It’s chilling down now and the snapper and bream should start to turn it on. This month should see good numbers of pan-size juvenile snapper on all the reef edges. An early start will see the best results, but make sure you’re rugged up. There have been a few grassy sweetlip, goldspot cod, Maori cod, tuskies and even a few nannygai thrown in the mix.
Fishing lightly-weighted pillies or hardiheads should see some great results, or try some small soft plastics on 1/4oz jigheads. There have also been quite a few juvenile snapper taken on trolled lures. Try using lures that dive between 5-10ft off the bottom. If you’re trolling an edge that’s 25ft deep, run lures that dive to 15-20ft. This will also keep you from getting a lot of snags.
Flathead numbers should really improve this month up in the shallows from the Amity Banks right through the Bay Islands, the mouth of the Logan River and the Jumpinpin area. There will be a lot of school-size fish and these guys love a trolled hardbody or well-presented plastic.
Working depths between 3-6ft and targeting drop-offs or weed edges will see the best results. Try to concentrate on areas holding lots of bait and keep your troll speed to a slow walking pace, just enough to get that lure swimming.
When it comes to plastic selection, try using some smaller sized lures to match the size of the bait on the banks. Some good places to try are the sand banks straight north of the Victoria Point Boat Ramp, the drains along the Amity Banks and around the eastern side of Garden Island and the bottom end of Long Island.
Winter whiting are in plague proportions at the moment. Drifting across any of the weedy sandbanks until you catch a couple of fish and then dropping anchor is the best way to find them. They are great fun for the whole family to catch and tasty little critters. Try the banks in the middle reaches of the Rous, Navel banks, Pelican or Banana banks.
We should start to see some larger mulloway pushing into the estuaries. The ‘Pin bar or Seaway will be the best spots to have a crack for a big mulloway. Live baits will have the best results with live tailor, yellowtail, pike or mullet being their preferred baits. Just remember to stick to legal size limits. These XOS fish can also be targeted with artificial lures. Big baits are the key – 6-10” are good. Large shallow diving hardbodies cast into mullet schools can also get you in the game.
Tailor should start to show up through the bay this month. A fun way to target these fish in the bay is to use medium sized poppers and fish the shallow rocky areas. Fishing surface can quite often produce the better quality fish as well. Trolling shallow diving hardbodies will also account for some good numbers. Try Cleveland Point, the southwest rocks at Peel Island, and Bird and Goat islands.
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