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Fishing Reports

February 6, 2002 - Volume 6 Issue 1

At the time of penning this report the "wet" season has not yet materialized a very bold statement given my track record at weather prediction / commenting but we just have not had any serious rainfall for months. This is great for the tourists; the clear skies and calm winds enticing many a visitor onto water based activities. The swimming, snorkelling and SCUBA out on the Great Barrier Reef has been mind blowing, visibility just superb.

I wish I could say the same about the fishing. The average daily temperature has been quite a few degrees above normal and the subsequent increase in water temps, combined with the clarity of the water is just not conducive to normal fish activity.

We really need some decent rain and a few days of windy weather to literally stir things into action.

River & Estuary

These systems certainly need a good flush; the water clarity is too good for our normal predator fish like barramundi, jacks and fingermark that are more comfortable with lower visibility levels. There has been plenty of baitfish about but the targets have been a bit on the shy / slow side. Sure some anglers and clients have reported excellent fishing on good days but they are few and far between at present.

The Reef

Our good friend Peter Todd of Aqua-Cat reports that fishing is on the improve. There has been a south easterly blowing out wide during recently that has cooled the water considerably enabling good catches of small mouth nannygai and deep water coral trout. Bag limits have led them to an early return to port most days. There are some big spanish mackerel about also. Prior to this blow the fishing was very ordinary.

Light Tackle / Blue water

Once again very patchy reports, one skipper had a ball on GTs popper fishing the bommies (this is one fishery where calm conditions make for excellent angling) and a mixed bag of reds to keep the clients happy . Reel Sport also reported landing a 500lb black and a 150lb blue marlin out wide a few weeks ago. It just goes to show how unpredictable angling can be the black should have gone out to the Pacific somewhere last December.

Cape York

Gary Wright from Seisia also reports on the strange weather. Strong North West winds have made fishing the East coast the preferred option with the Jacky Jacky estuary system producing good grunter, plenty of jacks and the occasional black jew. There are small queenfish and GTs following the bait schools along with the occasional salmon in the surf. Some big Spanish Mackerel have been captured off the Seisia Wharf this week. Most of these fish have been in the 10 to 15Kg range and have been caught on hand lines and live Sardines.

There hasnt been a lot of rain in the past fortnight and consequently the estuaries have been producing good catches of Mangrove Jack and Fingermark on both lures and bait.

Dave Newman of Weipa Fishing Adventures reports that the barra have been a bit slow but the mangrove jacks have certainly made up for it in numbers, up to 40 odd jacks have been hooked during some hectic sessions on the top of the tide. Salmon and trevally are also active.


Well the season is now open again and tropical anglers can legally have that barra fix so necessary for our sanity. Dont forget that legal sizes and bag limits do apply. Due to the lack of rainfall, many prime female fish may not have spawned as yet so please consider this carefully prior to taking any large fish is a few kilo's of fish worth the loss of millions of eggs and the future stocks!

Search Facility

An exciting and functional new facility has been added to our web site an internal Search Facility. This new inclusion allows the user to type in any word, text, phrase or angling subject on any page and the in built "Atomz" search facility will list all the results for you. Finding that fish species, charter info or knot tying reference could never be easier.

Computer / Address Book

Following the relocation of our office both PCs suffered major crashes. This has caused some delay in replying to messages and the loss of valuable data, mainly my address book and link details. I have tried to reconstruct this as best I can, please drop me a quick note if you would like amendments to your profile or removal from our mailing list.


At Fishing Cairns we take pride in being able to provide the visiting angler with the complete holiday package. Not only do we put you onto that fishing activity of your dreams, with the right skipper, the right vessel, the right price and angling style to suit - we can also accommodate you in a range of properties personally chosen for their locations, convenience, quality of service, facilities and budget considerations. We are pleased to announce we have recently been appointed resident managers of the Koala Court Holiday Apartments. These superior one, two and three bedroom apartments, situated adjacent to the CBD, offer many advantages to the visiting angler. For full property details check out their web site at We trust this new venture will enhance our ability to service our valued clients, who knows we may now be able to meet most of you and put a face to those emails!

See you on the water,
Les Marsh

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