Fishing Journalist And Personality
Jason is a prolific fishing journalist based in central Queensland. He’s a regular presenter on the Australian Fishing Networks (AFN) “The Fishing Show” which airs on on 7Mate every Sunday and has presented on numerous fishing DVD’s. A former professional fishing guide on Baffle Creek, Jason has also authored numerous articles in a multitude of magazines, as well as presenting from stage at boat shows.
Jason’s Year Round Central Queensland Topwater Fishing Tips
- Jason has fished the Bundaberg area and much more widely for many years and has been a topwater addict for at least 3 decades. But over the past 12 months he’s set himself the goal of fishing almost exclusively with topwater lures in the estuaries, lakes and coastal areas. Over that time he’s managed to catch fish on the vast majority of trips, even in periods or on species where topwater wouldn’t normally be the best option.
- Don’t feel that by opting for the topwater you won’t catch fish….. but you’ll need to use your brain, tweak your technique and figure out the science.
- The approach he adopted was to head for places he knew fish would normally be holding and work he area with topwater lures regardless o the conditions.
- When a fish spies a topwater lure moving off it often instinctively feels the need to chase the lure down. The trick is to lead the fish with the lure. Casting the lure so it lands on top of the fish will inevitably spook it. Casting well ahead of the fish so the lure crosses the fish’s direction of travel will usually get a strike.
- A key to year-round topwater success is to imitate whatever the fish might be feeding on from the surface, then imitate the bait. For example, sometimes on CQ lakes at night you’ll find millions of little bugs on the surface. Bony bream come to feed on the bugs and bass come to feed on the bony’s. At those times you can find quality bass will smash a 4 or 5 inch surface lure.
- Pausing the retrieve can be a very effective at times as it allows the fish to hit it more accurately.
- During the cooler months Jason found that surface lure fishing in clear salt water environments worked better than sub-surface lures, which tended to spook fish. Again, a surface lure skipping across the surface is exhibiting the traits of a prey item and can get a strike when other lures fail.
- Through spring, summer and autumn when the frogs are active the topwater barra fishing can be exquisite and a frog lure worked to behave like a frog can be deadly. In other words, work it close to lily pads and other cover. When barra are within a metre of the bank it seems that casting onto dry land and twitching the frog into the water is a lot more effective than casting it into the water and working it past fish.
- The same frog lures can be worked in a very unnatural way, such as constant speed retrieve to stimulate a reaction by annoying or frustrating fish.
- The way that topwater lures are worked changes from season to season, day to day and hours to hour. During peak periods when fish are naturally surface feeding (eg low light) the lures should be worked to simulate the bait species they are eating. At times when the fish aren’t feeding and are more cautious the lures need to be worked in ways that stimulate a reaction bite.
- Sometimes the middle of the day can be the hottest time to fish topwater if the conditions are prime and you can tune in what you’re doing to the way the fish are feeding.
- Jason’s #1 piece of advice is that you can’t have too many lures. When you look at the tackle boxes of really good anglers it’s worth taking note of the lures that are there in multiples, as they’re the ones that angler has confidence in.
- The 80mm Cultiva Zip N Ziggy and it’s larger cousin the Tango Dancer (95mm and 110mm) are one among the lures that can be found in multiples within Jasons tackle box and the 95mm is an absolute killer on mangrove jacks in particular.
- The MMD Splash prawn is a great lure that is fished a little less aggressively than the Zip N Ziggy and/or Tango Dancers. It can be fished in a few ways….. a walk the dog retrieve works quite well, but the lure can also be twitched like a cup faced blooping popper as long as you’re not too aggressive. A brisk retrieve followed by a pause to imitate a prawn skipping out of cover and then pausing can work well too.
- Halco Roosta poppers are ever reliable and super tough lures that cast better than most surface poppers in various sizes they can be used for GT’s, goldens and pelagics right through to bass and bream.
- Lock yourself into a few favourite lures and persist with those models until you feel confident in using them.