Report 8/1/16

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

Report 8/1/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:23 pm

The Far North experienced a more traditional start to the wet season with a low pressure system dumping copious amount of rain on the region over the Christmas and New Year period. In fact over 300mm was recorded in a 24hr period on several occasions in certain locations, in particular the Daintree catchment area. Naturally this impacted some of our major rivers systems temporarily forcing them into flood and shutting them down. It even had an effect on the inshore and outer reefs. Often after a big wet such as this, fresh water can be visibly seen up to 10 miles offshore, however in this instance it reached some 18 miles offshore onto the reef where the water was bottle green in colour. Basically this made the fishing extremely tough no matter where you wet a line.
Moving into the New Year the rain eased with only localised rain cells dumping heavy rain over a short period and our waterways slowly returned to some normality. This deluge of rain however was the perfect calling sign for the barramundi to complete their yearly breeding cycle releasing eggs along the coastline with the aid of the heavy rains. It also released a chain of food in the form of baitfish and prawns which will feed the hungry mouths of many fish for the weeks to come. The headland, river mouth and beach fishing moving should offer some solid activity with an abundance of food available.
On the outer reef once the rains subsided at the start of January the fishing improved considerably overall. Reef fishing can be tough in the warmest months but the catch rates were above par for this time of year. Coral trout were up and about, the large mouth nannygai turned up with regularity and there was an abundance of other species putting a bend in the rod. Gold spot trevally, moses perch, cobia, sweetlip, reef mangrove jack and a variety of emperor species were never far away. Even the Spanish mackerel were found on the deep pinnacles in reasonable numbers. Sometimes you just never know what will unfold when you are out on the reef just as Dragon Lady Charters experienced recently. They picked up a few mackerel on the float in quick succession but the bottom was fishing really slow. Out of the blue a 50kg sailfish inhales the live fusilier bait and all mayhem breaks loose. Chasing down 300m of line they eventually caught the speedster and it was a catch you’d never really expect whilst bottom fishing. If you never, never go you will never, never know.
Also on the surface out wide at the moment there are playing fields of mack tuna and bonito around. They are feeding on tiny bait fry as a result of the big rains. Tiny, tiny metal lures cast and retrieved amongst a feeding school and a bit of persistence will see you hook in amongst this surface activity.
The days when the fishing became tougher offshore was when the northerlies blew and anchoring on marks was tough work. The wind and the current were going in opposite directions and where your line ended up on the bottom of the reef was a bit of guess work. If the northerlies have a bit of strength about them you might as well stay home as the fish seem to go into lock jaw mode as well. It is something which can be a factor at this time of year.
With opening of the barra season upon us the rivers and creeks attract a bit of focus. News is the barra have been up around the river and creek mouths after the rains and according to sources have been active after dark using live baits. The mangrove jack species are always around in numbers at this time of year and fingermark in the deeper holes and snags came back on the bite when the water clarity improved. The beaches and headlands as already mentioned have fish taking advantage of the bait supply thanks to those heavy rains a month or so ago. Species include queenfish, grey mackerel and trevally.
Moving forward it is going to depend what sort of wet season we receive. A bit of rain here and there always keeps our systems in a lively mood where as no rain or too much rain can have the opposite effect.
Here’s hoping to happy median in the coming month.

Lynton Heffer
Phone: 0409 610 869

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