Report 29/3/18

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099
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Report 29/3/18

Post by subeditor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:00 pm

There is not much joy for the small boat fleet recently with strong winds mixed with the threat of storms whenever the wind dropped. The days that were calm saw the temperatures rise to very uncomfortable levels and the fish didn’t seem to like it either with catch rates well down. I have a completely different view to the established science in that I believe the reef benefits when we have flooding in our rivers. The flush of nutrients promotes a plankton flush and the food chain starts there and builds with the schools of bait flourishing on the plankton and so on up the food chain giving us a good supply of larger fish. Over the years good wet seasons usually turned into good fishing seasons. This is an observation of many of the older fishermen in the area and not one of them is a scientist relying on government money for a living. I believe this will transfer to a better fishing season than we have had for many years. The rainy weather has a twofold benefit in that it also cools the water down. The temperatures have been very high for this time of the year and that is due to lack of early rain. So the cooling will help the fishing as well. As soon as the current Monsoon activity is over and everything settles down it will be good. Regardless if there is a break in the weather you should get out fishing with the charter boats reporting good Mackerel, Coral Trout, and Reds on the bite. Cobia and Fingermark around the rubble patches and wrecks. Pelagics along the reef edges are suckers for a well presented lure especially poppers. Just look for and bait movement or current lines and get casting.

The rain has fallen the rivers have flushed and now here come the fish. The flush has given us the Prawns along all the usual areas and that not only attracts the castnetters but also the fish. Salmon reports have been coming in with many more large fish being caught than previous years. The lack of netting along our Hospital and beach flats has been a contributing factor in this as well as the flush of Prawns. Many of these larger Salmon that congregate on the flats to feed and breed at this time of the year will hopefully have a good breeding season and ensure the populations continue to grow in size and number. With the water still fairly high the Grunter are on the flats as well and the big tides over Easter morning and evenings will be an ideal chance to chase them weather depending. A fillet of Mullet or Garfish fished on a light sinker and rig will turn up a couple. There is always a chance of a Salmon or Barra as well so don’t fish the leader too light as they will quickly rasp you off if they get it down. Mangrove Jacks have been active from the headlands right up to the fresh water on lures and bait. Anywhere there is some current round a fallen Mangrove tree there is likely Sardines schooling and the Jacks won’t be far away. Obviously there are Barramundi around the usual haunts and there will be plenty of small fish mixed in. Be sure to handle them properly and release them to grow into an iconic size. The flush has seen plenty of bait schools around so a quick session with a cast net and you should have enough bait for a session. Live is the best but fresh is close second making the effort will improve your catch rate. Easter is also my kick off date for Whiting. It is a little early this year but if you don’t have a boat a session at the mouth of any of our local rivers will be well spent. Family fishing and Easter are a must so don’t let the chance pass you.
With most of our rivers having some amount of flush out Easter will be great for those that traditionally have the family camping fishing outing. Weather it is out west or on the coast the fishing will be better than previous years due to the amount of water about. It is a great chance to introduce children and those that don’t fish to this fantastic activity. The chance to teach them the correct methods and how to look after not only the fish they are releasing but also the environment that we fish should be taken at this time. The love and respect for the nature and wildlife in the areas we fish is as important as looking out for our fish. Start them young. There are adults out there that have been introduced to this as kids are now passing it on to their children. Keep it simple and remember they don’t care what they catch they will still have the thrill and teaching the responsible release of fish for future is a huge part of the experience. The simple bread trail where the small fish take it off the surface in full sight is a good way to start the excitement. Long shank hooks to make it easier to release is also a good idea. Be sure you take advantage of the Easter break for a family outing.
Yaa hoo water level now up to 73.5% allowing the full boating use of the waterway. This is inclusive of all which will see an influx of ski boats and PWC’s over the break and as usual there is plenty of room for all as long as everyone plays by the rules. The increase in water volume has spread the fish out as well so there are many more areas to target them. The temperature has also dropped making it much more pleasant to fish during the daylight hours. This isn’t the most productive time but is the best if you are camping up there and the family wants to fish. Try to get back into the timbered areas which will put you away from the power boats and PWC’s. If you want to fish any of the open areas then night time when skiingis not allowed. The big barra will be moving up into the shallows at night feeding on everything in the flooded grassed areas. This will be small fish Worms etc and that will happen till the grass goes black and sucks up all the Oxygen in these areas. That is the sign to fish a bit deeper along the drop off edges. Soft plastics cast up on the shallows and slow rolled out into deeper water than let fall will often attract a bite. The other very productive method is to troll any points in about 5m of water while keeping a very close eye on your sounder for any aggregations of fish then stop and cast to them. Best of luck and you won’t catch them at home in the lounge(unless you are in Innisfail).

This month’s tip is to make sure you and the family stay safe over the holiday period. There are a few things that you need to do. First and foremost keep an eye on the little ones. There so many dangers out there such as cars boats and water. Lovely as it is camped next to water it brings a whole lot of things you need to look out for. Firstly make sure they are being responsibly supervised when in the water. I can assure there is nothing that ruins a holiday than something happening to a child in your care. The second is cars and boats. Most accidents with children and cars or boats involve friends or relations. If you see someone in your party being stupid don’t be afraid to say something. If you don’t and a child is seriously injured or worse you will have to live with it. The other thing you need to be sure of is that all your safety gear is up to date and in good working order and that you have the correct amount. You can bet the Fisheries officers will be about in numbers over the holiday period so don’t be caught it may be your life you are trying to save.

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099

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