Casting lures from the banks caught us some variety on the incoming tide………

Conditions: Low tide at 5am, light south easterly breeze
Solunar Predictions: Really good
Strategy: Hit the ledge at dawn on the incoming tide
Technique: Bringing lures up from the deep up over the rubbly ledge
Target: Mackerel
Gear Set Up: 3-6kg 6’6” 4pce travel rod, 3000 spin reel with 10lb braid and 25lb flourocarbon leader
Lure Types: 100mm Walker, 4” plastic minnow (1/4oz size 2 jig head) and 70mm blade
Session Rating: 6/10

After regaling him with enough tales and photos from my land based lure fishing adventures around Mackay, my mate “Mini” (he’s not very tall) from work asked to tag along to check out some fishing spots with me on our day off. We arrived at the ledge early to discover glassy conditions which just begged the use of some surface walkers. We both threw them around for 20 minutes without a strike. I have re-fitted my walkers with double stinger hooks at the back to improve hook-up rates on the short strikes but with no interest coming on the walkers, I am yet to see how the hook up rate has changed.

First blood to the little man
There was still bait there but not the clouds of fish like on my previous visit. The tide was moving in quickly and the water was soon lapping at the top of the coffee rock that ran along the creek bank. We did a couple of lure changes but by the time we were at the sand flats near the mouth, the only action we had seen was a smallish Estuary Cod Mini landed on a plastic.

The water came up over the ledge and it was in less than 30cm of water that he then hooked a solid Flathead on the same plastic. He pulled the fish all the way to his feet when the big girl spat the lure and sprinted back over the ledge top into the safety of the deeper water. It was worth losing that fish just to enjoy the reaction from Mini as he hopped around cursing like a drunken sailor whose boat had just left him behind at the harbour.

The incoming tide was starting to limit our options on the sand bank so we turned back and followed the ledge line back from where we came. The water was soon up over our waists but the ever-present feeling of becoming crocodiles bait forced us back in from the overhang.

The vibe was good
I replaced my plastic with the 70mm vibe that worked so well for me the other day at the exact same spot on the same incoming tide. I cast out deep into the channel, let the lure sink to the bottom before ripping it back fast like a slug with just a few short pauses to let it flutter down before ripping it back up over the ledge again. In my imagination, this makes the lure look pretty similar to the Herring that were hanging around in the shallows trying to avoid becoming lunch for the big boys.  On my fourth cast, I hooked something and promptly lost it. Casting out in the same spot soon produced a better result. The fish stayed on and I quickly had a vicious looking Wolf Herring swimming in the water around me.


It was too far back to the beach so I took a couple of photos and let him go.  These fish are the carnivorous cousins of the Herring but that does not stop them from feasting on the smaller bait versions when they stray too far from cover.

Trevally in the mix
The bite was hotting up. I cast out again and the lure was grabbed by something with a lot more power. I moved as close to the ledge as I dared so the fish would not snap me off on the rocky lip. This fish did a number of powerful runs and at one point we were in a deadlock as it held itself in the current and could not be budged. Persistence paid off though and I slowly worked in a really nice little GT. My mate grabbed a couple of photos before we let him go.

At this point I admitted to Mini that I had a spare 70mm vibe in my bag which I gave it to him to tie on. We continued casting and the action continued with plenty more hits and another Wolf Herring for me followed by another one for Mini. It had been a fun morning session shared with another keen angler.

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