies such as Dahlbergs and gurglers, or on regular tackle using small minnows, poppers and vibes. When targeting these fish, try to target the deep holes and thick snaggy areas along weed beds. As with anywhere up north, be sure to watch out for crocs, as they can turn up anywhere.
My life in Hervey Bay has come to an end, and now me and my family have decided to move up here permanently. While the wife Denise and daughter Georgie are still settling in, my son Jackson and myself are enjoying the outdoor lifestyle as fullest as we can.
I really enjoy watching my son gob smacked by the excellent fishing up here, and one of the best moments has been watching him land some big, hard-fighting tuskies on a hand line, something he has never done before.
As always, the guiding has been going well and the clients are enjoying themselves, catching species such as coral trout, tuna and everyone’s dream fish, big barra.
Good luck to all anglers heading north this month.Reads: 1224