Summer is a great time to be fishing, particularly for the shore-based angler. The water is warm enough to wade in, and there is usually an abundance of fish that will frequent the shallows looking for food. The shallow sand flats of most estuaries will harbour bait fish, saltwater yabbies, and prawns: all of which become a vital food source for predatory fish such as bream. I rarely launch my boat throughout the summer months, as I typically kick the shoes off and wade the flats. This style of fishing is relaxing, productive, fun and available to everyone.
I generally stow a selection of surface lures and shallow running minnows into a back pack or shoulder bag, and allow my two bare feet to explore for kilometres. Two lures that I am particularly fond of are, TD minnow Silent 60SP & Gekkabijin Shirinui. These lures have served me well, and I place a lot of trust in their ability to catch fish. If I see bream chasing prawns on the flats, I will work the surface with the Gekkabijin Shrinui; and on the contrary, will twitch the TD Minnow silent if the bream have their noses down in the sand.
I mix it up a bit with my retrieves if the fish are not responding. I will either speed the retrieve up, or slow it down: or even incorporate a few pauses in my retrieve too. Good areas to prospect are small depth changes, gutters and drains within the flats, weed patches, rocky points that converge with the sand and flats that show evidence of feeding activity such as fish digs.
The best part about this style of fishing is you don’t need an expensive rod and reel to catch fish. One combo that performs well for me is a Generation Black – itchy twitchy married to an EXCELER 2500DX. I have also had great success with the Phantom X rods, particularly the 702LFS. The above mentioned rods work a surface lure well, and are also able to twitch a minnow with ease. I prefer to use light line (4lb Braid) and a rod’s length of 4lb to 6lb leader.
While this approach is mainly aimed at bream, you will also catch your fair share of flathead and whiting when fishing this way too. Bream, whiting and flathead all boast great eating qualities, so be sure to carry a catch-bag with you if you intend on taking a feed of fresh fish home. You’ll often see me dragging a catch bag behind me, as I loooove eating fish!
Two tips – try to cast with the wind to assist cast length, and work your lure with the tidal flow for a natural presentation. AB