Report 3/11/16

Coucom's Crabpots & Fishing Gear
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Nicole Penfold
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:08 pm

Report 3/11/16

Post by Nicole Penfold » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:58 pm

Barramundi season is done and dusted for another year, just as the Fitzroy River starts to clean up! The threadfin salmon are just starting to arrive in the town reaches and the fishing off shore has been excellent, with plenty of mackerel around to keep most people happy and freezers full.

Let’s start with this year’s Barra Bounty I was lucky enough to be part of the winning team for the fourth consecutive year. A full house again this year saw 69 teams take to the water to fish the 2 and a half day event. Leading up to the event there were plenty of teams out doing their prefish and we were no different. I’m sure most people were catching fish in the lead up to the tournament but the problem was when it came game day the conditions had changed dramatically with plenty of dirty water in the system and the main Fitzroy River still in recovery mode from the fresh water that had come in from the west. This threw many teams into a spin and meant most teams were looking for clean water to fish. A decision to include Coorooman Creek as well as Corio Bay proved to be a good one as there were some cracking fish to come from those two systems. In fact the entire net free zone was included in the boundaries of this year’s event with the second place team of Colin “Bream” Brett and Mick Slade showed everybody just how to catch fish in a system often referred to as Starvation Creek. Maybe NOT such an apt name after all!

Some good fish also came from Corio Bay as some teams hatched a plan to extract some Barra from the bay. The other system that would see some action was Port Alma and its surrounding creeks such as Bobs, Reedys, Inkermann, Raglan, Connors, Alligator, Sandfly and Casuarina. I probably have missed a couple there but you get the idea there were boats everywhere. Like I said earlier we had a good prefish but the dirty water conditions on day one saw us revert back to what we know well - Port Alma. Now fishing with Craig Griffiths is not a hard thing to do as he has a pre determined plan in place and that’s what we stick to unless it goes all pear shaped. Tthen we panic like everyone else! Lucky for us this year it went well. We have fished this area now for 5 years and Craig knows it very well. Our plan was simple find some fish and make them bite, my job is simple try and keep up with him, in saying that I don’t only mean in fishing terms as he is a freak when it comes to getting the bite but also in knowing when to move and where to. Ultimately this is what wins competitions. This year was to be no different, day one saw us set up and ready to go 6 o’clock start, our first fish came quickly and no guesses who hooked it he then followed it up with another 3. I on the other hand was having a day to forget and proceeded jump off everything I hooked for the day, a good thing Craig was match fit coming off a couple of wins at Peter Faust dam and the 4lb comp at Hinchinbrook - he saved our first day. We fished not far from another team who we saw catch some fish on day one and we know he saw us catch fish as well.

As we thought about what plan of attack to take in on day two we were very surprised to see they had let our starting spot from day one and they were in the same spot they started as well. We were to find out later on this was a decision they made thinking we would probably be back on day two seeing we started so well on day one. With so much poaching of other people’s spots these days this team showed there are still a few gentleman in the game so thank you. Day two saw us start a little slower with Craig jumping his first one off and lucky for me my first one stuck and with the monkey off my back we had our first in the boat. It was to be the first of 15 for the day. It’s not many times I can say I caught more than Griffo but that was a good day maybe he was taking it easy on me after my first day shocker. A series of good decisions and right place right time saw us overtake the first day leaders and it was just as well because day three was to throw a curve ball no one saw coming, cold windy and raining just what you want when you’re trying to catch Barra NOT!

Day three dawned and it was not good, it would not get over 16 degrees all day and most teams shivered through to the close of play at midday we managed 3 fish from five bites to give us 25 fish in total 6 more than we had caught last year and hoped we had done enough to see us maintain our lead. Lucky for us the weather would dictate terms on the last day and we were able to hang onto our lead to take out this year’s event, a big thank you to Craig for letting me net his fish and steering us through another Barra Bounty. Again he was a deserved champion angler and showed just how much thought and planning goes into winning these sort of competitions. A big thanks to Humminbird our eyes under the water and E J Todd for our tools - Dobyns Rods. We give them a flogging and they come through with flying colors every time .

Now on the local scene the Fitzroy river is looking good and I will say this coming weekend it will fish well for threadfin salmon both in the town reach and down around the cut through and Casuarina through to Port Alma. Soft vibes are still the preferred lure of choice but they will take a well presented herring or bony bream as well. From the by catch in the Bounty reports there some good flathead still up at Corio Bay as well as some 600mm plus grunter in Coorooman Creek so get in there and chase them, the water will be clean as the tides are quite small this weekend and perfect for tossing a few lures around.

Off shore has been Mackerel heaven over the last few weeks with plenty in the bay and surrounding islands from Flat down to Hummocky quite a few good Spanish have been taken and as long as the weather holds and the bait stays close the mackerel won’t be far away. Looks like the squid are gone for another year but they will be back as the water cools again next year. A good time now to catch reds as they come in a little closer onto some known breeding grounds look to catch them inside the shoals for the next couple of months, as well as some grunter which should be showing up at the wrecks and places like Findlay’s Reef.

There has been some murmurs of a few crabs starting to move and this would be a welcome change as they have been quite slow this year, might be time to get a few pots in the water catch you next time .

Barra Jacks
99 Denham St, Rockhampton Q 4700
Ph: 07 4922 4833

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