Report 7/7/17

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 7/7/17

Post by subeditor » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:19 pm

Despite the cooler weather and sometimes grey and overcast days the fishing in the tropics has taken on a new dimension particularly when it comes to hitting the blue highway.

The biggest movement we’ve seen recently has been the explosion of Spanish and other associated mackerel move into the area from the outer reefs right into the coastal patches. They have been varying in size from your micro models up to your hard hitting and demanding 8-10kg size. The water temperatures have plummeted to a frisky 23 degrees in only a few weeks and even locals who like to jump in the water for a spear fish say it is very fresh. Finding bait schools not far from the pressure points of reefs and working these over with a spread of lures being trolled has seen reels tick over at a regular pace. The mackerel have been partial to all sorts of presentations including hard body diving lures, skipping garfish on wogheads and skirted lures. Even whilst being stationed and bottom fishing on top of a school of fish has seen floating rigs with a ganged pilchard being ambushed consistently by the razor gang. On the flipside of hunting down mackerel there have been reasonable numbers of small black marlin being caught as well and has been more evident on the wide grounds south of Port Douglas. The small black marlin should peak in numbers this month and by the amount of mackerel that have moved in the billfish numbers should follow suit. If a healthy supply of bait remains in the general area the mackerel and billfish will hang around.

On the reef itself the bottom fishing at times has gone into overdrive with all your trophy fish on the bite. Red emperor, large and small mouth nannygai, coral and bar cheek trout plus a host of others have really hit their straps. The days leading into the moons have been the pick and ideally with calmer weather on your side has produced the goods. Getting the weather right has been the only dilemma anglers have been facing as the south easterly trade winds have been a constant factor so far this winter. The fish have getting a good rest in between the winds but when they drop the anglers have quickly made up for lost time. At this time of year you can expect a bit of a lottery draw as to what you may pick up including the above mentioned species and also reef mangrove jack, maori bream, cobia, sweetlip, moses perch and the vast expanses of the trevally family. Everyone is closely watching the up and coming forecasts and at the first sign of good weather are putting plans into place even if it is on a scheduled day of work. That’s the way things are done in the Far North.

In the rivers and creeks they have taken a bit of a back seat but have been sometimes the only viable option to wet a line when the winds have picked up. It mainly has been the winter species kicking around including grunter, queenfish, feather bream, sickle fish, trevally and bream mostly on the move. There’s been the odd big smashing mangrove jack being caught, the elusive barra half interested in a feed and a smattering of fingermark as well. The mud crabbing has been excellent particularly in the estuary systems and quite a few locals are enjoying a feed of this tropical delicacy.

Looking ahead we are hopeful for a more settled weather pattern giving everyone the chance of a few more options to explore. A lot of trailer boats have been gathering dust in the carport and are due to shake off the cobwebs and get back out amongst it. The reef is the obvious place to visit and the rivers and creeks with gain a bit more momentum over the coming month.
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