Winter is well and truly upon us and what better time to focus on one of our very popular ALLSTARS INSALT online fishing competition categories – Salmon.  Our ALLSTARS category includes both Blue Threadfin salmon and the King Threadfin Salmon.  Both these fish can be caught this time of year and keen anglers will brave the bitter cold of winter in search of these two species.

For this fishing column I’m focusing on the mighty King Threadfin Salmon.  This fish has exploded of the blocks as a recreational sportfish, since the introduction of gill net free zones in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton in the year 2015.  Although as hard and if not harder to catch than a Barramundi these fish fight like hell and are great eating with beautiful white flesh.

One bloke by the name of Ryan Patterson has absolutely dominated the ALLSTARS Salmon category this year, winning five of the six months of competition.  These 6 Salmon have earnt him $1,800 CASH for fishing.  So you should pay attention to his Salmon fishing tips and apply them in your own area, join our online comp and give him a run for his money!

The size of Ryan’s threadies are incredible with his largest to date measuring in at 136cm.  I caught up with Ryan to pick his brain for advice on this species for others to ponder.

  • Whats your largest and your goal?

My largest is 146cm but I’m keen to crack 150cm.  It’s only a matter of time.

  • What areas do you fish?

Port Alma and the Fitzroy Delta area. These fish move like crazy, and I’ll travel up to 100km a session in search of them.

  • Has fishing for Threadies improved since the introduction of NFZs?

Absolutely, the fishing can be ridiculous at times.  Before the closure the average fish was 70 – 80cm and a 120cm was a cracker, nowadays the average I’m catching is around 120cm.

  • What electronics do you use?

I run with a Humminbird Helix 12 which leads the way in side imaging technology and allows me to target schools of specific sized fish.  The ability to discriminate between size is the key to success.

  • What lures do you prefer?

King Threadfin can be caught on prawn imitation, soft plastics, vibes and hard bodies; but my go to is the Zerek fish trap.

  • What tides do you like to fish?

I’ll fish any tide that suits my days off, I just go when family commitments allow, mostly in the daytime.  If I had a choice, I would fish the neap tides where the water is generally clearer.

  • Any season you like to target?

Not particularly, I’ll catch these fish all year round. However, I’ve found larger schools of 500 plus fish in the winter time.

  • What outfit to you prefer?

I run with a 4000 to 5000 sized spin reel on an 8 kg rod with 20lb braid and 50lb leader.

  • Any Salmon fishing highlights you’d like to share?

I recaptured a fish I caught and tagged one and a half years later.  The fish grew from 122cm to 125cm in that time.  Their growth rate seems to slow down when they get to this size.

  • Most critical things to know about fishing for Salmon.

These fish have a very high mortality rate post capture.  They are super fragile and should be put back into the water within one minute of capture if you intend to release them.  So, my advice is to have everything ready to go to ensure survival.    They suffer badly from barotrauma, and I would advise any fish caught in more than 6-7 meters of water to be released with a release weight.

  • What do you like most about the Allstars fishing competition?

The website open 24 hours 7-days a week to weigh in your catch and fish where you want, allows me to fish times that suit me and my family.

Aside from hearing from Gladstone’s Greatest of All Time (GOAT) Salmon angler I have some other interesting facts about these fish.  Firstly, they have a protandrous reproductive mode.  Meaning fish start out as male, becoming sexually mature at 60 to 80cm (2 -4 years old) and then depending on location they change sex to female once they are over the meter mark (6 years old).  It is believed over 50 percent of Fitzroy River fish don’t change sex to female until over 136cm.

Maximum size is over 170cm and around 22years of age.  Currently there is only a minimum size requirement for this species of 65cm on the East Coast with no maximum size.  Given the nature of their reproductive mode and their susceptibility, the fact that no female fish are protected raises concerns for the sustainability of this species.

To be successful catching King Threadfin requires a bit of study and a lot of time at the crease.  There’s plenty of action videos on Youtube and “how to” articles on the internet, but the real advantage is signing up for a course on catching Threadfin.  Do the search and take advantage of guys who have done the hard yards and are willing to pass their knowledge on. It will be worth your time and money.

ALLSTARS has months of competition still to occur and stories to share.  I have decades of fishing tips and will interview many more successful commercial and recreational anglers to share their suggestions too. 

And… don’t forget the Snapper no take species ends this Sunday 15th August, 2021.

As much as I like to write about fishing, I’d also like to hear from you.  So please email me at info@allstarsinsalt.com.au to share your fishing trips, fishing tips, fishing stories and photos.

A day on the water is better than a day at work.

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