Weather brings crab catches
THE Coral Reef Fin Fish closures run from November 26 to November to 30 inclusive. This means no reef fish, but you can catch mackerel. Depending on the weather, estuaries could be the option. Rising tides mean muddies as a rule. This warm weather with lack of decent rain lately will allow the salty water to push up into the estuaries and the river making mudcrabs very active. The bottom end of the river has been the pick of the spots but the other systems won't be far off producing the goods. Flathead, grunter, bream, whiting, king salmon, mangrove jack and blue salmon are all active at present.
Recently I have received a few emails asking me about live baiting and about the hook size or placement. Live baits can provide lots of entertainment when other methods might have failed.
Target species, current speed and the size of the intended bait are some of the main influences that dictate the correct positioning. When there is little movement in the water and we use floats with the hook halfway down the bait which lets the bait move freely in any direction covering a wider area. I also like to rig small poddy mullet with a lead big enough to hold bottom, a swivel and a metre-long mono trace hooking them just above the anal fin. By positioning it right next to a snag or a structure the bait will try to reach the shelter attracting any bigger critters in the vicinity. There is no point rigging the livey half way down the back in a roaring tide because it is likely to spin or hang badly reducing the chance of attracting the predators
More often than not a bait fish hooked through the lip will survive longer and sit quite comfortably in any fishable run. If the live bait is over 100mm a stinger hook placed just at the back of the dorsal fin gives added hookup potential.
There are a few ways of connecting the stinger hook but I find the best is by starting the first hook as a snood hook, take the line through the eye and tie it down the shaft with a uni knot leaving a long tail that hangs straight down the shaft. The next step is tying the back hook at a length so that there is not or too short and inhibiting the movement of the bait or too much slack creating tangles. We often use large prawns and the best place to hook a live prawn is sideways through the second last segment before the tail. This method doesn't restrict the prawn's movement and allows it to hang in a natural position enticing a strike with any luck. In our neck of the woods many of the areas in the river where you find barramundi there is catfish in numbers so it pays to put a prawn under a float instead of on a bottom rig to reduce the amount of bait waste
Thanks again to Kalka Bait and Tackle, Bluefin Sports, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine, The Secret Spot, the local weigh points where you can get your photo taken or just drop yours in. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Send your emails or photos in to be eligible for next $50 voucher draw.