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  1. #1

    What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    You know how it is, you are going to a new place that you haven'/t fished before; so what is your approach?

    Obviously being in Yamba (a "new" estuary to us) has us thinking about this, but it is an issue that has come up for us many times before and hopefully will come up many times in the future too as we explore more estuaries.

    We do the standard things before hitting the water:
    1. Search Ausfish and the web generally for info in advance
    2. Look at Google Earth and NearMaps
    3. Talk to the local tackle shop
    4. Chat to locals (if it sin't pouring and there are any around )


    BUT what else do you do, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY what do you do when you are on the water?

    Do you try to cover a fair bit of territory first; checking the various places that look likely?
    Do you focus on the reputed or hypothesised "best spots"?
    Do you just chuck a line in, put your feet up and relax?

    We'd be interested to know how people go about unlocking the secrets of a "new" estuary.

  2. #2
    Ausfish Platinum Member Funchy's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Searching for the likely fish holding areas would be my 1st port of call once on the water. Looking for drop offs, weed beds, rocks and eddys etc. You got a FF on that new rig of yours Timbo?

    Good luck to you both, hope the weather clears.
    Cheers

    Funchy
    Click "like this post" if ya reckon my dog is cute!!!!

    Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark

  3. #3

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Step 1: launch boat
    Step 2: Motor slowly towards the mouth of the estuary
    Step 3: Once at the mouth gun the motor and head towards the horison
    Step 4: Return with eskies overflowing with prime reds, macks and trout and look disdainfully upon the poor souls stuck in the estuary fishing for bream.


  4. #4

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    I find covering ground where I no fish should be holding to be quite successfull. I find out where the fish are just by going fishing day after day in the same spot you tend to crack a pattern.In my opinion if theres no bait around there won't be many fish feeding in that area Find the Bait and you'll find the fish usually. The more the water is flowing the better the fishing.

    thanks bron

  5. #5

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    OBSERVATION - That is my keyword. If you know the species of fish that are likely to be in the estuary, and know their feeding habits, look for the structures/formations that are likely to attract them. Most of the 'rules' can be applied to most of the estuary species. Weed beds bordering drop offs and channels, rock walls with run off over them, deep holes in river bends, drains from mangrove flats, break walls near river entrances............the basics apply no matter where you are in this great land.....be it FNQ, SEQ, Mid north coast NSW, Sapphire coast NSW, Gippsland Vic, Derwent or Tamar in Tas. Really the only difference is the species present.....all the principles are the same.

  6. #6

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Depends what yr after.

    Flatties look for bait action and nice holes and channels.
    Jew look for some rain and throw some live baits over..
    Whiting look for sand bars.
    Bream, don't bother with em.

    Some surface action is good or some sign of bait movement in the daytime may mean decent fishing at night.


    eh, ask your local fisho a bit of info on what tides are good.

    Cheers

  7. #7

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Explore as much of the estuary as you can at low tide. This allows you to see a lot of the structure that you'll then fish later on. Note the channels and where they make sharp turns that will produce back-eddys in the tidal run. Look for reefs, gravel beds, snags, mud clumps and banks, weed patches and rocks walls as they will all hold fish when they are submerged. If you don't know the river you might have to do this slowly as there might be shallow areas or rocks on which you can bottom out, but once you've found these areas you can travel with a lot more confidence.
    Cheers Freeeedom

  8. #8

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    I don't do what most people do.
    I do not find someone fishing and then anchor 30cm off their gunnel.
    Another thing I don't do is change spots every 38 seconds. Things take time.

    But I do look at google earth to get the lay of the system and see how the currents flow (back washes and eddy's etc) and what structure is there.
    Then I sit and watch a while to see what I can see. Pelicans, seagulls, birds of any description??
    And then I chuck a prawn on a line in and hope for the best.
    If no luck then I look for a spot to pump a yabbi or 20 and then I go and catch some fish.
    It doesn't really matter where you throw a line into some briney with a fresh yabbi on your hook you'll always catch a fish.

    But one thing I always do is to sit back and enjoy the surroundings. There's some nice water down Yamba, Iluka way and in both places wetting a line in the boat harbours is not a wast of time. In those sorts of places I always seem to drop a line where the trawlers sit.

    Cheers then
    Scott
    I intend on living for-ever....so far so good


  9. #9

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Read the water in the last two hours of run out and first two run in at a likely area. Once the tide floods, keep an eye out for areas that flood beyond the river banks, as the tide drops the large amounts of fish beyond the banks will be dropping back to the channels. If you were a top level predator, where would you be looking for a feed?
    Jack.

  10. #10

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    One good tip is checkout it out at low tide, this will show where you will find sandbars, weed beds, deep holes, channels, high tide snags, rock bars etc. Make yourself a map so as can remember where those points of interest are to assist you later on. Then it is a matter of trail and error but using the information you have gathered to make more informed decisons where to fish.

    Jeff.
    Quality is still delivering long after you have forgotten the price.

  11. #11

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    I always do a bit of research on google earth and suss out the area. I have one or two target species in mind, but still remain flexible with the baits and gear that i take. Once on the water i will usually run crab pots first (in central queensland, not Yamba but this is just what i do). This gives me a good oppertunity to explore the system, noting any potential fish holding structure at a leasurly pace while still not feeling like i'm waisting any time. Move around and try different things until you find the fish, if you have no luck then at least maybe you'll have a crab or two at the end of the day. Good luck

  12. #12
    Ausfish Platinum Member gruntahunta's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
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    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    LOg LOG and LOG..... Every trip if you keep a log of where, what and when..You will know eventually when and how and with what you will catch fish.


    Gotta Love Maroochydore.

  13. #13

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Oh..if going somewhere new I find somewhere that may look good..drop the pick..sit back and relax and wait for some suicidal fish to come along. Certainly relaxing that way.

  14. #14

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    A lot use usefull info in a few of the replys on this thread CHAS & CLARRY.
    A lucky few will throw a bait and come up with a world beater from time t o time but if your gunna get a feed most times you go
    your for want of a better expression think FISH.
    where will i get a easy feed
    what works for me is if i'm not in danger of loosing gear i'm probably not going to catch anything descent.
    one quote back a bit saying about hard run current being great doesn't work much where i fish .
    an hour either side of high or low water seems to put fish on my table
    have fun while your doin it
    ken


  15. #15

    Re: What is your approach to unlocking the secrets of a "new estuary"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeeedom View Post
    Explore as much of the estuary as you can at low tide. This allows you to see a lot of the structure that you'll then fish later on. Note the channels and where they make sharp turns that will produce back-eddys in the tidal run. Look for reefs, gravel beds, snags, mud clumps and banks, weed patches and rocks walls as they will all hold fish when they are submerged. If you don't know the river you might have to do this slowly as there might be shallow areas or rocks on which you can bottom out, but once you've found these areas you can travel with a lot more confidence.
    Cheers Freeeedom
    This, plus drop waypoints on the channels.


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