Report 10/9/18

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Nicole Penfold
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:08 pm

Report 10/9/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:18 am

With a click of the fingers conditions in the tropics turned overnight at the start of September and our winter period became a distant memory. Temperatures climbed rapidly both in the air and on the water. The days and sea conditions are just lovely albeit a little hotter.

The biggest development on the local scene is that the fin fish on the reef spawned a month earlier than predicted on the new moon in early September. This became very evident by mid August with male coral trout congregating in big numbers to the ledges of the reef in 30m of water awaiting for the females to arrive up in the shallows. Other species such as moses perch and stripeys were well and truly roed up also during the same period. For several weeks leading into the new moon not a single female could be caught suggesting they were in preparation to spawn. This changed quickly following the moon as those that had spawned ate aggressively up in the shallows and then gradually dispersed back out to deeper water. On the Great Barrier Reef we have two sets of reef closures for 5 days leading into the new moon in October and November. It is anticipated that another spawn will happen again in October but the November closure will be a waste of time because of this early spawn. From memory the same pattern happened last year.

Other than this the reef fishing has been nothing short of exceptional with some big fish being landed across the board. Fish caught on a regular between the 6-10kg range have included red emperor, large mouth nannygai, bar cheek trout, reef mangrove jack, gold spot trevally and cod species. Fish between the 3-5kg range have included spangled emperor, coral trout and small mouth nannygai and there’s been ample of these species. There’s been enough activity on the surface with good numbers of Spanish mackerel around and also the occasional cobia taking a floating pilchard. As water temperatures rise the reef fishing will lose a bit of momentum during the day moving but will go up a notch during the night. Night fishing is a viable option at this time of year before the evening storms start to form in a month or two.

Still on the subject of offshore fishing the small black marlin season is coming to a close and was considered to be an average year. However focus now changes to the edges of the shelf with the big black marlin due to arrive any day for their spawning time which will last for a couple of months. Lots of game boats have already converged on the area right up to the top of the Ribbon Reefs and reports will soon filter through.

Closer to home the small boat brigade has enjoyed some good fishing on the coastal reefs picking up bar cheek trout, large mouth nannygai and good numbers of school mackerel. Night time efforts have produced some monster fingermark and giant trevally. Along the beaches for the land based fisherman the fishing has improved with the calmer weather with blue salmon, barramundi and queenfish making a dash on the incoming tide. Live mullet or garfish has been the best bait.

As we move into October the main focus will remain offshore with the arrival of the big black marlin and other great sporting fish such as wahoo, sailfish, yellowfin tuna and dolphin fish as well.
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