Report 7/10/16

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 7/10/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:39 pm

There is a general feel around the traps that we might be in for a more traditional build up to the wet season this time around with some indicators already in place. The days are definitely warm and muggy, we’ve already seen a bit of good rain fall around the place and water temperatures are already quite high.
This time of year it is all about marlin fishing and there is a strong contingency of boats from all over Australia working the waters from Cairns to Lizard Island. By the start of October we started to see a bit of shift in momentum with a few black marlin turning up although there has been a lot of miles in between fish. A lot of the fish have been around the 100lb – 200lb range with a few tags put into 500lb models. Some crews have resorted to fishing wider of the shelf and have managed some blue marlin as well. By the time you read this no doubt catch rates will have improved considerably and with the Lizard Island tournament just completed that is an indicator of how the season is fairing thus far. For us we have the Port Douglas Marlin Challenge running from the 10th-13th November with some good tides at hand. By this time a lot of vessels would have left the top of the Ribbon Reefs and venture down to the Opal Ridge and Linden Bank grounds which have a reputation for a big bite during the November period. Being the 50th Anniversary since the first 1000lb was caught off Cairns it would be fitting to see a host of big girls being tagged and released this season.
In other news there’s been some good light tackle action also on the marlin grounds on the shelf as well with big wahoo and Spanish mackerel cruising around and there has been some yellowfin tuna as well which will also help to entice the marlin to stay in the vicinity. Inside the reef there are reasonable numbers of Spanish mackerel along with a healthy supply of northern bluefin and mack tuna. The giant trevally fishing using either poppers or trolling techniques has been quite productive as well on those calm flat days.
On the reef itself numbers of fish have been ticking over nicely with some bumper days on the large mouth nannygai being the pick of the lot. Other than this it has been an even spread of quality reef fish including coral trout, red emperor, small mouth nannygai, gold spot and tea-leaf trevally, spangled and long nosed emperor, moses perch, cobia and sweetlip. There’s been a continuation of some more exotic fish turning up which have included barramundi cod (caught and released), baldy bream and footballer and pasionfruit trout. Notably they have been caught in and around the same terrain. With the first spawning just completed we should see a bit of a burst of action especially for the coral trout which did go into lock jaw for a brief period prior to this. The next reef closure for spawning is later in the month. As time progresses the day time fishing will drop down half a a gear and is a good time of year for a night fish especially for the reds if you can pick the right weather.
Inshore the with nice clean water on offer a lot of the time good sized queenfish have been up and about at river mouths, beaches and headlands. In tow have been quite a few school mackerel taking advantage of the healthy bait supply on offer. In the rivers and estuaries the barra certainly picked during October but now with the closure in effect for the next 3 months they naturally must be released from this point on. Other than this the mangrove jack and fingermark have remained very steady and definitely next in line to target. The deeper holes are also providing good action with big schools of tarpon holding office and with the movement of the tide have been accompanied with mid sized giant trevally at times. With the days expected to get even warmer low light periods and night fishing will produce the best results moving forward.
November generally produces some stunner weather albeit a tad warm but there is a plethora of fishing opportunity to be had up here in Far Nth Qld from the calm waters inshore right out to the blue highway out past the shelf and everything in between.

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