Nth Qld Fishing Personality
Jimmy is a Townsville based angler and social media personality who reckons winter should be all about sight fishing to Hinchinbrook barramundi in shallow, crystal clear water. In this episode he shares his tips for light line, shallow water barra fishing through the cooler months.
Jimmy’s Top Coral Trout Fishing Tips
- Various species of coral trout can be targeted from the shallow water off the coastline to over 100m of water at the outer edge of the reef. In shallower water Jimmy likes bommies rising to a couple of metres from the surface in 12-15m. of water. Areas on reef flats where cracks and crevasses receive water flow are also good spots to target trout. In deeper water, look for ledges and heavy reef structure.
- Water movement is critical, look for the leading edge of a reef where the current hits, whether on the run in or run out.
- Coral trout will often come a long way from the bottom to smash a surface lure and are surprisingly good at getting all the way back into structure. Always position your boat so that you’re retrieving the lure away from shallow water and structure. This means the fish is headed away from cover when it takes the lure and gives you a fighting chance.
- Trout move around between bommies and structure depending on bait and conditions. Just because there was ten of them on bommie today doesn’t mean there will be again tomorrow.
- Weather is important due to safety and ease of fishing – it’s hard to stay on a mark if there’s a strong wind blowing. If the weather is good, go. Figure out how the fish are affected once you get there.
- Beef all terminal tackle on lures up if they’re not top notch. Minimum 60kg breaking strain split rings and quality heavy gauge BKK Raptor of GT Rex barbless trebles are perfect.
- Coral trout will take quite large lures at times, but Jimmy finds they’re more consistent on smaller lures.
Jimmy’s Coral Trout Fishing Tackle
- Jimmy likes a 7’ PE8 stickbait rod for this style of fishing. He couples this with an 8000-10000 size reel, PE8 line and minimum 140lb leader. Lures are attached with a split ring using split ring pliers.
Jimmy’s Favourite Coral Trout Fishing Lures
- 120mm Missing At Sea Death Wobble. These are an Australian made timber lure that sinks slowly and is versatile enough to be fish with long sweeps like a popper, or even slow rolled or burned back in.
- Small cup-faced poppers such as the Nomad Chug Norris in 60-80g are easily engulfed by coral trout. These work well when you’re trying to coax trout to the surface from deeper water, and are great when there’s a bit of chop on the water. They’re also good sometimes when popped and paused. Long or short sweeps, intermittent pauses and so on can all work, mix it up until you catch fish.
- A 100-180g floating stickbait of the type that floats with the tail down. When pulled in long sweeps with intermittent pauses this lure will create a little surface disturbance before starting its underwater wiggle.
- Metal jigs in the 60-200g range can all work well, depending on the depth and currents. Jim favours lures that aren’t necessarily fast falling knife jigs, but unless he’s in shallow water he prefers not to use slow pitch jigs, either. The Missing At Sea Haymaker Jig is a good option. Assist hooks with a feather or skirt on them seem to work best. These are fished vertically from a boat drifting over heavy structure. In very deep water, don’t be afraid to work the lures at least half way off the bottom, sometimes they get nailed by a trout a long way above the bottom.