Report 22/7/16

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099
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Report 22/7/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:59 am

I think I may have been a bit premature last month when I mentioned that Winter had started on the calendar and should start to cool things down. It doesn’t seem to have happened at this stage if you don’t count a couple of cold mornings that we have had. The water temperature hasn’t dropped to the extent that I expected and hoped for meaning the winter species haven’t turned up in numbers. Mackerel of various species have shown up at different areas but not with any consistence with one boat having a good catch and the next missing out altogether or getting towelled up by the Sharks which are as prolific as I have ever seen them. School and Spotty Mackerel have made an appearance further south even if not in the numbers of previous years. Spanish have as always is the case followed these schools in and will also show up with the same consistence. The Grey Nomads that come to most of our beachside caravan parks at this time of year have been reporting catch rates well down. Persistence should see them catch enough to keep them going with a feed fit for any king. The years of filling freezers with fillets to take home for the years fish supply may be over with numbers well down. The same could be said of the Trevally and Queenfish in that they have also been patchy in catch rates. Some schools of Queenfish have been reported but again not in the numbers of previous years. Bottom fishers report similar results with some excellent catches mixed in with some very ordinary ones. Coral Trout, Red Emperor and Nannygai have been where you find them. That being one time up shallow the next back in the deep, and this won’t change until the water temperature drops and is stable. Another cold front moving up the coast at the moment will be a big help in that happening.

As I wrote about last month the extended warm season has seen Barramundi and Mangrove Jacks about in numbers that I haven’t seen at this time of the year for a long time. This is good and bad. The good is that we are still catching them, but the bad is that the potential breeding stock for next season is being caught and if we don’t take care and release the majority of these we will have a poor breading season which will affect fish stocks for years to come. So do everyone a favour and release all but a feed for the future. The reports of large Barramundi out the front of rivers still at this time of year is also a concern as they should have dropped their eggs and headed to safer areas to wait out the cold weather. These are definitely fish to be released. Not only are they the big breading females but they are not that good to eat at this size so let them go on good condition and in a couple of years their offspring will be beautiful eating legal sized fish. Mangrove Jacks have continued to be about and they are a great eating fish in the average sizes,(one of my favourites) but again extra large specimens loose flavour and become ordinary to eat so send them on the breeding cycle too. Whiting Flathead and Bream have showed at the mouths of local rivers. Fresh pumped Yabbies or Prawns fished in the gutters around any of our local sandflats should turn up a feed or two of these succulent fish for the BBQ. The warmer water has seen the local Croc population being active as well so be aware of them and don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger.

Fresh water areas have just started to cool down and this will quieten the fishing down a little. Not to say it’s not worth going, that’s far from the case. Many of our freshwater areas are very good for walking to. Areas that take a bit of effort to hike to are much easier in the cooler weather without the searing heat which makes it almost dangerous during the heat of summer. A light backpack with some lures and suitable attire and you have a very enjoyable days fishing. There are areas that cannot be accessed during the wet season that become a proposition when it dries out as it does in the middle of the year. Fourwheel drive tracks that lead to that secret fishing spot are often impassable when wet and can only be accessed when dry. The camping trips on some of our western rivers is much more pleasant in the cooler weather. Barramundi and Sooty Grunter become landlocked and are very fishable from the bank without a boat being needed. It is also a very good time for a family trip due to the good weather and cooler nights allowing you to get a good night’s sleep. Topwater lures fished around landlocked lagoons full of Lilly pads can be very productive and great fun. Weather you fish hard bodies or soft frogs rigged weedless the close quarters battles are a heap of fun and challenge. Plan a trip and get out there.

There has been a steep increase in the cost of a Freshwater Stocked Impoundment Permit from the 1 st July which you should all be aware of. Got to the web site and check it out. The new cost is $50.00 per year and $10 per week. Koombooloomba dam has also been added so if you fish there you will need a Permit. Tinaroo water level is way down on this time last year so in theory there shouldn’t be as much water mixed with the fish and they should be easier to catch. With approx. 88% last year comparing to 54% now the influx of southern tourists should be amazed at the amount of timber that is both in and out of the water making it a must to be careful while boating the dam. The areas to fish have not changed with the Barron arm Severin Creek both good area’s to start as the will have freshwater still flowing in, even if it is only a small amount. This tends to freshen it up a bit and attract the bait which Is why the Barramundi are there. Again there are some areas of lilly pads that are well worth a shot with a weedless rigged frog or soft plastic. Don’t forget your Permit.

When you are releasing fish an old towel is a very handy item to have. Ensure it is wet whenever you wise to lay fish on it or grab fish with it. The wet towel protects the slime layer and scales on the fish giving it a much better chance of survival when released. The grip makes hook removal much safer by immobilizing the fish making the removal a much easier. A quick wipe of your hands to remove and insect repellent or sunscreen.


With all the fish we are all going to catch in the near future the product of the month is the new Maritec Fish Grippers. Made of a durable easy to clean moulded plastic. Easy to use saving injury to fish and angler alike. A ring and small hook on the handles make it suitable to weigh fish with and a wrist lanyard ensures you don’t lose it if you have it attached. Easy to use giving positive grip which doesn’t hurt the fish making it much easier to remove hooks safely and release fish in a healthy state making survival rates much higher. With personal safety a priority when out fishing these are a must have item. They come in 2 models a white 6” model and a blue 9” covering all local fishing situations. A price tag under $20 also makes them a very attractive be sure to get in and have a look at them.

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

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