Report 2/8/19

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:56 am

Report 2/8/19

Post by subeditor » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:03 pm

It has been a prolonged wintery period with very little relief from the constant south easterly trade winds. It will be recorded as one of the windiest years in recent times. It has proven to be a challenge for any sized vessel to establish a consistent run out to the reef especially for the smaller boat brigades. With the traditional winter months due to expire we are hoping for better weather and fishing times ahead. September generally sees a more stable weather pattern which the Far North will appreciate.

The bulk of the work out to the reef has been aboard much larger vessels and it’s a pity because the fishing has proven to be very consistent. Whether it be nannygai or coral trout there’s been some terrific hauls on the books. A month or so ago it was all about the coral and bar cheek trout. Big, plump models between 4-6kg were the norm and numbers were very healthy. Then they went on the quiet and became finicky and skinny looking in appearance. Those in the know believe they went into preparation for an early spawn this year in our local waters. However the small and large mouth nannygai picked up the reigns and powered on in big quantities and sizes. Some days they were as thick as fleas on a dog and the threat of surpassing bag limits was a reality. Some boats had to drive away from the bite in fear of approaching these restrictions. When you add the likes of spangled and red emperor, Spanish mackerel and trevally species on the side there was not too many quiet days on the reef. The only problem is not everyone got to enjoy these spoils.

Our game fishing boats have also had to contend with some ordinary conditions but at least the Spanish mackerel on the outer reef have turned reels over on a regular basis. Unfortunately the opportunity to explore the small black marlin grounds has been very limited due the winds. The positive however is that they’ll still be around for a few more weeks and a spell of good weather will see them to be a prime target.

Closer to home the best opportunity for the trailer boats has been early morning on the coastal reefs and patches. They have been entertained with spotted and school mackerel, bar cheek trout, nursery sized nannygai and a smattering of Spanish mackerel. However these days have been limited and now hoping for fairer weather ahead.

The alternative has been to explore the calm waterways of our estuaries and creeks. The fishing became notably tougher as winter extended but that is due to change very quickly. Water temperatures hovered around the 22C mark and the main species caught included big hump headed bream, mangrove jack, fingermark, smaller Gt’s and estuary cod. Numbers were down a bit but as the days get longer and warmer they will improve quickly. The barra will also wake up and feed more actively and always a bucket list catch for many. On the upside it has been a good period for catching mud crabs and the bigger tides saw them on the move.

We are all looking to see the back end of winter and the next month or two is always an exciting time to wet a line in the tropics with all species looking to fill their bellies.
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