So I should have my mouth washed out with soap for speaking the words “Go the mighty blues”, but the fishing arena is the only place where I will ever say it, as I am a Queenslander to the core! However, the blues I am referring to in this instance are the mighty blue salmon which frequent the estuaries of the north and are particularly abundant during the winter months.
The bread and butter trio consisting of bream, whiting and flathead are around in great numbers during these cooler months also, but for a bit more rod bending action then I highly recommend giving these fish a serious crack. Their fight is a relatively clean one as they don’t beeline for the nearest snag in an attempt to bust you off, but they do take to the air somewhat barra like and are fairly well renowned for throwing your lure whilst doing so. Similarly once again to barramundi, they do have a very raspy jaw and will make short work of light leaders.
When talking leaders, I commonly use 30lb fluorocarbon when chasing these fish as it is a good compromise of sufficient strength without going too heavy to the point where you may scare away other more finicky fish from having a go. To be honest though, I do usually start out with 20lb leader and chance it until I start losing a few fish and/or lures and then upgrade. It’s always a great idea to use fluorocarbon leader though as it gives you the extra toughness over standard leader material.
There aren’t too many artificial imitations that blue salmon will not be tempted by. Soft plastics anywhere between 2 inches and 6 inches will get the job done pending on their mood and willingness to feed. Vibes and hardbodies are also good choices pending on water depth.
My mate Rhys and I recently had a cracking session on these fish. They were schooled up in the middle of the creek on the outgoing tide and were smashing everything we put in front of them. They were in a frenzy smashing balled up bait that receded from the safety of the mangroves with the dropping tide and were pushed out to where the predators were laying in wait. If you take a look at the sounder shot, you can see what I mean and you can see why we were so damn excited when we came across this.
As mentioned earlier, these fish do fight relatively cleanly and will run into the middle of the creek once hooked. Because of this, there is no reason why you cannot use light gear on these fish and have an absolute ball with them. I like to use a 4-10lb spin-stick matched to my Shimano Stella 2500FI loaded with 8lb braid and another 6-12lb spin-stick matched with my Stella 3000FE loaded with 10lb braid. My mate Rhys actually runs a 1-3kg raider spin-stick on a 1000 Sustain and has an absolute ball with these fish.
These fish are simply awesome fighters and should be on the agenda of many piscatorial punters (I am sure they are already!). They fight out of their skin and taste pretty good too when eaten fresh. They don’t freeze very well, so I would strongly recommend releasing the majority of these fish, but if you are going to keep one, make sure you eat them that night to get the best out of the flesh.
Live It...Breathe it.....