Report 1/12/17

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 1/12/17

Post by subeditor » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:46 pm

With the New Year upon us we approach the oncoming wet season which is yet to be determined as to whether it will be a decent one or not. The build up has been mediocre and gives no indication which way the scales will tip.

On the fishing front the heavy tackle game season notably fizzled out during the latter stages of December. There were some isolated catches of big fish mainly from the Linden Bank region but became far and few between as the days wore on. There still remains the odd small marlin including blue marlin which have ventured closer to the shelf in recent times. There are still a few sailfish being recorded as well which is a great substitute. The light tackle game fishing however remains quite strong for the likes of dolphin fish, wahoo, Spanish mackerel and yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin fishing will be a focus for game operators and as is often the case they’ll have to put some further miles in tarvelling well beyond the edges of the outer reef.

Inside the reef the fishing remains consistent without breaking any records. There is a real mixture of fish on the bite and is a bit of a lottery draw as to what you’ll catch. Species of late have been evenly spread including coral trout, small and large mouth nannygai, red and spangled emperor, reef jack, sweetlip, stripies and moses perch. There have been a couple of different species bob up in recents times including baldy bream and cattle dog cod. One species you can almost guarantee at this time of year is the gold spot trevally which school up in big numbers and sizes. The average fish is around 7-8kg and they go like the clappers on the end of a line and eaten fresh there is nothing to snob at. The days are particularly hot on the water and there is a bit of down time in a daily session. The key is to concentrate on your preferred spots and be ready for the changes of the tide. Be confident in the one area which is holding good bait on the sounder as the fish will flick the light on and have a feed. Traipsing all over the countryside in search of fish is probably only going to result in a hefty fuel bill. Furthermore if you can pull off a night trip all the better especially for your nannygai and emperor. Weather allowing fish as deep as possible and once again the turn of the tide should see the fish pile on.
Closer to home it is always nice in the evenings sitting under the shade of a palm tree and having a fish from off the beach. Using fresh caught live bait such as mullet or garfish is highly preferable and fishing the incoming and first of the outgoing tide can turn up all sorts of goodies. Small sharks are always a bit of fun including the blacktip and lemon variety. Shovel nose ray are an opponent that warrants plenty of respect and if you tangle with a white spotted ray well you will want to hope you have a full spool of line because you are going to need it. Other sporting fish which have turned up in recent times have been some really nice flathead, good sized queenfish, blue salmon and mid sized Gt’s. There have been accidental catches of barra as well but they have to be released during the current closure. There’s nothing more quintessential FNQ than sitting on the beach with family and friends, having a drink and wetting a line.

Looking ahead the amount of rain we will receive in the coming months is the main factor. They say more the better especially for fallout later in the year.
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