Fishing Writer & Social Media Personality
John is a central Queensland based fishing writer who has penned articles for multiple magazines and is an administrator on the popular Fishing Central Queensland facebook group. He’s made an art of fishing for threadfin salmon in the Fitzroy system and loves to share what he knows.
John’s Top Tips For Fitzroy Threadfin Salmon
- Threadies can be caught in this system for most of the year, but you’ll need to vary your techniques and where you go to find fish depending on the season. At this time of year the lower reaches and Port Alma tend to fish best. They’ll hang on virtually any structure you can imagine, at times.
- Prawns are the staple diet of Fitzroy threadfin salmon, but various small baitfish are also on the menu.
- During the neap tides the threadfin will school together, but on the bigger tides they often become more scattered. The mouths of small creeks usually hold small numbers of actively feeding fish during the bigger tides.
- It’s important to work the angles and cast lures at fish from several different directions. If you can see them on the sounder, try moving around them and cast a range of lures from different directions. Positioning yourself in shallow water and casting to fish in deeper water can be effective at times.
- John’s favourite tides are the 3/4 moon following the neap in the leadup to the full or new moon. During these periods the water clarity is good and the water movement stimulates the fish to feed.
- Stable weather conditions often fish well, and periods over summer with 4-5 days of the same wind condition are often productive. That said, John has noticed that threadfin often bite strongly in the lead up to a storm event. If there is any west in the wind (SW, W, NW) the fishing can be a little tougher, but you’ll still catch threadfin if you persist.
- If the fishing is really tough, try downsizing everything. Smaller leader, line and lures can be worth a try. Failing that, it’s worth going the other direction and sizing your lures up, which can also work at times.
John’s Tackle Recommendations For Threadfin Salmon
- John’s main outfit for threadies is a Loomis Edge 705 Black Widow Rod with a 4000 size Shimano Stradic Ci-4 reel, 20-30lb Suffix braid and Sunline FC100 leader (40lb for fish under 1m, 60lb for bigger fish).
- If more finesse is required he’ll switch to Gary Loomis 702 Edge First Strike with a 2500 size Shimano Stradic Ci-4 reel, 15lb Power Pro braid and 20-40lb Sunline FC100 leader. John avoids using this gear unless the bite is tough because threadfin have an abrasive mouth that can wear through the light leader but also because the protracted fight on lighter gear stresses fish more and reduces survival rates on release.
John’s Best Threadfin Salmon Lures
- Soft vibes are the all-time favourite lure in northern estuaries not just for threadfin, but for a range of other species. John uses lots of different ones but reckons the Zerek Fishtrap in the 95mm size is the #1 pick for threadies in this system. They can be slow rolled, worked in small hops or worked a little faster and more erratically, depending on the mood of the fish on the day. If the fishing is tough, the smaller sized Fishtraps can be worth trying.
- Berkley Gulp 3″ Prawns are an unlikely looking lure but work extremely well on Fitzroy River threadfin. These can be dead sticked, slow rolled, hopped across the bottom or drawn a metre or so off the bottom and allowed to sink. Erratic retrieves don;t seem to work so well with this lure.
- Berkley Gulp 4″ Swimming Mullet is a curly tail soft plastic that’s great for throwing into creeks on the bigger tides when fish have moved up.
- On really tough days when John downsizes his tackle the Berkley Gulp 2″ Prawn is a good finesse choice and is fished in the same way as the larger Gulp Prawn.