Report 3/11/17

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 3/11/17

Post by subeditor » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:20 pm

In recent times a lot of the attention in Far Nth Qld has been focused upon the game fishing action on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Heading the list has been the aggregation of the big black marlin which arrive on our doorstep to breed. This year they arrived early in September and have continued on and are expected to remain present in numbers till mid December. There has been a lot of big fish tagged and released with quite a few estimated at over 1100lb. Also a new Australian record for blue marlin was recently recorded down in Cairns by skipper Daniel McCarthy on the Moana game boat. The main bite as we speak is now occurring south of the Ribbon Reefs down around the Opal Ridge and Linden Bank region. Overall it has been a steady season with anglers from all over the world coming to the Far North to chance their luck at the fish of a lifetime. Those who have the privilege of being able to stay on the water overnight having being enjoying the hot bite sessions which occur closer to dusk.

Going hand in hand with the heavy tackle component has been the light tackle scene with a good mixture of pelagics on the move including yellowfin, wahoo, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, dolphin fish and sailfish being caught on the shelf. A lot of vessels choose to light tackle game fish in the mornings then bring out the big guns in the afternoon for the giant black marlin.

On the reef itself locals have enjoyed a good run of weather and have had ample opportunity to hit the blue highway. What has transpired in recent times has been a slight decline in numbers of fish caught however the quality has been excellent. Everything seems to be of super size including red emperor and large mouth nannygai to 11kg, gold spot trevally to 8kg and coral and bar cheek trout up to 6kg. Even the big rogue Spanish mackerel which roam the reefs have been caught in excess of 25kg. There’s nothing better than good weather and good fishing on the Great Barrier Reef.
Closer to home we had a decent shake up with some really heavy rainfalls in early October and parts of November which resulted in all the local rivers and creeks receiving a proper flush out. This in turn creates new forms of life and bait and spreads it along the coastline which brings on the fishing. There’s been all sorts of activity from grunter, shovel nose ray, sharks and trevally along our beaches to big queenfish patrolling the headlands and river mouths. As you enter the systems themselves there’s been plenty of mid sized queenfish, tarpon and trevally working the incoming tides and amongst the snags the mangrove jack are busily being active. Naturally the low light periods are best at this time of year with the middle of the day being too hot even for the most hardened of fisherman.

Moving forward we probably have another month of stable weather to take advantage of albeit very hot under the collar. The heavy game fishing tally is anticipated to keep ticking over for a little while to come, the light tackle scene will remain very strong and the coastal and reef fishing will continue to turn over some big fish of different varieties.
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