Report 1/6/18

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 1/6/18

Post by subeditor » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:18 pm

The reality that winter is upon us was very apparent towards the start of June, with cooler days and overcast and windy conditions prevailing. Water temperatures plummeted and the fishing changed particularly for our rivers and estuaries.

Notable fish to slow right down overnight included barramundi and to a certain degree mangrove jack and fingermark. On the other side of the coin species such as big bream, grunter and mid sized trevally seemed to be everywhere and turned into a dominant catch. Bigger queenfish at the river mouths and deeper sections of the system also relished in the cooler conditions. Suspended live baits have been very successful on the queenfish and trevally with surface poppers offering some action as well. With the water often dirty in clarity fresh, smelly dead baits have been best for your bream and grunter and still enticing enough to coax out a mangrove jack or two. If you are destined to catch a barra, revert back to small soft plastics or lures and fish the shallow banks or mangrove edges that have received the most sunlight. Barra are always looking to nestle somewhere which is slightly warmer in temperature.

Along the coast our inshore reefs and wrecks are brimming with nannygai schools, trevally, island trout and the mackerel family are very familiar with the same spots. If you can coincide your day off with some nice calm weather you don’t need to travel too far to enjoy an action packed day. Keep it simple for the bottom species, a paternoster rig loaded with a combination of pilchard and also squid which offers a bit resistance. For your mackerel it is a must this time of year to have a floating gang pilchard suspended out the back of the boat. If you start to sound up what appears to be mackerel schools, jigging a metal slice down the water column will pay dividends. I’ve experimented with all sorts of different coloured slices but have found the something that is predominantly silver in colour will out play all others.

On the outer reef it has been ticking over very nicely with all species firing on all cylinders. Deep and more shallow water hangs are producing fish and it can be a mixed bag of fish you may bring home. A typical day on our charters will see coral trout, nannygai, spangled emperor, trevally, stirpeys, sweetlip and a mackerel or two come back to the docks. Other species to add a bit of spice have been cattle dog cod, cobia and in recent times we have seen a lot more long nose emperor.

On the pelagic scene the Spanish mackerel are swarming the outer reefs harassing bait schools that pushed up against a pressure point on the reef or on an isolated bommie. If stationed you can’t beat a live fusilier under a float, they simply can’t resist them. Being on the move and trolling will see you catch better numbers and experience double hook ups. Mixing up your spread is key to establishing the depth that they are fishing. If you are able to run three or four outfits you’re best to run a deep diving hard body lure, a shallow diving lure and one or two skipping garfish on a woghead assembly. You’ll soon work out what the preference is on that particular day.

An extra bonus at this time of year for pelagic fisherman is the arrival of the juvenile black marlin on our wide grounds. They have been here since late May but now are starting to peak in numbers. It can be a bit of an exploration for them but the key is to find concentrated bait schools in a current line and stick to your guns. Plough the area over and you should come up trumps, even possibly catching multiple billfish.

As one door shuts another opens up, that’s the beauty of fishing in the tropics.
Phone: 0409 610 869

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