Report 13/5/16

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
Ph: 07 4098 5354
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Report 13/5/16

Post by subeditor » Fri May 13, 2016 2:14 pm

It has been a different set of circumstances this year in the tropics with the wet season producing well below par and the exceptionally warm weather continuing into the start of the dry season. Leading well into May day and night time temperatures remained consistently high and one is thinking if this keeps up we’ll be back into summer before we know it without too much change. We did see a bit of rain develop across the region during April associated with a bit of wind but once the weather calms out the days are like a millpond and a still a touch warm.
So what has this meant on the fishing front? It has been good news for the river sand creeks for like of barra, fingermark and mangrove jack which love the warmer water temperature. Their life expectancy for this season has been extended considerably due to the warmer than normal conditions. Also in the mix in most of our systems are a healthy supply of mid sized trevally along with smaller queenfish as well, so there has been a good mix of fish to target. Bream and grunter are up and about for the bait fisherman and there are plenty of mud crabs around for those prepared to put in the extra work. Extending along to our beaches we have trevally, queenfish, sand whiting, flathead and a few monster barra still presenting themselves on the fringes of the break through creeks on the foreshore and out along the rocky ridges and sand bars at the front of the river entrances. Moving out a little further inshore rubble patches and inshore reefs are recording steady numbers of mid sized large mouth nannygai off the bottom with some handy sized mackerel and cobia working further up the water column.
Offshore on the outer reef pockets of water were still recording 28 degrees by the second week of May and the southern currents with cooler water are still yet to take full effect. Despite this abnormal situation the fishing to say the least has been very good with days providing a bit of run in the tide producing handsomely across the board. The nannygai in certain deeper locationss are starting to school up in places where you would expect them to be. The good news is that the extra sized super models are now amongst the action with grand sized fish coming in between 7-10kg. The nannygai fishing will only get better and better from this point on. Not to be left behind there’s been better numbers of red emperor on the bite and to never disappoint the coral trout catches have been steady and healthy in size mainly between the 3-4kg range. There’s been a mixed bag of other species to share the joy including some big gold spot trevally, cobia, reef mangrove jack, sweetlip and moses perch.
Not surprisingly at the beginning of May we saw a surge in Spanish mackerel catches on the reef. They have been sourced in numbers more out in the open waters on top of big pinnacles holding big patches of bait. Quite often they have been in the same locations as the nannygai so the action has been thick and fast. As the cooler waters arrive one is anticipating the Spanish to turn up in serious numbers considering they are already here under not ideal circumstances.
Looking ahead we should start to see the south easterly trade winds play a major part in the coming months. When the weather is calm to moderate this can be a bonus with wind and current running in the same direction making anchoring on marks a lot easier. Advice that has been passed on is to pick an area on the reef where you believe will hold fish and work it over. It maybe a few marks within a few hundred metres of each other, but keep persisting because it is likely one of them will fire up, particularly in the deeper water for the nannygai. Motoring all over the reef in search of a bite will yield fewer fish at this time of year.
So we expect the inshore systems to roll on nicely for a bit longer this time around before sloswly tapering off and offshore the fishing will do the opposite and take a spike in the right direction.

Lynton Heffer
Phone: 0409 610 869

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