Report 8/7/16

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
Ph: 07 4098 5354
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Report 8/7/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:20 am

As highly suspected in the tropics we have basically passed the winter months without the hint of a traditional dry season pattern. Land and water temperatures remained well above average over this period and the rainfall was around average. It has been a very pleasant period and the fishing proved to quite exceptional as well. Now we look forward to what is considered the most favourable time up north for both pleasure and fishing opportunities.
As to be expected the reef fishing has been the strongest performer over the last month or so with some power house results coming back into the docks of Port Douglas. Quantity and quality was the norm with all our prized fish firing to their potential and there has also been a wide range of species on the bite. There have been multiple times when the coral trout have delivered in big numbers and sizes on any given day and have easily been the most consistent fish for some time. Charter vessels have returned with in excess of 20 plus trout at times and the chiller has resembled a strawberry rainbow of big colourful fish. Of note the small mouth nannygai have returned to the area and they became a staple catch as well. For a few years they disappeared off the face of the earth but we are glad to say they are back in healthy numbers and big sizes around the 5kg range. When these fish are on the bite they become a guaranteed source to tap into and they are normally found in good numbers. Charter vessels love them as they are often their bread and butter species to ensure punters return home with a supply of fish. Large mouth nannygai have been up and about but probably for a change have remained in the shadows of the small mouth and coral trout. In saying this there has always been a few thumping large mouth amongst the catch for the day on most occasions. As mentioned there has also been a plethora of other species on the march and they have included the likes of cobia, red emperor, gold spot trevally, sweetlip, moses perch, stripies, baldy bream, venus tusk fish, cod species, red throat emperor and spangled emperor. All have made an impact at various times adding icing to the cake of the trout and nannygai.
On the pelagic scene the Spanish mackerel picked up some good momentum in recent times and are quite prolific in our local waters. We have also just experienced a run of spotted and school mackerel which suggests that we’ll see some good action on these fish for a while to come both inshore and offshore. Interestingly we have also seen a run of yellowfin tuna inside the reef this time with the average size being around 10kg in size and they add another dimension to the Sportfishing side of things. Small black marlin have been a bit of a late starter this year remembering they turned up in May last year. The wide grounds south of Port Douglas has a population of these fish as we speak and the waters south of Fitzroy Island are also reporting similar results. The Bluewater Billfish Classic in late August out of Fitzroy Island has a reputation for producing high numbers of these stallions and I look forward to having a go myself this year to see what all the hype is about. Catching them on light tackle gear is a whole heap of fun.
Our rivers and creeks this dry season never really shut down as they normally do and would be directly responsible by the warmer than average water temperatures. Barra, mangrove jack and fingermark have trickled along nicely and have been accompanied by some good action on the queenfish and trevally. Bream, grunter, sickle fish and flathead remained quite consistent as to be expected for this time of year. With only warmer weather on its way our local rivers and creeks will quickly return to peak performance with an array of species on offer. The mud crabbing in the local area was also very good this year with many handsome reports filtering through.
Looking ahead and with winter a faded memory already the fishing in the tropics will spike in the next month or so and there will be a plethora of opportunity to target a wide range of excellent fish. Where else would you rather be!

Lynton Heffer
Phone: 0409 610 869

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