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Fishing Reports

25 July 1999 - Volume 3 Issue 7

It's All Happening!

We have had a magnificent run of superb weather. For just on two weeks the winds have eased and every man and his dog has been out on the waters - and catching fish I might add. The off-shore scene has been very hot with heaps of Spanish Mackerel biting their heads off around the near-shore islands.

Techniques include floating livies/ganged pilchards and, dare I plug them again, those fantastic locally made chrome lures the bumper-bar. Graham Walker of "Class Act" also reports that coral trout arebiting their heads off around most reefs and that "Reds" are producing well in the deeper water. Graham runs a very professional game fishing outfit and can be found on my Charters page.

With the big high pressure system passing over the continent at present, strong winds up to 25 knots are blowing off shore. This has sent a lot of anglers into the rivers and estuaries where here too good fishing can be had on small to medium sized trevally and queenfish. There are some reasonable sized fish amongst them though so be prepared for that metre long Queenie to scoff down a lightly weighted sardine bait drifting along the gutters and channels. Their acrobatic leaps and dogged fight is sure to be a memorable encounter.

The Russell-Mulgrave river system is still producing a bit better than the Daintree although sardines are a bit difficult to locate at the moment. I heard of a magnificent 80cm fingermark being caught on the shallow sand flats at the mouth of these rivers only a few days ago. This 20lb fish came from only five feet of water and produced a magnificent fight on 6 kilo line. Other species to come from the rivers include grunter, estuary cod, flathead and bream.

Cairns estuary is slowly starting to hit its straps again, I did hear of some barra coming off the snags in the Smith creek area late last week. Live sards being the bait. This report was a great capture considering the cool conditions and water temperatures.

Luring the rivers has seen a lot of near misses. The fish are there all right but not as active in the cool waters, a lot of fish are short striking at the lures and this is a sure indication that they are nor really on the chew. Some barra though have been caught by the persistent angler and a few repetitive casts into likely looking structure can produce the goods.

The tides are building to the full moon on the 28th (Wednesday), and fishing should be good unless the winds make the preferred spots too uncomfortable for all but the larger craft.

Les Marsh

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