NICE CATCH: Stephen Little with a snodger grunter.
NICE CATCH: Stephen Little with a snodger grunter. CONTRIBUTED

FISHING TAILS: Jacks aplenty from Corio to Fitzroy River

THIS weekend it will be stick to the creeks or sneak over to the sheltered areas around the islands.

It looks to be blowing a bit so don't make any offshore plans.

A couple of the locals have had a little whinge about not getting grunter where they did last year.

My reply is that this has been a dry year so they will be where they go when it is dry. Last few years have been wet years.

Wet years move the bait schools and change everything else, including the salinity levels, that make fish prefer particular spots.

Jacks have been the flavour of the day in loads of local spots from Corio, The Narrows, Ross Creek, the Causeway Lake and the lower end of the Fitzroy River.

These much sought after estuarine muggers are smash and grab merchants, relying on ambush tactics. They like to hide and wait for a feed to pass within range.

Mangrove jack will readily take lures, usually stuff like small reidy's and most fishy-looking plastics work well.

The last of the run out and the start of the run in is a good time to target jacks in the creeks.

Keep an eye out for submerged logs and rock bars where baitfish can take cover.

The mouths of run-off creeks with any features are worth a shot.

Fingermark and barramundi often grab baits or lures intended for mangrove jack.

Live bait accounts for a large share of jacks and anything from greenback herring, yorkies, prawns and poddy mullet is likely to get savaged.

A little bit of rain could be just what we need to give the muddies a hurry up.

They have been very hit and miss right across the area and according to the lads who have tried lately.

If you don't get any crabs in your traps, keep moving them until you do.

The baits used most often that do work are mullet, catfish, meaty fish frames (not freshwater fish), chook frames and even pillies.

Personally, we try everything from bream to mackerel and mullet and it doesn't make much difference except that the fresher the bait, the more crabs in the pot.

Fresher bait lets out more oils and scents that attract crabs so refresh your baits occasionally.

Work your pots about every hour or so and no crabs means move your pots.

The best muddies are rusty brown coloured; the greener they are generally shows they are empty and not worth taking home.

There are a few flathead, bream, whiting, salmon and queenies around the area at present.

Small prawns have been caught in some of the creeks and that shows that in coming weeks there will probably be big prawns about.

There were grunter at Manifold, The Pinnacles and the barge for outside specialists. For estuary guys they were at Waterpark Creek, the Fitzroy River, Coorooman Creek and the Causeway Lake.

Thanks again to Bluefin Sports, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, the Causeway Lake Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine, The Secret Spot, and Kalka Bait and Tackle that have all the advice for anyone fishing in their neck of the woods. While you are there, drop in any photos or get your photo taken with your catch.

Contact me by email with news, photos, stories, ideas and any problems in the fishing arena.

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