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Editorial Grass Roots Think Like A Fish Fishermum Young Guns Doctor Fish Out There Hot Bytes Rod Wrapper New Products Boat Test

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The Whiting Walk — Scott Amon It's All About The Tease — David Granville Flathead Lies — Steve Starling The Magnificent Mulloway — Shane Mensforth Paradise Not So Far — Warren Steptoe Arnhem Land — Emma George Before Homework Bassing — Coen Amon Pelagic Snapper — David Granville Messing With Mackerel — Phil Bennett

Cover: Coen Amon with a quality sand whiting caught on a surface lure. Photo: Scott Amon

The whiting-on-surface-lures fishery is only relatively new, but has attracted quite a lot of press already. In this article, Scott Amon offers up the real secrets to this style of fishing — much of which has never been published before.


Pics by Scott and Coen Amon

Anything that looks even remotely like a prawn is fair game to ol’ yella pecs in the warmer months. 11

A sight that every bait and switch angler loves to see — a striped marlin about to eat a pitch bait. In this instance it’s a redbait, a popular marlin meal in more southern climes.

Estuary entrance channels are the best place to start looking for bigger dusky flathead, particularly during the October through March breeding period.

That’s one hell of a mouth!

Warren Steptoe’s annual week-long camp at Jumpinpin provides an in-depth look at what makes the famous ’Pin’s fishing and camping tick.


eing known to disappear as far as I can into the bush in search of fish that have never seen a lure, it may surprise some to hear that my only regular-as-clockwork annual trip is to Jumpinpin, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It’s a rare year indeed that my wife Mary and I don’t camp at the ’Pin for at least a week, sometimes longer. “Jumpinpin” is an adaptation of an indigenous language description of the area where North and South Stradbroke islands meet across a dangerous bar. We never venture across the bar; it’s a nasty piece of water and there’s more than enough fishing available on the sheltered water of southern Moreton Bay to keep us content. Alternately, from our camp we can walk across to the eastern beach to fish the surf and although we don’t do that very often, preferring to fish from our boat, friends who sometimes come down and camp with us certainly do. Spring is, of course, the best time for flathead as they congregate around the opening between the two islands to spawn. There are enough fish about to make our camping trip worthwhile, so we just go whenever Mary can organise holidays. At any time of year though, there’s always flathead to be caught, and plenty of bream too. In warmer months, an odd jack can be added to a list of potential target fish — if you’re prepared to spend hours tossing lures at the few snag piles likely to hold one. There are also usually plenty of chopper tailor around the back of the bar. In our camp, the choppers are crab bait — we don’t bother eating them when flathead are so readily available. Sand crabs (blue swimmers) have become a bit hard to catch in recent years, not because there aren’t any around, but because fine mesh dillies are by far the best way to catch them. Unfortunately, there are always a lot of undersize ones present and crabs of all sizes invariably become so enmeshed in the fine nylon that it’s extraordinarily difficult to release them unharmed. So we use coarse mesh dillies instead, which don’t catch as many!


It may also surprise some to learn that unlike trips to Cape York or other such far-flung fishing spots, our annual trip to the ’Pin is done in style. Instead of living out of a backpack — a norm for Cape trips — we do it five star. Five star camping that is. ‘Camp’ entails a tent big enough to contain stretcher beds, an insect-proof enclosure for eating and the essential kicking back with a good book, and even a bathroom tent complete with pressurised hot water and a toilet. It’s a far cry from a bushwalking tent under a tarp, but comfortable it is nonetheless. The amazing thing is that everything is transported in our 4.5m boat from the launch ramp and security car park at Rudy Maas’ marina to a camp somewhere north of the Bedroom anchorage along a strip of beach locally known as Millionaire’s Row. That’s a distance of about 10km over fairly sheltered water, so it’s practical to pack the boat to the gunnels, leaving room for Mary and I at the stern. The Haines Traveller won’t plane with this load unless I fit a smaller pitch prop, swapping the usual 33cm stainless wheel for a 30cm alloy one. With this, we clamber onto the plane after a hundred metres or so and can travel at about 25km/hr tops. As soon as camp is set up, I swap back to the stainless prop and leave it on until it’s time for the trip home. Camping here is logistically easy. Fresh water for our solar shower is available at the Bedroom shower block, fuel and ice requires a run back to Horizon Shores Marina, and ice creams are available when we run down to Tipplers to pay our rent to the Gold Coast City Council. The ’Pin can be a busy place, although during the week peace and tranquillity reigns most of the time. At weekends you suffer through an invasion of dropkicks on jet skis, only because the weekend is two days you have to get through to camp at Jumpinpin for more than five days. You’re then rewarded with the best set of tides.

Mangrove jacks take some finding around Jumpinpin, but they are there if you look long and hard enough.



An Aussie native on an Aussie-mad e wooden lure — in this case a red cedar Plees lure.


Spot the fisherman. Note how the camo shirt tends to blend into the lush bankside grass. Not sure about those lairy boardies though!

Fizzers are the author’s favourite surface lure, with the explosive strike being a large part of the attraction.


FishLife Issue #1  

the Australian Anglers' Journal