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CURLY TAILZ DOWN DEEP

Keith Stratford

The cooler months can be a real lottery for anglers throwing lures around the rivers and creeks around Brisbane and in many other parts of the country. Most bites around Brisbane will be from the humble flathead, but plenty of other species will turn up as well. Jewfish (mulloway), cod, bream and trevally are common and don't rule out a threadfin salmon or a cold water mangrove jack.

Flathead are fairly easy to find during winter, with most sandbanks and drop offs holding a few fish. These areas are easily visible to the eye, but I prefer the deeper water at this time of year where a bit of variety is on the menu. A lot of baitfish school in the deeper holes during winter and that's where a lot of the bigger fish prefer to feed. I've been using the ZMan 5" GrubZ lately and they've been working a treat. A 1/4oz or 3/8oz 4/0 TT Lures HeadlockZ HD jighead matches perfectly to these plastics. Use the lighter head when there is less current or the fish are feeding higher in the water column and switch to the heavier jighead in deeper water or when the current is stronger.

The easiest way to find a fish in deep water at this time of year is to sound the bends of the rivers looking for bait schools. The fish won't be far away if there is bait in the area. Cast the 5" GrubZ past where the bait is holding and work them back through it making sure you keep in close contact with the bottom. If the bait is holding off the bottom, try working these curly tail plastics higher in the water column. Jewies (mulloway) and threadfin will rise to the surface in the right conditions, so be prepared to work the lure through every depth. Tailor and trevally won't be far away either and the flathead love to sit under a bait school, picking up the scraps and knocking off any fish that swim too close to the bottom. If you find you're getting a lot of smaller bites that won't hook up, it's worth downsizing to a smaller curly tail like the ZMan 2.5" GrubZ or ZMan 4" StreakZ Curly TailZ. Bream will most likely be the culprit and if it swims past a bigger fish, they'll still eat it.

Fishing the deep water during the cooler months can be very rewarding. There's no need for heavy gear either, a 2-4kg spin rod matched to a 2500 size spinning reel, with a smooth drag to handle the big runs of a threadfin or jewie (mulloway) will do fine. Use the lightest leader you think you can get away with, as it will produce more bites, especially from the bigger fish. I normally use a fluorocarbon leader around 12lb. The range of ZMan curly tail plastics have been smashing everything lately, so grab a few different sizes in your favourite colours and make sure you carry a range of jigheads in different weights and hook sizes to cover all depths. Winter doesn't last long in my part of the world, south east Queensland, so it's time to get out there before it's all over. 

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017