Exmouth Spangled Emperor

by Steve Riley | Australian Lure Fishing

Tweed River Mangrove Jack Map
Steve Riley

Steve Riley

Tacklestore Owner And Fishing Tragic

Steve is a fishing tragic, tackle store owner and long-time resident of Exmouth in Western Australia. He’s enthusiastic about sharing his fishing knowledge with our listeners – and he has some pretty damn good stuff to say. It’s hard to feel sorry for Steve – the only thing most anglers could think of that’s better than living in Exmouth is living in Exmouth and owning a tackle store…….

Steve’s Top Tips For Exmouth Spangled Emperor Fishing

  • Work the broken ground with rubble, rather than the larger bommies or sandy areas. Spangled emperor don’t normally live on sand and they often can’t be extracted from major bommies without heavy losses. Broken ground is your best bet.
  • The 15 beaches between the lighthouse and the boat ramp are all good for spangled emperor fishing. Beware of the conservation areas where fishing is prohibited. Have a few casts at each spot, then move on until you locate the fish – it’s a case of covering plenty of water whilst fanning out casts.
  • When you go into Steve’s store, be sure and ask for the second best fishing spot. He’ll tell you anything you want to know.
  • The hot bite periods are always first thing in the morning before the sun hits the horizon and shortly afterwards and in the evening from when the sun touches the horizon until it disappears.
  • Best lunar phases are either side of the full an new moons. The bite is usually poor for 4-5 days over the full and new moons.
  • Be sure and take sun protection (including a buff and polarised sunglasses) as the sun can be fierce in this part of the world.
  • Allowing your lures to hit the bottom can be costly. Try and keep them off the structure or you’ll find yourself in Steve’s shop replacing lost gear.

Steve’s Spangled Emperor Outfit

  • Steve likes his 7ft Ocean Assassin 25lb line class rod and 4000-5000 Penn Slammer reel. Graphite rods give better ability to control fish but fibreglass rods cast further. The Assassin does both pretty well.
  • Lines range from 15 to 30lb. Leaders are super critical because they take a hiding in these conditions. Steve uses 40lb Black Magic or Jinkai leader for fishing stickbaits and smaller soft plastics. For poppers and tougher structure he prefers a 60lb leader.

Steve’s Best Lures Exmouth Spangled Emperor

  • 105mm Halco Roosta Poppers worked extremely slowly are very effective. If a fish is beneath the lure, don’t twitch, but wind to create a wiggling action and the fish will usually strike. These are best fished when conditions are relatively smooth.
  • CID Shiver Sticks are a sinking stickbait that can be worked at various depths by adjusting the retrieve rates and rod angles. They cast exceptionally well and are a better option than the popper when there is a little chop on the water.
  • Z-Man 4″ paddletail/5″ jerk shad or a McArthy 4″/ 5″ paddletail are good choices. Z-Man soft plastics can survive longer than most soft plastics in this fishing situation. Steve prefers TT Lures jig heads and uses 1/8 to 1/4 oz heads with the lighter gear (15lb) on shallower water and up to half oz on a 5/0 hook for the heavier gear when throwing 5″ plastics.

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Steve’s Business

Exmouth Tackle And Camping is Steve’s family-owned business that’s been serving Exmouth since 1965. He’s more than happy to assist local and visiting anglers, so drop in and say hello!