29 May 2000 - Volume 4 Issue 5
It was only yesterday when I looked at the evening TV news and saw that for the first time in history, a Rugby League match was played in SNOW
- yes snow - you know that fluffy white stuff that drifts from the darkened sky when its Bloody Cold !
And sure cold it was - having a look at today's chart is no better for the poor old Southern Australians trying to come to terms with one of the earliest snow dumps on record. A stark reminder that winter is on the way and its time to head north. North to dare I say it "sunny north
Queensland". Its only going to get to 26 C here today, but that's a hell of a lot warmer than the 6 - 9 C some part of Victoria and NSW will
receive as this cold snap from the Antarctic brings icy cold winds from the Southern Ocean. Brrrrrrrrrrh ! Now I know why I love it up here.
Although not suffering to the same extent to the "Mexicans" down south, this first cold snap of the year will bring cooler conditions to our
waterways and this drop in water temperature will make a difference to our targets and their location within a particular system. Soon we will see the run of prime winter bream, thousands will congregate around structure in readiness for spawning. It is also prime time for the likes of school trevally, the acrobatic queenfish, estuary cod and flathead to show more in reported captures. By scaling down in line class, smaller hooks and an overall lighter presentation, the "winter" angler can still have a ball.
Now is the time to prepare for the return in numbers of school trevally, small GT's and the majestic queenfish. Queenies to 1 metre long invade
our tidal estuaries and near shore reefs and headlands at this time of year and a fast moving fizzer, popper or a live sardine bait will entice a
crashing strike and spectacular tail walking fight. And the GT's, well the same tactics will account for these brutes but don't be surprised to find a few in the XOS size either. Specimens to over 25kg (50 lb) have been caught at the mouth of our local rivers at times and the fight on light tackle is dogged, long and very rewarding.
Barra will be a little harder to come by but the smart angler will still be able to produce a few well conditioned fish. Look for obvious warmer
patches, shallow river bends out of any wind or sunny backwaters where these fish will go to seek comfort.
And remember - the further North you go, the warmer it is. It makes sense to head to places like Weipa and Seisia way up in Cape York at this time of year - and a darn site more comfortable for the visiting angler as well.
Everything has a season in nature and it is now the time of the reef dwellers to come into their own. As the waters clear from the big wet
season run off, and the shallow reef waters cool a few degrees by the prevailing south-east winds, prime eating fish like coral trout, red
emperor, nannygai, sweetlip and various wrasse species venture further up into the shallower close inshore reefs to feed. A good handline rig or
jigging rod will account for many prime eating fish over the coming months. It is also prime time for one of the north's prized eating and light tackle sportfish, the spaniard (narrow barred mackerel).
Anything from a floating pillie, trolling garfish or Rapala lures to jigging chromed slices will work on these tropical speedsters, some to 35 kg's.
Humanely killed, bled and iced down quickly and you have one of the best eating fish, Just take care of their array of sharp scissor like teeth.
Its light tackle time - small marlin, macks, barracuda, GT's and various tuna species will be the targets here. By scouring the horizon, following the feeding birds and looking for current lines etc you will have a ball trolling a variety of rigged baits and hard bodied lures for the above. And if your real game and have some time up your sleeve, take an extended charter way out wide - past the reef to the sea mount and deep sea structure some 120 ks of the coast. Here you will be blown away by some of the wildest and most consistent fishing on the planet.
Every form of Pacific predatory fish, gamefish of all descriptions and reef dwellers designed to pull your arms of inhabit these wild and lightly fished places. A trip of a lifetime perhaps, or a re discovery of the reason we all go fishing - it will sharpen the senses and return you refreshed to
face the daily challenges of a fast moving world.
Note: The hard working guys of Sunfish have just released the new edition of their monthly mag. There have been heaps of improvements since the old days when it was more like a member newsletter, glossy paper, colour pics and some darn good reading as well. And you all know any profits will be headed in the right direction. Pick up a copy from your local news agent, give the guys a call at (07) 4723 9244 or check their web site at www.sunfish.org.au
And while on the subject of books, we at Fishing Cairns are still providing the neat and popular "how to rig baits & knots" guide booklets
from our secure book shop at as well as a range of species specific, localities and technical guides. If there is a fishing book not listed here or a fishing publication you are interested in please drop us a note and we will try and source it for you.
See you on the water,
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