We got up at 2am and headed off to Rockhampton to fish the Fitzroy river for the first time. Our target fish for this trip was the king salmon. We catch a few around Mackay, but have never got one over the meter mark. Corey, Craig (my brother) and myself were pretty excited to get there. We had been looking on google earth, which is a good idea to study new areas that you might be thinking about exploring. We arrived there around 5.45am, grabbed a coffee and some Macca’s and were on the water before sun up. Like I said we had never fished the river before! Our plan was to head towards the mouth a fair way and just take it steady studying our sounder. We had spoken to mates and the local tackle shop, Barra jacks. It is always good to get some local knowledge from the guys who live and fish the area. They will tell you when and where they are biting and what they are biting on.
It didn’t take us long to find good schools of fish, all we had to do now was to get them to bite. We found around home they love vibes (any type), so we started by casting past and into the schools hopping them through and it didn’t take long until I had a small tap. I set hooks and the fish headed straight at the boat flat out. So I wound like mad to take up the slack… Then it took off!! I knew then it was a good fish. We landed it and it was a healthy 109cm threadfin so pumped! New personal best! Corey was hesitant to come with us initially due to study for exams, however, at lunch time in Mackay (while we were In the Fitzroy), his mum offered to be a passenger for a long drive while Corey drove down, arriving at 4pm. It wasn’t long after Corey’s arrival until he was hooked up to a nice fish also, this fish being in the mid 90s. After a little more looking around, we decided to head back to the town reaches of the river and have a sound around. With the tide dropping we just took it slowly, never fly around in places you have not been to before until you see and know where all the rocks and shallow areas are because there are rocks every where up around the bridges and could ruin a good day on the water.
Always have faith in your sounder, Corey and I are always looking at the screen looking for fish. Most times, we don’t even cast until we have found fish to flick at. We scanned around in amongst all the boats moored in the city and found good schools of salmon. We had fun picking up random fish out of passing schools all day, most fish we caught were in the 90cm size range and some smaller were caught. The smallest for the day was 78cm. We had success on small profile lures also. The ones we caught fish on were: Live target 75mm soft prawn, Zman 3inch Minnows, Zerek 50mm prawn both rigged with 3/0 TT jig heads, Soft Vibes (Mad Keen Quivers, Transams, Zerek Fish Traps) and Hot Bite Kamakazie. These lures were worked along the bottom of the water column where the fish were found feeding on the sounder.
We had an awsome day fishing the Fitzroy and will definatly be heading back very soon. The guys down there are so lucky to have such a great fishery. It is also a net free zone which means it will only get better!