7 October 1999 - Volume 3 Issue 12
Last week was HOT, the start of the Heavy Tackle season and there were plenty of big Blacks out there. Kim Anderson of New Moon 111 reporting eleven big fish in just eight days fishing. Sizes varying from a monster
1,100 pounder to fish of 500, 800 and 900 lb being tagged and released.
The recent Penn International tournament however saw conditions change dramatically. For some reason the current stopped flowing and the fish disappeared or were very hard to locate. The winning boat, Calypso, only landed two big Blacks. A very credible fish of 950 lb on day one and another good fish on day two was enough to be declared the winner on count back. In fact there were no fish actually weigh in over the four days.
Plenty of Yellowfin Tuna, Mackerel and one reported Wahoo of over 100 lb ensuring interest still in this form of fishing. With the lull in Big Black's its lucky we have this option to keep the visiting angler out of the air conditioned cabin!
By all reports the coral trout are chewing their heads off, these prime eating fish are excellent quarry for the meat / light sport fisherman. There are still good numbers of big macks cruising around. Its not often that the tables are turned on these ferocious feeders but a verified report from the Kings Point region last week saw 10-15lb mackerel being harassed and even attacked by monster Trevally.
G.T.'s estimated at over 80lb (40 kg) were crashing into the hooked fish, ripping out chunks of flesh the size of footballs. Fancy having to frantically and quickly land a Mack for fear of losing it to a monster G.T. A spectacle not forgotten in a hurry I can tell you.
Only yesterday one of my guides working with "Fishing the Tropics" had a 50cm mangrove jack taken spectacularly by an
even bigger G.T., right at the boat. The Trevor, estimated at over 100 lb came back three more times, harassing every hooked fish and even resting under the boat on one occasion waiting for a feed to come to him. This fish was awesome, it cruised around the boat with its tail fin swathing through the surface and charged at any fish unlucky to be hooked. The fishing in general is on the improve, mangrove jacks and fingermark are showing up as the water warms. Other regular captures include G.T 's (manageable ones) queenfish, grunter, salmon and the occasional barra.
We had a little set back last week with the southern river catchments receiving some heavy unseasonable rainfall. Probably four / five inches fell over the period, pushing the bait out to sea and more importantly dropping the water temperature a few degrees. Just enough to put the barra off their tucker. Just prior to this however, good sized barra to 80 cm were coming from the upstream weed beds. On one memorable day we actually lost six barra, jumping them off during the early stages of the fight, prior to landing our first fish.
We managed to land six barra that day, lost a total of eight, and caught a few Mangrove Jacks, barracuda and trevally in the process. The Jacks (mangrove not trevally) have been fairly active but some work is required to locate their range within the upper reaches of the rivers. Bait fishing has produced plenty of school sized G.T.'s, queenfish, grunter and sickle fish from the sandy gutters, with mangrove jacks, fingermark and a few barra coming off the more structured areas.
The annual closure for the taking of barramundi by any method in the waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria has commenced. This seasonal event has been enacted from 2nd October 99 and continues until 28th January 2000. It should be noted however that in the waters of the East Coast fishery, from the tip of Cape York - south, this closed season commences on the 1st November 99 and runs until the 1st February 2000.
These closures correspond with the barras breeding cycle and are designed to give these magnificent fish a chance to congregate on known grounds and reproduce for the benefit of all. Any fish accidentally caught during the above periods must be returned un harmed to the water.
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