Weekly Report 5 Jan 11

Danny & Rosalie Brooks
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Weekly Report 5 Jan 11

Post by Brad » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:58 pm

Big morning tides have only improved the fishing at the northern beaches of late with big grunter, salmon and queenfish foraging the flats on the high tide. Mind you there have been plenty of sharks perusing the same area taking advantage of the mildly dirty water in search for food. The surface fishing from these areas both morning and night has been nothing short of amazing with newcomers to the luring also cashing in! Live baits set out the front of Bushland Beach have been the hotspot for good size blue salmon, with the usual population of small sharks to sort through as well. In the coming month or so we should see some good size prawns showing up in these areas, and amongst them some good predators (hopefully when the barra season opens). Closer to town the casino rockwall has been home to some fun sized queenfish in recent days with fizzers, poppers and stickbaits worked close to the marina entrance luring fish around 60cm. Remember these guys love action and speed, so amp up the pace when your chasing these pelagics.

Best reports have come from the Barrattas over the past week, even with the discoloured water and massive fresh influence around. Live bait hasn’t been a problem to get and have proved lethal while fishing upon the flats on the high tide. Big grunter around 60cm haven’t been deterred by the dirty water and debris taking 3 inch mullets set with a lightly weighted running sinker rig. Crab pots left too long were filled with crabs but needed a fair bit of sorting through to find the legal ones. Cleveland Bay hasn’t fished very well over the past few weeks but the crabs have made up for the lack of fin fish around. As expected the flats off Crocodile and Cocoa Creek have been alive with crabs of late, with a constant change in bait the key to success. With all the water around the canals, drains and lagoons in the Burdekin area are full to the brim resulting in fast flowing water which means plenty of tarpon which are great fun on light line. I don’t know of a better lure than the marabou jig when it comes to catching tarpon and although not a table fish they definitely make up for it in there fighting ability, with none stop aerial displays once hooked. Many of these areas are also full of barra and with the current closure on barramundi if you accidentally hook one do release it unharmed.

Absolute magic weather over the past week with the inclusion of a few storms saw many anglers weather the rain for some superb fishing. Well known areas such as the Slashers, Grub and Centipede were all quiet pre Christmas, but resurrected their status as some of the best trout grounds off Townsville recently. Bottom bashing in 40m of water saw some excellent trout caught with the average fish across the board going 4-5kg. Upon closer inspection on the gutting table, the general consensus was that these guys were hungry with little to nothing to show in their belly. The mackerel reports are still coming in strong with the humble drifted pillie luring nearby Spaniards while chasing bottom species. Be aware that there is plenty of lone snags (even full trees) floating particularly around the shoals area. Drive with care and I wouldn’t recommend heading out at night, I have heard of one boat taking a glance from a tree late in the afternoon. If times on your side always have a small soft plastic or bucktail jig rigged up and cast around the numerous floating fish hotels (snags), as big triple tail inhabit these snags this time of year. Maggie shoals has been fishing surprisingly well during the day with plenty of good large mouth coming from good bottom marking up solid fish.

The weather looks like it may hold out for the weekend and better yet the storms seem to be clearing. With the reports of the shoals holding good red fish of late I’d look at hitting this area and concentrating your efforts around the turn of the high tide. If there’s a chance of a rogue storm about, it’s only a short dash back to the island for some shelter. Tide Times Full Moon: 20th January 11

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