Report 16 May 12

Water Tower Bait & Tackle
10 Ernest St, Manly
Ph: (07) 3396 1833

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Report 16 May 12

Post by Brad » Wed May 16, 2012 4:44 pm

With the cold weather well and truly here anglers are finding a change in the prominent species being caught within Moreton Bay and the surrounding waters. Snapper numbers in Moreton Bay have been fairly good however due to the high water clarity the deeper waters such as the artificial reefs, wrecks and wide of the bay islands have been the best bet. Whilst quality fresh baits are always well received, many anglers these days are opting for soft plastics, blades and other artificials which allow you to cover more water and increase the chance of putting an offering in front of a snappers face. Other species encountered will include morwong, sweetlip, moses perch, trevally, mulloway, tailor and possibly mackerel and other pelagics.

The clean water has provided some benefits however, as squid numbers are fairly healthy within inshore waters at present. These tasty cephalods, mainly tiger squid and a few arrows and bottles are available to those with a boat as well as those on Shank’s pony. I have been getting a few quality tiger squid from the rock walls in the Manly foreshore area however Wellington Point and Victoria Point are a better option for numbers. Squid can be caught both night and day from most areas possessing crystal clear water and some cover in the form of reef, rock, rubble or weed beds. Most anglers cast egi (prawn profiled squid jigs) and work them in a fairly erratic yet slow retrieve. Sometimes at night squid can be spotlighted before you even cast to them. I have mainly used the Emeraldas Nude and the Yamashita Live egi so far this season.

The Brisbane River is fishing well at present with snapper, tailor, threadfin, mulloway, bream, flathead, cod and occasional other species encountered. The upper reaches from the City to past Indooroopilly seem to be the best bet for threadfin at present but they can be encountered anywhere throughout the system. Mulloway numbers have been less than last year but quality is the key with numerous 90cm plus specimens being caught on a weekly basis. These are mainly being caught on soft plastics and live baits in the lower reaches. Snapper have been common captures in the Brisbane River and a mate and I caught over twenty legals during a four hour session in the middle of the day a few weeks back. A trip last week also yielded a couple of decent specimens to 46cm. Tailor are commonly being caught around the lighted areas at night right up into the City reaches. Mulloway numbers have been good in the upper reaches at times and one angler managed several legals (over 75cm) during a night session whilst working lures from a land-based position in the South Bank stretch. There’s still been a few good hauls of prawns taken in the river at times as well as several other locations.

Pelagic action in Moreton Bay has been sporadic however anglers putting in the effort and the miles have been doing okay. School mackerel and the occasional spottie has been caught by anglers drifting pilchards or jigging the beacons with chrome slices. Live baiting these same areas has produced a few quality longtails. A few big Spanish mackerel have been caught on baits in the Harry Atkinson area by surprised yet grateful anglers. Longtails, mainly 10kg plus specimens, have been sighted along the front of Bribie Island but the best action has been further north. I hope these fish move down a bit by the weekend as the Bribie Island Sportfish Club are holding their Longtail Tuna Fly Fishing Challenge this coming weekend. Call Jeff Sorrel on 07 3284 2632 if you want any more info on this one.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald

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Re: Report 16 May 12

Post by BarramundiKid » Fri May 18, 2012 11:22 pm

Thank you for your report. Its nice to have you back with us. I'll be heading out into the bay on Sunday ... so hope there are a few fish to catch.

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Re: Report 16 May 12

Post by BarramundiKid » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:52 pm

Barra Fishing in Lakefield National Park.
Thought I might give some info on the last two fishing trips to Lakefield National Park .. chasing Barra. The first trip was two years ago in October 2010, the 2nd trip was early June 2012. First time we stayed at Dingo waterhole for about three nights. We fished in the Normanby river was well as a 1km long lagoon about 3kms cross country of Dingo waterhole. Used a variety of poppers as well as diver lures to entice the Barra to bite. I had great success that time with a Gillies Alligator popper and caught 5 keepers on that trip. The Alligator popper is 120mm long and looks way too big for Barra fishing normally .. but it was all I had in my meagre lure collection. It turned out to be a real gem. One of its distinct abilities I was able to use on that trip was its ability to .. when pulled sharply ... was to give a loud "boof" sound similar to a Barra having a go (or boof) at a fish near the surface. It seemed to attract the Barra to come and have a look and have a go at it. MY brother and his mate thought I was crazy when I first started using it .. as it was much larger than their poppers .. but after catching the first few keepers (75+cm barra), they were quite surprised. The inland 1km long (apprx 100m meter wide) lagoon was a great spot. The water was slightly clay'ey looking due to the activity of fish and crocs living in it. The Allligator (or nicknamed "Boofa" popper) worked well .. and pulled 3 keepers out of it for me.
I went to Lakefield again last weekend (early June). We camped this time at "Old Faithful Waterhole". We had booked from the 1st June which was the first day of the Barra season. This time, the poppers were not working so well .. so we resorted to using bombers and deeper diving lures. I tried plastics but no success. We arrived at 7am on the friday morning, 1st June at camp #3. After quickly unpacking the boat we launched by dragging the boat into the water at camp #1 under the wathcfull eye of a 9ft saltie (which soon disappeared). A few hours fishing and we had 1 keeper. (we aimed for > 60cm although >58cm was the legal limit). Back to camp to set up camp properly and have lunch. I had problems with my reel (an old Shimano 250B), so pulled it apart for a service. Just before the guys were ready to heard out again, I went to the water to take a practice cast with a rediculously large Berkely Frenzy - FIrestick Mungo deep diver. It was 140cm ... and "Elton John" finish. Capable of diving down to 6m. I cast out about 6m or so ... and the lure hit the water with a big splash and headed straight down. Within a few seconds I was on and fought in a large 85cm wild Barra to the back of the boat and used the net to land it. Wow. We all jumped in the boat and pushed it out a few metres .. and cast various lures towards the snags in front of the camp. After my 4th cast with the Firestick Mungo, I latched onto another Barra. Landed a nice 76cm Barra.
We went up stream and walked along the river looking for good spots to cast. I tried various poppers and plastics, and then had success with a pink and red bomber lure to catch a 76cm Barra. We landed plenty of smaller Barra in between as well.
The next day we explored a different branch of the Normanby and I used a small skittle lure. I caught a 75cm Barra. I tried a 2-deadly lure near a small set of snags and pullled out about 8 barra up to 60cm after a few minutes. They were running hot. The 2-deadly was a good lure to use it it acted like a popper when floating at the surface with the initial pull, but then dove down as a shallow diver. It had a good swimming action and worked well to "lure" Barra out from under the snag for a go at my lure.
The next day we headed down stream to try for some new spots. It was hard going as that area of the "Old Faithfull Waterhole" was very shallow. We landed on one side close to the rapids. Made our way inland to find a route downstream. The long grass was scary to walk though as we were worried about snakes. A thin stick was used as a "minesweeper" to swish back and forth as we walked through the long grass. Finally we came to a good spot with deep water and a few snags further. I used a River2Sea Dumbbell Popper (small white, red, and brown model). It was a good popper as it enabled me to give a good initial jerk when landed to make a "boof" in the water, so as to attract the fish ... and could "walk" by swinging its tail in the water to really entice the Barra. It worked well to allow me to pull out 3 keepers in a short few minutes till I was finally busted off with a bigger fish. My brother also had succcess and pulle din a good keeper, but lost a few as well. We also caught a number of smaller fish. I kept a tape measure in my pocket to check the fish length each time we caught one. It paid to be well set up for this type of fishing, so we all had a "lip grabber" dangling from our belts as well as a set of long nose pliers in our pockets. Hardest part was carrying all the keepers back to the boat. An Alvey fish bag worked well for that purpose.
Interestingly a few old guys were camped nearby to us, and their technique was live baiting rather than bush trekking for fish. They used a short section of rubber shock absorber tied to a tree above the water near some snags, with a "cow bell" then some wire trace to a hook with a livey suspended about 200mm below the surface. For liveys, they used Cherabins as well as any small fish they could catch. If you are not familiar with Cherabins, they are a type of freshwater prawn caught in NQ all the way across the NT into WA (I am sure about NT .. and assume the WA). Interestingly, there are no yabbies in Normanby river (except some of the lagoons on the western side). Only Cherabins .. which are plentiful and good eating. On similar note, you get sooties (black bream & sootie grunter) on the westward flowing rivers into the Gulf of Carpentaria ... but none in the rivers of the eastern side of the cape. You do get black bream and sooties in the Barron and waterways south of there, but not on the north eastern side of the cape. I think theory is that sooties migrated during floods from the Mitchell into the Barron systems during flood times then went from there.
While we were at Lakefield, one of our group used a 0.5 plastic / 0.5 firm bodied lure that looked like a "mouth all mighty" very effectively as a dangling lure dropped between snags into the water. It seemed to work well and caught all manner of fish from Barra to catfish to a sleep cod.
All good fun. It pays to have a few different lures and techniques up your sleeve and to match with what seems to work on the day.

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