Tony Surmane with a very nice red emperor. Photo: Contributed
Tony Surmane with a very nice red emperor. Photo: Contributed

FISHING FRIDAY: Plenty of joy for grunter hunters

THE estuary grunter captures have increased pretty well with the warming of the water and the quantities of small bait fish all around the local systems.

The Fitzroy is the home for large grunter whenever they are on. Connors Creek, Port Alma, Devils Elbow and bends down from Nerrimbera are all firing.

Coorooman Creek, The Causeway Lake and Waterpark Creek have grunter runs that can compete with the river in size of fish, not numbers.

The popular baits of late have been prawns, fresh fillet strips and greenback herrings. Lately, lots of grunter hunters have expanded their tactics by using blades for grunter. The small varieties around 40mm are working very well. Gold and chrome seem to be the most popular. The trick is to keep contact with the jig because with grunter the majority of takes happen as you lower the blade to the bottom between twitches.

Josh Platten caught these great red emperor himself.
Josh Platten caught these great red emperor himself.

I have to mention that October signals the yearly run of juvenile black jew. These guys are in the 250-300mm class and often get mistaken for river or soapy jew.

The Corbett’s and Kelly’s Landing stretch of Waterpark Creek is one of the hot spots but they do have a run up the Fitzroy and also Coorooman Creek.

They have two rows of spots or blotches along the dorsal fin and the tail with some small spots on the lateral line and the do look like a mini jew while river jew/perch have a nose similar to a salmon. They are subject to size regulations and you will be fined if found in possession of undersized black jew.

The Fitzroy River is the best location for those targeting barra because of the huge amount of country.

Neil Kussrow scored this fine trout at the islands.
Neil Kussrow scored this fine trout at the islands.

The diversity of structures found in the river gives more people more chances to nail a barra. There are stacks of spots where the river can be accessed from local roads, wharves etc that hold plenty of barramundi. All the way from the middle of Rocky down to the delta has first-class barramundi.

Just like all the other forms of fishing, barramundi have way more choices in the style and type of lures they prefer on any given day. From plastic vibes to hard-bodied minnows and poppers, they all have their place in a barra kit.

To keep it simple for me, I divide the country into areas that I get the most success from. We use hard bodies in tight, deep timber and along walls while vibes are the go in the deeper channels or straight up and down rock faces.

Poppers work better just on dark when the barra are moving onto the banks and up near the surface around the structures.

Thanks again to Bluefin Sports, Rosslyn Bay Kiosk, The Causeway Lake Kiosk, Stanage Bay Marine, The Secret Spot, Kalka Bait and Tackle are the local weigh points where you can get your photo taken or just drop yours in. Contact me at Send your emails or photos in to be eligible for any of our $50 random voucher draws.