Report 21/2/17

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099
sales@erskinestackleworld.com.au
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Nicole Penfold
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Report 21/2/17

Post by Nicole Penfold » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:38 am

BLUEWATER
The past month has seen some patches of good weather allowing small boats to head to the reef. The fishing has been patchy with some filling their bag limit while others have struggled. Coral Trout have still been about in fairly good numbers for this time of the year. We still haven’t had those consistent Monsoon conditions that have it raining heavy for days on end with the resultant drop in water temperatures keeping the conditions suitable for the continuing run of Coral Trout. The same can be said for Mackerel which are also still about in numbers. The biggest challenge in catching Mackerel is not the hooking them rather getting them to the boat before the Sharks get them. The regular report we get is the Sharks are a constant problem with some fishermen not getting a fish to the boat because of them. Tuna of various species have also been on the chew out wide. Schools of bait have had them balled up with the birds giving their locations away. Small trolled lures at a faster speed than usual seem to do the trick fished a long way back so you can skirt the school and drag them through the middle without running over them and scaring them off. Night fishing has been the go due to the heat during the daytime and Nannygai and Red Emperor the target. The hot water temperatures have seen them in deeper water so be sure to get out in those areas to catch them. A number of Sailfish and small Marlin have also been reported and there would probably be more but for the fact that not a lot of anglers chase them at this time of year. The lack of rain has been a bonus for the Spearfisho’s as water clarity is right up there. Here’s a picture of a good Cray that Mitchell got on a recent trip. Our best wishers go out to Glenn Dickson and his family after his run-in with a shark at Hinchinbrook. A timely reminder to all of us of the dangers that we share the water with.
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INSHORE
The opening of this year’s Barramundi season has not set any records so far. The need for a lot more rain is evident in the catches. The new netting closures will not come to anything unless we have flooding rains to wash the breeders out on to those areas to breed. There seems to be an increase in the numbers of large Salmon this year over previous. This may be because they aren’t being thinned out by the nets or may just be the conditions are favourable this year. I would encourage you all to release these big breeding fish for the future of this fishery. It would be great if they become a regular catch along our beaches and river estuaries for those that are shore bound without a boat. Grunter have been a little quiet out on the flats during the large summer tides. Again this may be due to the season being dry and hot. Their breeding area is encompassed by the new net closures so hopefully the next couple of seasons we should see a good increase in numbers which will hopefully bring the back to their former glory. Next week’s big morning New Moon high tides are a perfect time to get out and chase a few. Mangrove Jacks continue to be about in good numbers which has been the same all this season. Lure tossers and bait fishermen alike can target this species with some success and they are a welcome feed for the family. They are one of my favourite fish on the table. The rain that we have had has seen a small run of good quality Prawns about with some regulars getting numbers on the top of the tide at the northern end of the esplanade. Early morning the best time as middle of the day is way too hot to be out in the sun casting a net.
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FRESHWATER
The promise of flooding rains last month has really not amounted to much at all. A monsoon trough needs to form up above us and move down which hasn’t happened yet. This has meant the Jungle Perch and Sooty Grunter have been a little quiet and will need that flush to get them going. We need a lot more activity like the low pressure system that gave us cyclone Alfred for a couple of hours. It then needs to drop down the centre of the state and dump heaps of rain as it goes giving the whole state a good soaking. Filling the rivers up and flooding at their source and washing all the way through to the mouth is the perfect tonic for our rivers and we haven’t had that for a few years. This year’s public holiday long weekends are on the way so start planning to get out on your favourite river camping spot with family and friends. Fishing these rivers is the easiest way to get the kids started as they don’t care what they catch as long as they learn to release the small ones for another day. As simple as bread drifted down rapids with a small long shank hook to make it easier to release them and you are in business.

TINAROO DAM
Currently at just under 46% the dam level is slowly rising but needs to get a move on to get the level up enough to last through the year. At this level at this time of year there is much to be concerned about. There are still good barra being caught but they have moved around with the rise in water level so where you have been catching them over the last few months may not continue to produce and you will have to find where they have moved to. They haven’t flown away so look around and you should find them. The bonus of looking around for new spots is that you may encounter one or a few of the economy sized Sooty Grunter that are in there. Kai Swam and his dad Jason recently fished the dams and turned up this quality Sooty on a lure. They fight hard but don’t eat very well so are best released for another day. I am sure Kai will be back chasing them sooner rather than later. I haven’t had any reports on the Red Claw numbers but it is always a good idea to take a couple of pots to catch a few for the pot. I am wondering what benefit we may get from the extra revenue the government are collecting from recreational fishermen with the new Permit system. I sure am not holding my breath.
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Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099

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