Barred Grunter are a well and truly underrated fish. As far as fighting, table quality and target-ability on lures. The past couple of weeks we have started to see some great captures from the local area, so we thought we would give you a run down on ho to go about targeting this spectacular species.
Gunter are a very versatile species that can be found feeding in water depths anywhere from a foot up in the mangroves to 30 plus meters of water on an inshore wreck. Typically when you find a Grunter their not alone, often travelling in schools of up to one hundred fish. Choosing the right lure can be a hard choice but most times they will go a Prawn imitation, hopped slowly along the bottom and if that doesn’t work, time to try a vibe, either soft, hard or metal. Small vibes like the Samaki Vibelicious 70mm and the Jackson quiet beats make for a nice subtle Herring profile. However, Grunter can be caught on a huge variety of lures.
When searching for Grunter in the estuaries, it pays to have a quality sounder. As when they are schooled up they can be quite easily identified. On the neap tides Grunter can be found hiding in the deeper holes around gravel, rock and even sometimes mud. Large tides around the full moon and new moons will have Grunter pushing right up into the shallows feeding. You can even sight cast them. They will just about eat any lure, even a top water style if you’re really lucky providing you don’t spook them. Where they are schooled up mainly has to do with what they are feeding on. A Grunter will eat many different foods such as Mullet, Herring, Prawns and Yabbies. That’s what makes them the perfect target species whilst lure casting.
Other areas to look for Grunter outside of the estuaries are headlands, channel markers, wrecks and also isolated gravel patches. The Grunter don’t always hang right on the structure, they will often move away to feed therefore finding fish over one hundred meters from the structure is not unusual. In this situation the fish are typically larger and feeding on other food sources. Lures that tend to fire them up are soft vibes, slow jigs, soft plastics and blades.
So there you have it, an insight on targeting Grunter. For more information head in store and have a chat to the staff that have extensive local knowledge that are willing to point you in the right direction.