Dam good days on the reef
  |  First Published: November 2017

Warmer days are becoming more common and by November we should be averaging about 30°C days. As these days become more common, you can expect to see more and more people hitting the dam. Especially when the barra closure comes into play.

I have a feeling that Awoonga is going to start fishing well again this year. It’s been over two years now since it last went over the wall and good-size fish are starting to become more common. The hatchery is doing a brilliant job in regularly releasing fingerlings, so touch wood it doesn’t break the wall again any time soon and we can see it return to the fishery it used to be.

When fishing the dam there’s a lot that comes into play, and although many people don’t think it, tides are also a major player when the barra decide it’s time to feed.

Try targeting places like wind blown points and bays. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to get out of the wind. The wind will push the warmer water across to the side it’s blowing and with that comes the bait, and therefore the barra.

A good selection of lures is essential. Shallow divers, deep divers, surface lures and plastics are all worth having, and it pays to have a good selection of them all. Some of my favourites are Jackall Squirels, and Lethal Lures in 2m, 4m and 6m diving depths. Lucky Craft Pointers, Castaics Jerky Js, Westin Shad Teez and Yakamito BK125s.

The weather gods have been pretty nice of late and we’ve had quite a few good days in comparison to previous months. Those who have been lucky enough to get out have scored good numbers of red-throat, coral trout and red emperor when fishing deeper isolated reefs.

As the weather warms up, expect to see the lipper move up onto the shallows to spawn. This is the perfect time to throw a few stick baits and poppers and experience some of the most exciting fishing you will ever experience. Nothing beats seeing a pack of red-throat do battle for a stickbait or better, get a big trout rise from a hole and smash a popper.

I like working the reef edge as the tide drops to the bottom, and as it begins to build, work my way up to the reef flat itself. Smaller profile stickbaits work best for red-throat and trout like Westin Swims and Nomad Madscads. Although be prepared to lose a few if a hungry GT or Spanish swims past.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day filming with Al McGlashan for his show Fishing With Mates. Stickbaiting the shallows was the plan of attack for the day but a few mishaps along the way made for an interesting day. I won’t go into too much detail, you’ll just have to watch the show, but let’s just say there was plenty of laughs to be had and mostly at Al’s expense.

With the tides doing us not many favours and only a few fish coming on board, the decision was made to head deeper and drop some jigs on isolated bommies paid dividends in the end, as we ended up with a few nice trout and lipper to end the day and Al was lucky enough to get a double hook up on one jig.

I now have a new found respect for fishing show presenters. I had no idea how much time and effort went into making a 23-minute episode. Keep an eye on up coming Fishing With Mates for the Rocky and Gladstone episode.

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