Report 2/2/18

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Report 2/2/18

Post by subeditor » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:44 pm

It was a progress in the making but by the end of January and the start of February we started to see a string of low pressure systems roll across the tropics in the Far North which brought with it the so called wet season rains. There’s been bouts of heavy rain, scattering showers, beautiful sunny days, calm days and very windy days. The weather has basically been all over the shop which is typical at this time of year with its unpredictability.
Naturally on the bad days you don’t have much choice but choose an alternative activity but there’s been enough window of opportunity to make hay whilst the sun is shining.

With the precipitation our rivers and creeks have been stirred up sufficiently to move around bait and rejuvenate itself. Big barra have been caught around the headlands, river mouths and break through creeks along the beaches. Live baits and hard body lures have both been rewarded and a trickling incoming tide has often been the best time to target them. Upstream there’s been no shortage of hungry mangrove jack ready to pounce on a pilchard or moving lure and they’ve been caught in dangerous territory hard up against the mangrove banks with structure. In the deeper holes fingermark have been active on live baits on top of the tide and also following the tide coming in have been some queenfish and trevally which are effectively targeted with soft plastic lures. Some deeper holes have also seen huge numbers of tarpon swirling around on the surface and small poppers are dynamite on these sport fish.

Along the beaches there’s been all sorts of quarry with a healthy supply of bait in the region including prawns in the shallows. Barra, trevally, big queenfish, permit, dart, blue salmon, tarpon, squid and a variety of sharks have all turned up at various times to check in. The activity has peaked early morning during calm weather with an incoming tide. Late afternoon with the same tide has also been productive. Live baits such as mullet or garfish have been easily the best bait with small poppers worked on the surface and soft plastics also claiming fish.

Coastally inshore reefs and patches have fished quite well with some run in the current with bar cheek trout, nannygai and grassy sweetlip fishing keen off the bottom and there’s been some hefty pelagic activity with big schools of trevally crusing through along with numbers of doggie mackerel. Drifting pilchards and jigging metal slices has been the best way to hook into the pelagic fish.

Despite it being not the ideal time of year the reef fishing has forged ahead consistently. At times it has meant a bit of chopping and changing in tactics but there’s been enough action for those prepared to put in the time. The deeper rubble patches seem only able to produce a handful of good size large mouth nannygai before having to look elsewhere. Bommies in 25-35m of water seem to produce similar numbers on the likes of trout, spangled and red emperor, trevally and sweetlip. It has been a matter of moving on having fished a spot for awhile. Those prepared to change up tact have moved right up into the shallows into depths of only a couple of metres casting poppers and stick baits across the surface. They have been rewarded with some blistering fish such as blue spot trout, footballer trout, red bass, giant trevally and some cracker long nose emperor. It doesn’t sound like a viable plan but it can work if you are struggling to find fish elsewhere.

Being prepared to explore all options in the tackle box is key moving forward into March and I’d expect you’ll be dictated to by the amount of rain we run into. The calm days should fire up nicely both inshore and offshore.
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