Report 1/6/17

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 1/6/17

Post by subeditor » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:38 pm

For the last couple of years we’ve been lucky overall in regards to weather but this year the south easterly trade winds have returned with a vengeance pounding the coastline for weeks on end and may continue moving forward.
Heading offshore to the outer reefs has mostly been restricted to larger vessels with the smaller boat brigade only offered a handful of days in recent times. Despite the challenges the fishing has been worthwhile generally speaking with a lot of different species on offer. The coolest months are considered the best for our covenant reef species and they have been around in good numbers including coral trout, red emperor, spangled emperor, reef jack, cobia, trevally species and to a lesser extent the small and large mouth nannygai. The nannygai haven’t schooled up in large numbers as they normally do and it has required a bit of moving around at times to tap into decent numbers. Also what has been a problem at times is that the hefty shark population is picking off a lot of fish when they are hooked up and they certainly can put a school of fish off the bite. Interestingly you often get numbers of mackerel hanging around the nannygai schools but they have been very patchy thus far. Talking with a local seafood outlet they mentioned that they haven’t see much mackerel walk through their doors this year. Hopefully both these species can find a way to find some form. Speaking of form, besides the coral trout, there have been a lot of different trevally species coming on the bite and in significant numbers. Gold spot, tea-leaf and brassy trevally have been super aggressive and weighing in at between the 6-8kg mark they are providing some full on action. Smaller bread and butter species such as stripies, sweetlip and moses perch have also been rolling along nicely.
Coming up in the next month or so a lot of effort will be pinpointed towards the small black marlin run. To date, because the weather has been so disappointing not many have ventured out to target these fish so far so this is at the moment an unknown quantity as to how the season will pan out.
Closer to the coastline early mornings at times has allowed the smaller boat brigade to hit the coastal reefs and wrecks and from reports there are smaller nannygai in good numbers, a few mackerel and once again an array of trevally on the march. A few good sized cobia are up and about and their stocks have been at their best for quite a few years. In the calmer waters of the rivers, estuaries and creeks it has really taken on a winter pattern with bream, flathead, grunter, trevally and few good jacks taking on the bulk of the load. When the waters are clearer mid sized queenfish are also moving into the systems. It has also been a good time to lay a few crab pots and the estuary systems are producing the better numbers. As we’ve previously mentioned winter fishing is best when the wind and tide are moving in the same direction and if the water is discoloured the use of fresh dead baits can produce more activity.
In saying all this the bulk of the fishing fraternity will be hoping for a better deal in the weather department to head out to the reef which is where the best fishing is to be had during the winter months.
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