Report 30/10/15

Barra Jacks
99 Denham St, Rockhampton Q 4700
Ph: 07 4922 4833
www.barrajacks.com.au
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 30/10/15

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:33 pm

Most of our fishing has been governed by the weather, and with very limited chances to head off shore in the last 6 weeks it’s been hard to find any kind of pattern. The guys that have gone have had mixed success. Like always some people catch fish and some miss out. The mackerel have been pretty quiet - Spanish wise the boats trolling bigger baits have seemed to have more bites than the guys just soaking or drifting pilchards or gar. North has seen more activity than South of the bay as it’s a better ride home when you ride with the water rather into it, and this time of year that North Easterly gets going about 1 pm. Some good red jew have been caught around the Keppels and Outer Rock as well as just East of Barren Island. On the regular haunts, Greasy Alley, Sykes Rock, Hannahs Rock, and 40 Acre Paddock there have been some snapper, sweetlip and the occasional trout caught but nothing in any great numbers. The close reefs have been fishing pretty well for grunter and a few black jew with the jew hole up at Corio Heads as well as Finlay’s has been the pick of the spots. Look for the grunter to really come on in January/Feb, some good snapper have been caught with a few red jew at the Cape Capricorn Wreck, and on the sea ward side of the main ridge that runs off Hummocky Island.

Beaches
On the beaches it’s been a similar story. When the wind is up its hard to fish the beaches because the water is dirty and the wind blows straight in your face making for less than perfect conditions, when this occurs it’s better to find a quieter spot up one of the many estuaries. When the weather is calm early morning is best up till 10 am. Whiting are on most of the beaches as well as flathead and the odd bream. If you have an outcrop of rocks on the beach be sure to try fishing both sides of the structure. Best baits on the beach are worms - fresh if you can catch them, prawns peeled, and squid cut into thin strips to imitate a worm, the advantage of squid is it’s a lot tougher and will stay on the hook longer.

Corio Bay
Set to be one of our best estuary systems in coming years, it will flourish with the no nets policy set to take effect in November, it has been fishing well for grunter as well as some big whiting in the high 30cm bracket and some breaking into the forties, flathead and barra. If you are a fly fisherman than this is the place, as there are many species you can target on the fly - permit, bonefish, flathead, and queenfish - all of which can be fished on the flats. The fish that will benefit most in coming years will be the blue salmon, and it will be great to see schools of blues back in the bay.

Coorooman Creek
Time to start catching a few fingermark. They should be in the creek right now, best baits are live mullet, prawns and herring. Life like prawn style lures are the next best thing and if it’s got to be frozen bait you can’t go past a whole squid. The best tide is the run in 2nd or third make, and if this can coincide with 8 pm at night you are on a winner. The bonus at Coorooman is the by catch is usually grunter and that can’t be a bad thing.

Fitzroy River
Not long now until the Barra season is over for 2015 and a new era starts. Barra numbers have been down on previous years and that’s to be expected, but with reasonable recruitment this year and a chance for the existing fish to grow out in a net free river the future looks very promising. A bit of rain now to flow some of the freshwater lakes and water holes into the river and we could have the perfect scenario. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. The river has been fishing well in patches just not the patches I’ve been in! Threadfin salmon have been the main fish targeted along with Barra but when the threadfin are in schools it’s hard to resist throwing the lure at them for a couple of hours at least, there have been some nice fish around the magic metre mark being caught. Most Barra have been small but the odd 900mm fish has been landed , we are yet to see a run of big girls come up the river as they did last year at around this same time, maybe they will be on this set of bigger tides.

Awoonga Dam
It’s been 12 months since I’ve had anything to report on the dam that most people regarded as the premier freshwater Barra dam in Australia. That was until most (although not all) of the fish took flight over the dam wall 4 or 5 years ago. Since then more fingerlings have been put into the dam but significant rain events have seen the dam spill year after year. Still, this might be the year it starts its come back. There are some reports of fish being caught in numbers that make you take notice, so not just one here and there but double figures. When you get a spare day or so drop down to Awoonga and give it a go. Reports have been as follows - New Zealand Gully side of the dam down the back of the bays where you find the lilies that’s the spot, next report says the fish are in the timber not yet on the points so why not try both. Shallow diving lures are the go as well as lightly weighted soft plastics.

Port Alma
It’s been lean on the crabs but at this time of year that’s to be expected. The grunter have been good with plenty around the 40 to 50cm mark, they have been in the centre rocks a couple of km upstream from the boat ramp. Prawns and squid were the bait and the run out tide was when they started to bite last Monday. Some threadfin have been caught up at the pump in Inkerman Creek, and the rocks over at Connors has seen a couple of jack caught as well. You can tell the water is warming up as the jacks have come out to play of late. There have been jacks caught at Coorooman Creek, Corio Bay, the Fitzroy River and Connors Rocks at Port Alma. Not bad for an area not renowned for its jack fishing!

Local lagoons
The Froggy, the Woolwash, the Yeppen all still have water although it is dropping. They also have Barra in them as well as tilapia, if you catch one of these little pests please dispatch it on the bank and don’t return it to the waterway. Best lures to catch these fresh water barra seem to be smaller size poppers, around 50 to 70 mm like Zerek Popperatzi , as well as Zman soft plastics rigged weed less and light. The Queenies have shut down but the tarpon have taken up the slack when the bite has gone quiet.

That’s about where we are at the moment. We are looking forward to some great fishing over the next few months and a few good storms might make things very interesting.

Barra Jacks
99 Denham St, Rockhampton Q 4700
Ph: 07 4922 4833
www.barrajacks.com.au

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