Joshua has been fishing for threadfin salmon on the reaches of the Brisbane River upstream of the city for a number of years, but has been targeting them exclusively on lures and with great consistency for the past 3 years. His YouTube channel “Brisvegas Fishing” showcases his fishing and crabbing exploits in what has to be one of Australia’s most populous fishing spots.
Joshua’s Top Tips For Brisbane Threadfin Salmon
- The Brisbane River threadfin salmon population is unusual for its habit of surface feeding on prawns and baitfish under lights at night. But Joshua has found that they also surface feed at times when there are no lights on the water. Often when they’re doing this they hang among floating leaf litter on the dirty water line and will suck in the leaf litter with associated prawns and other prey, expelling the leaves.
- Today’s episode focusses on the areas upstream of Jindalee, where there are less lights and less boating traffic but there are plenty of mudflats, small drains, creeks, pontoons and similar structures that the threadfin love.
- During periods of heavy rain the threadies will stick around for the first flush, but they’ll often move downstream when there’s enough flow they’ll often move downstream to saltier water – though they may stick around in the deep holes.
- Threadfin are especially active this stretch of the Brisbane River during October-December when the water temperatures rise and the water is still salty and tidal.
- If you’re new to this area, concentrate your efforts on the shallow mudflats and small drains, especially where you find dirty water with floating leaf litter. Fishing the last couple of hours of the runout tide and concentrating on drains that cut through the mud flats where threadfin wait to ambush baitfish that are forced into the drain as the water recedes. Flats that are 1m deep at high tide but have a dropoff into deeper water are a good starting point.
- Joshua’s personal commitments mean he mostly fishes at night, but he’s seen fish working through the day and believes it’s quite possible to target them sub-surface right through the day.
- Use sidescan to look for fish on flats, but don’t forget to look for other signs. Look for dirty water lines, eddies and places fish might sit. If there is a bird fishing from a pontoon there will almost always be a threadfin around. Keep moving and keep trying different things if the fishing is tough.
Joshua’s Threadfin Salmon Tackle
- A 6-7’ spin rod in the 4-6kg line class coupled with a 3000-4000 size spin reel and 15-20lb JBraid Grand mainline with a 30-50lb Black Magic Supple Trace leader.
- For those that prefer baitcast, a 4-6kg rod, 100-150 reel and 15-20lb JBraid Grand mainline with a 30-50lb Black Magic Supple Trace leader.
Joshua’s Best Threadfin Salmon Lures
- A Zerek Pyra is a 95mm stickbait.that is perfect for fishing the shallow flats and drains but is also effective around pontoon lights on surface feeders. The stock hooks normally need upgrading to size 4 BKK Fangs, colour is unimportant. This lure can be cast up a drain and worked back with a straight retrieve that’s slightly faster than the current which causes it to dive a little below the surface. Around pontoons, cast it upstream and work it across the pressure edge, then trickle it down the face of the pontoon. It can also be worked with twitches and pauses to make it pop on the surface. A great lure f the fish are shut down.
- A Holt Production Swim Prawn in the 3-5” size range rigged unweighted on a BKK Chimera worm hook, which Joshua rigs with the point exposed, more like a jig head than a weedless presentation. Great for working around pontoons and structure when there’s a bit of run and the fish are sheltering hard against pontoons or pylons. Skip cast the lure so that it lands tight to structure and even underneath cover. After 2-3 casts if the lure isn’t taken move to another piece of structure.
- Savage Gear Top Prey 80mm is used in a similar way to the Zerek Pyra, but it most effective when the tide is slower and the fish are a little away from the structure.