Aubrey Cormack

Aubrey Cormack

Lake Julius Sooty Grunter Addict

Aubrey has been lure fishing Lake Julius for sooty grunter for over a decade, and in that time has had just one fishless outing, but multiple trips where he personally caught close to 100 fish.

Aubrey’s Top Sooty Grunter Fishing Tips

  • Sooty grunter can be found over most lake substrates during the cooler months, but during the warm months they often congregate and school over sandy, gravelly bottom in preparation for spawning. The warmer months definitely fish better at Lake Julius.
  • Look for sooty grunter around points, where submerged gullies and creeks intersect or where creeks come into the lake.
  • During the cool months the shallow, rocky shores that get warmed by the sun are the best places to fish – and then generally the afternoons fish best as the water has warmed up. Sooty grunter can be a little like mangrove jack, they’ll lurk around the shadows. Finding banks that get plenty of sun but also have some patches of shade can hold numbers of fish.
  • An approaching storm front will usually result in a hot bite period, just make sure you don’t get trapped by rain and not be able to get out.
  • Over the warmer months there is a substantial flying fox community at Lake Julius and you’ll usually find sooties luring underneath the overhanging branches feeding on whatever is falling from the sky. Position your boat outside of the “drop zone” and make casts in under the bats.

Aubrey’s Sooty Grunter Fishing Tackle

  • There are some quality fish in Lake Julius, so a 2500 spin reel, 4-8 lb rod, 10-15lb braid and 20lb fluorocarbon leader is a pretty typical setup to fish this system.

Aubrey’s Sooty Grunter Lures

  • A pearl white Jackall TN60 hard vibe is a deadly lure on sooty grunter anywhere you might fish. This lure can be fished straight from the packet, but can also be fitted with single hooks for added snag resistance when fishing timber and rocky structure. Being a very versatile option, the TN60 can be worked fairly quickly above a rocky bottom to avoid snagging, or on a sandy bottom it can be hopped or double hopped along with short jumps. Around timber the TN60 can be fished vertically to fish holding in the branches. This is the perfect lure when there are spangled perch or bony bream around.
  • The JJ Lures #2 Stumpjumper is more commonly used for southern freshwater natives such as yellowbelly or cod. This lure can be slow rolled through any type of structure that holds sooties. Brighter colours work best and the Stumpjumper can also be twitch-paused through timber and other structure. The high buoyancy of the Stumpjumper causes it to back up on the pause, resulting in reaction bites.
  • The SMAK Lures tailspinner is deadly on sooties. It can be allowed to sink to the bottom, then fished with a slow roll and a series of lifts and hops, or simply slow rolled close to the bottom.
  • Surface fishing for sooty grunter can be awesome around dawn and dusk in the warmer months Lethal Popper 65 by Viva Lures is a great option, especially casting into the shadows beneath trees that are holding flying fox colonies.

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