March 1999 - Volume 3 Issue 3
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, !!!!!!!!!!!! Tropical North Queensland has just been through one of the wettest periods for over twenty years. Some parts of the region have received over a meter of rain (that's over three feet) in the last six days.
And this has all come just a fortnight after cyclone Rona dumped record rainfall as it crossed the coast just north of Port Douglas and developed into a rain depression. If you stand still long enough the grass will grow through your muddy toes and moss in your hair.
The sun is shining today however, Wednesday 17th March, and apart from the high river levels most things are back to normal. Such is the nature of these things in the Tropics.
Our waterways / rivers / estuaries need this flushing effect as it cleans out most of the pollutants, scours out deep holes and gutters for the fish to hide and generally is part of the life cycle of most of our tropical sport fish and food chain. The Bigger the Wet, the better the fishing they say and once the water clears up in a few days time the fishing should be fantastic.
This should especially apply to our World Heritage Tropical Rain forest Rivers like the mighty Daintree, where the cycle of life is refreshed with the drenching of the forests and flooding of backwaters and lagoons. As these waters recede back into the river proper hungry barramundi, Australia's premier light tackle sportfish will be lining up to feast on anything floating down stream.
These fish average around the four / five pound mark in the upper reaches but there can be much larger specimens hovering around. Upstream jungle perch and sooty grunter will be eager to feed on small minnow lures and flies. Small popper flies, now that's an exciting prospect forthese little batters and don't be surprised to find tarpon and trevally right up in the fresh also.
Bigger and even "monster" barramundi can be targeted around the rocky headlands along the coast. These fish up to 60lb hang around these areas in search of bait fish seeking shelter amongst the rocks, having been flushed from our rivers / creeks. X'strong tackle is required here, hooks and lures of the best quality and minimum 20lb line plus 50lb mono leader.Work the tide changes for best results and be prepared for that fish of a lifetime, it just might be your lucky day!
The Cairns estuary may take a little longer to fully recover however as this waterway is suffering badly from silted run off. It should be approx. a week before good captures are reported here but once the bait schools reform and the next wave of fresh prawns arrive it will be on for all and sundry.Generally as the water clears we fish further up the system, concentrating on the flats at present can yield grunter, salmon, trevally and queenfish in the open areas with fingermark and mangrove jacks coming off the more structured regions.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and ours will come in the form of much improved fishing conditions in the near future
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