Report 8/9/17

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 8/9/17

Post by subeditor » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:39 pm

In recent times the tropics has gone through a transitional phase of the seasons with the days getting considerably warmer and a more stable weather pattern on hand which should maintain for the next couple of months.

The biggest shift in the fishing world is the passing of the small black marlin season and now focusing on the big marlin heavy tackle season. The small black marlin season ended in a blaze of glory with a huge amount of fish tagged and released towards the back of August and the start of September. It is quite possible the marlin numbers were there earlier but consistently bad weather was a deterrent to go and chase them. By mid August the weather changed for the better and the local fleet were able to access them. Just to give you an example the three day Cairns Bluewater tournament saw an incredible 247 small black marlin tagged and released smashing all previous records. Also local charter boats were tagging up to six marlin per day and seeing more jump off the end of the line in what was an incredible climax to the season. Vessels will now converge up to the Lizard Island region and initially fish the Ribbon Reefs in anticipation for the arrival of the first big black marlin for their breeding season on the shelf. This will then also extend further south to the Linden Banks off Port Douglas as the season continues.

Closer to home our local outer reefs having been ticking along nicely for our tropical reef species. By early September the coral trout were already starting to congregate in numbers which is a sign they may spawn this coming month around the new moon. As this date approaches they will tend to go off the bite until they complete the process. Then they will explode with rejuvenated vigour keen for a feed once spawned. They have however to this point been the most consistent fish on the reef with many a plump trout to be caught. The nannygai duo (small and large mouth) have had their moments and have shown their best form leading into the moons where they have been in a very aggressive mood. When in such a mood they turn up in prolific numbers. Outside of this they have been patchy but the likes of gold spot trevally, reef jack, moses perch and coral trout have made up the numbers. There’s been some striking Spanish mackerel caught on the outer reef especially when there’s been a bit of run in the water and the best recorded has been a 34kg model. The reef fishing will be prosperous for another month or so and the night time fishing opportunities will open up with more settled weather expected. The night fishing for the emperor and nannygai schools can be exceptional. Carefully check the forecast be fore committing to a night trip and be wary of any potential storms brewing from the south or west inland. I can tell you from personal experience there’s no joy being caught in a 35 knot fiasco when it’s pitch black.

Coastally we’ve experienced a good run on the spotted mackerel schools in recent times along with some good long tail tuna action. Many a boatie has also had memorable encounters with the whale migration this year but they unfortunately now have moved back down south. Up the rivers and creeks the barra, jacks and fingermark are now back on the menu and back into full swing as the water temperatures have risen. Low light periods and after dark fishing with live baits will see the best action with the middle of the day being a siesta period for these prized species. However we’ll still see numbers of trevally and queenfish taking up the slack during daylight hours with the best action seen on the rising tide. Live baits, soft plastics and surface lures should be your choice of arsenal.

There’s quite a bit on offer and probably October is the best all round month to pick any type of species and go target it. There’s every chance you’ll be able to tick off quite a few fish from the list.
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