Report 3/8/17

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:56 am

Report 3/8/17

Post by subeditor » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:52 pm

We have just come through one of the windiest winter periods on record which hopefully is a thing of the past and we can settle into a better weather pattern moving forward. Traditionally this is the case as this time of year and there’s still plenty of good fishing to be had to make up for a lot of lost time over the last few months.

We are in peak time for outer reef fishing but it has been a matter of dodging the winds to gain access to the reef. The best days in recent times have coincided with the week leading into the new and full moon and with good weather to assist. These days have exploded with activity particularly when targeting the red brigade including small and large mouth nannygai. There has been numerous reports of vessels having to drive away from the bite in fear of going over bag limits on these species which are very generous as they are. Once one or two fish decide to have a go it sends the whole school into a feeding frenzy and the key is to always have one fish battling away on the end of a line through the water column to maintain this hype. Sometimes the school will collectively come up towards the boat and will feed half way down ready to pounce onto anything put in front of their noses. This is the best case scenario and the action is nothing short of full on. The cardinal sin is to drop a fish on the end of the line which can shut down a ravaging school just as quick as the started and particularly applies to the large mouth nannygai. As mentioned this has only occurred a handful of times but is still an indication of what can happen if the weather allows. Other than this there has been a real mixed bag of fruit being caught especially when forced to fish up in the shallows due to the winds. Croal trout have remained very handy, there’s been some big days on the gold spot and tea-leaf trevally, reef mangrove jack have been eager and there’s been a constant flow of bread and butter species such as stripies, moses perch and sweetlip.

When these golden days of weather arrive be prepared for total chaos down at the local boat ramps. Just in the last month or so we had one of these rare moments and every man and his dog was out for a fish despite it being a week day. I’ve never seen anything like it and it was a very slow process launching and retrieving boats. It is nice to know that some things never change in the Far North. If the weather is fine expect to see a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign on a lot of business doors.

On the pelagic scene the Spanish mackerel are definitely been around but trying to access them sitting on top of isolated reefs and pinnacles out in the deep has been the dilemma due to the pestering winds. The same can be said about the small black marlin which are currently around on known grounds but few so far have been able to take on the weather. If conditions can settle right down then we’ll see a really good run on both species in the coming month. The general consensus is that there appears to be enough bait around to keep these fish interested for a while to come.

In the rivers and creeks it can be said it has been a very tough period but with water temperatures due to slowly rise we should start to be a bit more movement from its residents. To date there’s been flickerings of smaller trevally and queenfish around, a lot of juvenile barracuda, a few good mangrove jack and your usual suspects such as bream and grunter. There’s been some nice barra caught at the mouths of some systems along the beaches and have coincided with bright sunny days and calm conditions which has been rare. However this can change very quickly with better conditions on offer and we’ll start to see better results on the likes of barra, fingermark and mangrove jack. Other species will also appreciate the change for the better and there will be a lot more to offer in our calm water systems.

September is always earmarked as a changing of the guard as the season changes and as with most life there is a spring in everyone’s step including our tropical fish species.
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