Report 7/6/19

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
Ph: 07 4098 5354
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:56 am

Report 7/6/19

Post by subeditor » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:25 am

From the official start of winter it has been every bit of that with air and water temperatures plummeting in recent times in the tropics. Compounding this has been every anglers nightmare, south easterly trade winds dominating the weather pattern driving cool, bullet type winds up along the far northern coastline. This has been the case more often than not for a couple of months and trying to find a decent break in the weather has been difficult. In saying this when the calmer days do present the fishing has been of the highest level, particularly on the reef.

Winter is all about fishing on the coastal and outer reefs. This is where a vast variety of species can be encountered on any given day. When the weather is behaving individual species have been hunting in packs and these have included the large and small mouth nannygai, coral trout, reef jacks, Spanish mackerel, spangled emperor and an array of trevally including golden and gold spot varieties. Depending on your location and what you stumble across you can expect to find a certain species stacked to the roof. This has been the case on recent charters with say small mouth nannygai completely dominating one spot then at the next it might be the large mouth. The following may be one of the trevally family and so on. The reds and trevally are firm favourites in the deeper water beyond 35m and as you venture up into the shallows it’s your coral trout and emperors that tend to dictate terms. There’s been a heap of other species that manage to add a bit of spice on most trips and they have included green jobfish, bowen sanpper, baldy bream and cobia. The cobia in fact have been kings now for over 6 months and their numbers have never been better and don’t look like giving up that title.

As the water temperatures are hovering around the 25 degree mark now, more and more mackerel are moving through the area. Spanish are at the top of the list on the outer reef and there’s a few more spotted mackerel been cited as well. Inshore reefs are now littered with doggie mackerel and the great news is that we have the grey mackerel in the area as well. Some years we see the ‘greys’ here and others they are scarce. The reason is unclear but they do have their specific grounds in the area when they arrive. The old fashioned silver spoon is a long time favourite for racking up a few grey mackerel.

Moving into our calmer waters a lot of time has been enforced on boaties to fish here because of the continuous strong winds. Even with water temperatures at their lowest the fishing has been fair to good. Mangrove jack numbers continue to impress along with javelin fish and big aggressive bream. On the right tides we’ve seen trevally, tarpon and queenfish move right through the systems and the fingermark have been active enough in the deeper holes. Ever since the weather started to cool down there’s been a lot of big pick handle barracuda around and they won’t hesitate to demolish a fish on the end of the line whether it be a good sized jack or bream. They are super aggressive following a meal right to the boat and they are of typical size you’d expect to see out on the reefs. Other than this it has been a good time of year to spread some crab pots around and on the bigger tides there’s been some good yields in the area.

Looking ahead we are all praying desperately for a consistent run of calm weather so the reefs can be explored more regularly. With tourist season beginning to peak it would be great for visiting anglers to experience the awesome fishing that can occur on our blue highway.
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