Fishing report – January 2020

January’s rich offerings 

Holiday season is upon us and there’s no better time than now to grab the family and get out and enjoy what’s on offer throughout Central Queensland.

Mud crabs are on everyone’s target list this month. Crabs did start off a bit slow, however we have been hearing reports of some very good quality crabs around. Rain is needed to get them really moving and provided we get some soon, the crabbing will fire up. Your best bet is crabbing the building tides toward the moon and pushing your pots as far to the back of the mangrove gutters as possible. Fresh bait is the top option when it comes to crabbing.

Awoonga is continuing to make headlines and for good reason, with plenty of quality fish being captured. People are showing up from all over the country to fish the mighty Lake Awoonga and reaping the rewards of Queensland’s most heavily stocked barramundi impoundment. It can be daunting when you first drive over the hill and see the size of the lake but with a bit of local knowledge, you will be onto the fish in no time.

In previous reports, I have said the build to the full moon is the best time to fish the lake, and time and time again it has been proven true. The afternoons into the night seem to be the pick of times to be on the water, as usually there is an afternoon breeze concentrating fish to the points where fish will consistently be on the move. Then, it’s all about putting your lure in the right spot and holding on. Awoonga barramundi would have to be one of the dirtiest fighting fish, as they try to bury you in any structure, weed and timber. 

Paddle-tail soft plastics around 5-6” have been doing the damage lately, rigged with standard worm hooks and the popular Owner Flashy Swimmer. If you are choosing to fish the schools in the timber, that’s when suspending jerkbaits come into their own, as you can rip them down and hold them in the face of the fish for much longer than any lure style. Last but not least, the Zerek 4.5 and 5.5” Live Mullet have been extremely popular with anglers recently. The local systems have really fired up over the past month with the big increase in water temperatures, and now is the time to target mangrove jack. They can be found throughout most of CQ, however they do seem to inhabit some creek systems a lot more than others. Jacks don’t often just hang out in the middle of nowhere; they like the safety of hiding behind structure out of the main flow so they can dart out to ambush baitfish and prawns. Early morning is a great time to target jacks on surface lures like fizzers, stickbaits and poppers. As the water warms, they tend to sit deeper so jerkbaits and soft plastics come into play.

The creeks have a host of other species to chase including grunter, golden snapper and flatties. For the kids, it’s a great time to head down to Wild Cattle Creek, pump some yabbies and chase elbow-slapping summer whiting. If that sounds up your ally, there are some good beach type areas easily accessible towards the high tide that are great for kids, like Boyne River mouth, Wild Cattle and Barney Point Beach. These spots are all wind affected so it pays to fish them in the mornings before the winds pick up too much.

Summer months are my favourite time to fish the reef, as the water temperature is up and the fish seem to be more aggressive. The problem with summer is the weather is more unpredictable, so if you are heading out be sure to keep and eye on the weather reports. I’m predicting that if the weather opportunities arise, coral trout and red-throat will be fired up, especially since recent closures and bad weather has kept anglers from getting out for a bit. I’m very excited to see what this month has on offer for offshore fishing, as it’s been a while since there have been more opportunities to get out than just small mid-week windows. 

It’s great to see that Lake Awoonga Boating & Leisure Hire are back up and running. They cover all your boating, kayak and BBQ boat needs along with lots of fun stuff for the kids.

For all the latest info on what’s biting and where, drop into the shop or give us a call. The team have their finger on the pulse to what is happening in the area, and are sure to point you in the right direction.

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