Report 4/11/16

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 4/11/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:17 pm

With a slow build up to the big black marlin season proceedings really started to gather up pace on the back end October and early November. The bite further north along the Ribbon Reefs was starting to wane so a lot of the fleet ventured back south to the grounds of St Crispins, Agincourt, Opal Ridge and the famous Linden Bank. Here the game fishing brigade found the fishing more consistent and with a lot more big girls around mainly between the 600-850lb mark with the odd big one exceeding these weights. Some skippers are of the belief that these more southern grounds will continue to fire for awhile into December. What may have seemed initially to be a very quiet year might turn into a late charge with lots of big fish to be caught.
Also on the shelf the light tackle scene has experienced moments of excitement with dolphin fish, wahoo, big Spanish mackerel and patches of yellowfin tuna ambushing lure spreads. They are just part of the food chain which encompasses the arrival of the big black marlin for its breeding process. Looking ahead fishing fleets will also explore a lot wider of the shelf as numbers of blue marlin and the yellowfin aggregation begin to unfold over the coming month or so.
Closer to home the reef fishing scene has been a bit more up and down as we enter the hottest part of the year. The spawning of the reef fish have been all over the shop this year with some doing their business sometime ago and others waiting for the last moment. This does have an effect on feeding patterns but probably the emperor species including red, spangled and lose nose have remained the most consistent species.
Luckily the trevally troops including gold spot and bludger have been ultra busy and kept rods bending when all seemed quiet. Coral trout and nannygai have had bursts of activity, stripies, moses perch and sweetlip have been positive with some really big specimens on the bite. The Spanish mackerel are not as prolific as they once were but the ones being caught are those big rogue individuals often in excess of 20kg. Night time sessions according to locals have been far more productive when targeting the ‘reds’. Notably on the reef there is an algae bloom in a lot of places on the surface and it has all to do with the coral spawning. What we normally find is that the reef fishing will settle down in the coming weeks and the fishing will return to some normality and it won’t be too hard to secure a good swag of fish.
Inshore the barra rattled off some impressive numbers and sizes before the closures and according some guides the best October period they’d seen in quite a while for this species with a lot of fish very active down at the lower reaches, river mouths and coastal mangroves. With the barra off the wish list there has been plenty of other quality species around including good numbers of mangrove jack and fingermark. There’s been good sized trevally up to 4kg moving in with the tides and grunter or javelin fish up to 60cm plus have been recorded across the flats. Tarpon numbers are schooling in the deeper holes and been extremely active after dark. Best results overall have been during low light periods with the middle parts of the day proving too hot even for the fish.
With school holidays around the corner and with Christmas mixed in no doubt tourist numbers will swell and we’ll be in for a very busy festive period.
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