Reece’s interview was ALF EPISODE 281. If you liked this episode please check out our archives for more episodes on lure fishing the Brisbane River or fishing for threadfin salmon.

Reece’s Top Threadfin Fishing Tips

  • There are two threadfin salmon fisheries in the Brisbane River. Fishing for this species in the Port of Brisbane is about deep-water fishing with hard or soft vibes. In the upper river reaches it’s more about surface fishing at night under the lights.
  • Threadfin salmon are not leader shy, but they do have very abrasive mouths. It pays to use relatively heavy leader to combat the chances of them rubbing through the line.
  • When fishing the Port, Reece likes neapish tides, especially when there’s a low around 10am, allowing him to arrive at daybreak and fish the last few hours of the falling tide.
  • Bigger schools tend to be found at the Port, which fishes best in the four months from October each year. Experienced anglers don’t get too excited about one or to fish marking on the sounder as it can be hard to target them. Larger aggregations of fish make it easier to target them.
  • The Port can be fished on most winds, but a strong easterly or northerly will blow into the port against the tide and can make fishing very uncomfortable.
  • The building tides in the leadup to a new or full moon offer the best fishing for Brisbane’s king threadfin.
  • Finding fish in the Port of Brisbane is about motoring around looking for fish holding in the deeper parts around where the container ships operate. A good place to start is the pipeline on the northern side of the Port.
  • Reece is a big believer in scenting the lures he uses for threadfin fishing with Procure in shrimp or mullet flavour.
  • When fishing the lights at night further upstream Reece looks for signs of bait and often finds that the fish are in the leading part of an eddy. Sometimes they can also be in the tailing part. Work the entire area over thoroughly for 15-30 minutes, then move to the next artificial light. Fish move around the system and can be caught under absolutely any light system from time to time, so keep following the tide up/downstream as you work each area.

Reece’s Threadfin Salmon Tackle

  • A 10 -20lb baitcast combo with 30lb braided line and 30lb leader is Reece’s setup for fishing the deeper waters down around the Port of Brisbane.
  • A spin rod is great for fishing the upstream areas when you need to get a bit more casting distance with lighter lures. Reece prefers a 7 foot 4-8kg rood, 4000 size reel and 20lb braid and 30lb leader.

Reece’s Threadfin Salmon Fishing Lures

  • Around the Port a 95mm Zerek Fishtrap or similar soft vibration bait is a great option. Reece likes to find fish on his sounder and then drop the lure vertically onto them as the boat drifts, as this minimises the belly in the line. He reckons the mistake people make is to work the lure with large rod lifts – short hops is all that is required, enough to feel the lure working.
  • Further upstream when fishing under the artificial lights Reece likes 3-4” fish profile slow sinking stickbaits. Brand is not important and some cheap lures work as well as the brand name ones, though the hooks and rings might need upgrading. As long as the lure has a good side to side action it should be fine. Reece doesn’t usually let these sink more than a couple of feet before he starts working them. Various retrieves can be effective, but the basic strategy is to keep them in the fishes face as long as possible, giving the lures plenty of side to side action without moving them too far forward.

Reece Thomas

Brisbane Based Sport Fisher

Reece is a Brisbane-based sponsored angler who also works in the tackle industry. He targets the Brisbane River threadfin population around the Port of Brisbane by boat and the upstream population by boat or land-based.

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1 Comment

  1. Russell Land

    great episode
    very interested in trying upstream night time fishing for threadies
    does Reece have some tips on from where to where to try (ie from city to chelmer for example ) ie just vague parameters as it üpstream” is a massive body of water
    Does reece have advice on time of year and types of tides to fish upstream ie is it the same as for the port fishing
    Many thanks Doc – Love the show
    Russell Land


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