Report 28/10/16

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099
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Report 28/10/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:07 am

The big news in the bluewater this month is the REEF FIN FISH SPAWNING CLOSURES starting on the 28th till the 1st inclusive for this month. This means that you cannot catch and keep any of the fish listed as reef fin fish by the department. I am not sure how they arrive at the dates for these closures but I do know they continue to get them wrong. With the numbers of Coral Trout being caught which are already roed up it is obvious the breeding has already started. There may be a case for floating the closure so they can put it on when the fish are actually roed up and not on a calendar date. That aside the gaps of calmer weather has seen plenty of activity out at the reef and wide on the edge chasing Black Marlin. Coral Trout have been about in good numbers and sizes but I encourage you all to only take what you need and let them do what they do to ensure the future stocks. The warmer and calmer conditions that we should get will see more boats overnighting for Reds and Nannygai with the assorted Snappers and lesser Emperors filling many eskies. Mackerel have been patchy with some boats bagging out and some missing out, but this is to be expected at this time of the year with water temperatures slowly coming up. The cooler water down deep is a favourite area for them so be sure to get your lures and baits a bit deeper than you would normally fish. Marlin fishing has also been a bit patchy and hopefully the new moon on Monday will give it a bit of a boost and all our visiting anglers will have a shot at one of the giant Black Marlin we are famous for.

As the water temperature rises and the summer tides become larger the Grunter will turn up on our Hospital Flats and Fingermark (Golden Snapper) will be around the deep inshore water. Whether it is Kings Point, a local wreck or the swing basin in either Cairns Inlet or Mourilyan Harbour this is prime time to fish some of that deep water with Soft Plastics like Pulse Vibes. A quality sounder is the best tool you can have at your disposal for finding these fish. Then sit over them and jig some lures in their face. They are a fish that fights well looks good and is second to none on the table. Big early morning tides is the time to be out on the Hospital Flats chasing our beautiful Grunter(javelin fish). Fresh Mullet or Garfish fillet fished on light line with as little weight as you can get away with is the go here. Sardines, Herring or Prawn fished whole are also great baits. Fish up to and an hour past the high tide for the prime time and if the high tide aligns with dawn even better. Barra season finishes 1st November at midday for 3 months so you have a couple days to get one. After that it is up to Tinaroo Dam to have a shot at one of the thumpers they have there. There are still plenty other species to catch around the local estuaries and there is nothing better than a fresh feed of fish on the BBQ with a cool beverage on a balmy summer evening.

Again as Summer warms the rivers the Sooties and Jungle Perch will become more active and hungry. It is a great time to fish our freshwater areas with one very large warning, if you are camping or walking the banks this is Snake time and from all reports the dry year has brought plenty out of areas where we would not encounter them to areas that we frequent. The best thing to do is be very observant and if you do run into one stay calm and get as far away from it as you can. They are rarely a problem if you can avoid them. Don’t lit this deter you from enjoying the beauty and fishing that our fresh water rivers offer. A small backpack with some lures, water and something to eat, and I always carry a small first aid kit and you are set. With luring the fresh water one rule of thumb that I have is “the higher the sun the deeper the lure” Put simply early and late in the day use shallow lures and even Poppers then as the sun gets higher in the sky change to deeper diver with your deepest at midday then getting shallower as the day passes. If you think about it this is just what fish do getting into the deep water as the day heats up. It is also breeding season up in the fresh so release as many as you can to breed for next season.

With the water levels down to 42% at the moment the powers to be have rightfully put a 6 knots speed limit on all vessels. This is to protect the safety of all users so make sure if you are up there that you adhere to this. The low water does mean there are less areas for the fish to hide in so we should be able to find them easier. This doesn’t always show up in catch rates. The recent Tinaroo Barra Bash turned up some exceptional catches with the largest fish a whopping 141cm and as all fish were released live we are not sure of the weight but it was a ripper. The winning angler caught 14 Barra over the comp. Again this is a fantastic feat when many struggle to even catch their first. Many lure tossers are turning up catfish around the edges. They have probably been there all along but the low water has seen more caught. The warmer weather makes a night trip much more inviting but be aware it can be freezing cold at any time of the year up on the dam so take woollies. If you are doing a night trip be sure all your lights work so everyone else can see you particularly if you are low down to the water on or in a Kayak as you are very hard to see. Even at 6 knots if a boat was to run over you it is life threatening. Don’t be a statistic and ensure that you have your Stocked Impoundment Permit.

With the onset of summer I will bring out one that I think I do at this time each year and that is sun protection. Too many of my customers and friends are constantly getting spots removed or battling skin cancer giving me a never ending reminder. Covering up with all the protective clothing that is available now days is not that hard. From the top with any number of hats and caps to buffs or neck protection to long sleeved fishing shirts through it the various sun protection gloves there is an outfit in store for everyone. Pleasingly the continual addition of new garments specifically designed for our junior ‘fisher persons’. They are trendy and most kids are happy to be seen in them making it much easier to protect them from the long term effects of sunburn.

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

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:21 pm

Re: Report 28/10/16

Post by LukeJ » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:36 pm

Just an FYI note regarding the spawning closure. You may notice a lot of "coral spawn" around many regions of Queensland's at the moment. This is actually the result of the fish spawning event, not a coral spawning event. The eggs you observe in coal trout and other fin fish species is prior to the spawning event, as the fish need to produce the eggs prior to release, and this doesn't happen overnight. The fish aren't 'pregnant', as their eggs are fertilised after being released into the water.

You will notice large aggregations of the fish, potentially resulting in high capture rates prior to the spawning event and during the closure, as the fish school up to breed.

The spawning dates are based on moon passes and tides, and are usually pretty accurate - unless water temperature spikes earlier in the season. The presence of eggs in a fish doesn't simply mean that 'they' got the dates wrong. If eggs are present prior to the closure, odds are they have got the dates right.

Hopefully this is reassuring for all you guys catching with with eggs prior to the closure. It might even encourage some releases during the weeks prior to the closure...

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