How to Catch Queenfish
Rigs and Techniques
Queenfish are not dirty fighters, often spending a lot of time in the air hooked. In fact, they are a fine sportfish, combining acrobatics with dogged determination.
Braided or mono line around 6-8 kilos is ample for even the biggest queenfish. A light spin rod capable of casting small lures is perfect for the job.
Although they are often caught in big sizes and sometimes attack lures with suicidal abandon, there are times when queenfish will be quite choosy and prefer smaller lures. While they will take fish baits, for most anglers the best way to target queenfish is with lures, and in particular poppers and stickbaits.
Watching queenfish crash surface lures is enthralling. Sometimes they will dart all around lures without striking, which means it is time for a change. If using a surface lure, this may mean a sub-surface offering and they will take minnow lures. Varying the retrieve is another good option. Small metals and lead-head jigs are other good options. Fly fishing is popular for queenfish, and soft plastics also work. Crushing the barbs is advised if the fish are to be released.
Queenfish can be quite flighty and move around a lot. One moment they will be everywhere and the next they will have seemingly disappeared. A good time to target them is around the turn of the tide and they often likes areas where there are strong currents, causing eddies and rips. In shallow flats areas, they will move up into surprisingly shallow water as the tide rises.
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