Report 2/12/16

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 2/12/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:06 pm

As we enter yet into another New Year with new adventures around the corner the end of last year was definitely worth reflecting upon.
The 2016 season rounded off in fine fashion with a good return of big black marlin coming to the fore from the early parts of November and extending right into the month of December. After a lack luster start in October the marlin aggregation then came beautifully together in numbers with reports of fish being tagged and released on a fairly regular basis. As with any form of fishing there can be quiet periods but when the bite came on it was game on. Operations were at times registering on average 1-2 blacks per day for up to a week at a time. Most of the big fish were tagged at the Opal Ridge and Linden Banks over the last month or so with quite a few surpassing the magical 1000lb mark. Overall there were consistent numbers of marlin between the 250-300lb range with a solid contribution from fish going between the 500-700lb scale this season. Once again the region can boast the best marlin fishery in the world thanks to this late season bite. The last of the big marlin tournaments was the Port Douglas Marlin Challenge in mid November over 4 consecutive days where there were 29 strikes, 26 hookups and 16 marlin tagged with 3 fish estimated over 1000lb. Nowhere else in the world will you see fish caught this size at such a good strike rate. This is the reason why you have up to 40 world class game boats anchored up over night at the Opal Reefs each evening. They are living and breathing on the doorstep of fishing immortality.
On a much more subtle magnitude there has been other forms of fishing worth mentioning. Starting with the reef it certainly has been a more challenging few weeks as temperatures begin to really soar. The fishing has been spasmodic especially around the spawning periods but the best reports have come from fishing not as far out to sea as you think. Deep pinnacles in between the outer reef and the mainland have produced huge numbers of large mouth nannygai, up to 20 pus fish in a session all between the 4-8kg scope. On the outer reef itself it has mainly been coral trout, moses perch, spangled emperor, tea-leaf and bludger trevally, stripies and some pretty handy cobia which have been around in superior numbers this year. Notably the Spanish mackerel dried up barring the odd big rogue mackerel which live a lonesome life often exceeding 20kg in size.
Inshore the rivers and creeks have been putting out some consistent catches on mangrove jack during the day in amongst the shady mangrove banks and some good fingermark at night in the deeper holes. There’s been a good stream of trevally in most of our systems and of good size up to 3kg. They have been tending to wander in with the incoming tide and have been most active when this tide coincides early morning or late afternoon.
By the early part of December we are still yet see a consistent run of rain, in fact the landscape is like kindling and very dry. They are saying we are suppose to receive a proper wet season this summer and we’ll have to wait and see. The longer the hot dry spell extends it generally means the fishing will slow down gradually until there is a change in the atmosphere.
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