Report 31/10/18

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 31/10/18

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:32 pm

The Best Might be Just be Around the Corner

The seasons have certainly turned as the mercury level both on the land and water continue to rise. In my opinion December is traditionally the hottest month of the year in the tropics as we await the build up to the wet season. The upside is that generally speaking the seas are very calm allowing anglers to access vast areas.

Even though temperatures are rising it hasn’t stopped the awesome fishing in Far Nth Qld. At the forefront at this time of year the heavy tackle marlin season is rolling along beautifully with some epic encounters being had on the edges of the continental shelf. Local grounds including St. Crispins, Opal Ridge and Linden Bank have seen really good numbers of marlin this season. There are plenty of fish between the 250 – 500lb range followed by good numbers of fish right up to 900lb. The season is well from over but there have been at least half a dozen 1000lb fish tagged an released in local waters to date. Skippers are saying that an afternoon incoming tide with nice blue, clear currents coming in from the Coral Sea are the ingredients for the bigger fish to bite.

The light tackle season is also ticking along nicely with plenty of Spanish mackerel and wahoo on the take in the open waters. Now we are also just starting to see the ever playful dolphin fish turn up in numbers and their acrobatical antics are a whole lot of fun. Add to this the tuna aggregation wide of the shelf is taking place and this opens up more possibilities including blue marlin plus the yellowfin themselves. Also popping up at various times are a few sailfish which are a welcome surprise when targeting other species.

On the reef itself the fishing has at times been a bit more patchy but on most days there is a hot bite on the go. Depending on where you are and what you are pursuing the fish have come on the chew in a major way and often it is associated with a tide change. In the deeper waters it could be the nannygai or trevally species let loose or in the more shallower waters it could be the coral trout or spangled emperor that decide to have a crack. There’s been a lot of side attractions in recent times with really good numbers of cobia around and several big rogue Spanish mackerel which tend to roam the ocean as an individual. Other eye popping species to rock have also included 30kg cod, 6kg reef mangrove jack and recently on the Dragon Lady charter to caught and released an estimated 100kg Qld Groper the size of a 44 gallon drum. As can often be the case at this time of year the numbers of fish might not be at their greatest but the quality and size can be exceptional.

For those fishing closer to home coastal reefs are still holding a few Spanish mackerel and the doggie mackerel are hanging in there. Wonky holes have been producing some thumping large mouth nannygai and there is the ever present gold spot cod for the taking. A few big one metre plus queenfish have been frequenting various spots along the coast and have been prone to take a big live garfish or mullet floated out the back of the boat.

Our coastal waterways have become a lot harder to fish especially in the heat of the day. We are in desperate need of some serious rain to ignite our estuaries and creeks into action and stir things up. Low light periods and night time fishing efforts have been rewarded best with some nice mangrove jack, fingermark, trevally and tarpon. Along the beaches there have been a lot of smaller sharks and shovel nose ray patrolling the shallows. In between these dominant species has been some handy blue salmon and good sized queenfish but they are competing hard with the toothy critters.

There’s still a lot to play out in the last month of the year and some of the most exciting fishing may just transpire if you’re in the right place at the right time.


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