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Fishing Reports

29 November 2001 - Volume 5 Issue 8

The humidity is building, the days are getting hotter and the rainy season is just around the corner. Over these past few weeks we have seen a shift to pre summer weather patterns characterised by balmy days, north east winds, flat seas and afternoon storms.

Conditions just perfect for tossing lures up the rivers / estuaries and creeks for our prime summer targets including jacks, fingermark and barramundi. Please note that it is closed season on barra until 1st February, any fish accidentally caught must be released unharmed to the water.

By all reports tourist numbers are starting to come back, there is a late surge happening right now and a few large conferences in town. International visitors are also showing up which is a great sign for our industry. It’s wonderful to see people getting on with their lives and we are so grateful for it I can assure you.

Rivers & Estuary

The changing season has produced some mixed results. I fished a river system close to town last week with my brother who was up from Adelaide on holidays. Now being a South Aussie he was used to tommy ruff’s (small herring) and garfish – the stuff we would use for bait up here - and it was a complete surprise for him to find a beautiful salt water barra attack his lure on the fifth cast. The fish’s aggressive approach, leaping clear of the water and charging all over the place scared the wits out of him and he is still talking about it.

It was a magic day in great company (I had not seen him for over five years) and we landed in total eight barra, three mangrove jacks, a fingermark, a barracuda and a trevally.

Two days later I took out a friend from my Darwin days and it was with great expectation that we launched the boat in the same waters. You guessed it – not one single fish landed.

The Hinchinbrook Channel region has also gone a bit quiet of late. Apparently huge schools of bait fish invaded the channel last week and the resident predators have gorged themselves – they are just not that interested in our artificial offerings but it should be back to normal soon

Rocky Headlands / Sport Fishing

Tim from Eco Sportfisher is certainly on a winner here. Clients are experiencing some truly amazing light tackle sport fishing from the near shore islands, secret locations and wrecks. Cobia, nannygai, barracuda, coral trout and various trevally species are being landed on floating baits and jigged lures.

The Reef

I was lucky to score a day out with Peter Todd of Aqua-Cat charters a few days ago; had to take my brother out again………it’s a hard job!

The fishing had been a bit slow for three / four days and we had some trouble getting them to bite. Peter was hoping for a change in weather to stir the fish up a bit and it looks like he has got his wish today with some nice rain about.

We had some success just at the bottom of the tide as some nice reds, big and small mouth nannygai to six kilo’s hitting the decks in a frantic twenty-minute session. We also landed two quality spanish mackerel on drifted pillies as well as a variety of trevally. Coral trout were very quite.

Peters a great operator and now has two vessels running most days. His second boat actually bagged out at about lunchtime and headed back to port while we were still struggling to raise the numbers. That’s fishing for you.

Blue Water / Game Fishing

You should all have received my brief update last week; things have not changed with quality fishing being reported from the ribbon reefs north of Cairns. That monster 1389lb black has sure caused some excitement in game fishing circles around the globe. This season has been a ripper and looks like continuing for some time yet.

Some skippers are having shots at 4-5 big fish a day – now that’s quality heavy tackle gamefishing.

Cape York – extracts from Dave Donald at Weipa

This week featured a number of highlights! The first was finding a large manta ray accompanied by a big school of golden trevally feeding on jelly prawns just off the beach. Lures cast near the manta were followed by a seething golden mass until one found the hooks and the line came tight. The hooked fish was then regularly followed by a bevy of 'mates', all keen to take any free lures which landed nearby. It was fishing mayhem that kept the rods in the boat bent for nearly a couple of hours.

After the manta disappeared, the goldens still persisted in the area with trolled lures accounting for heaps more plus coral trout, estuary cod, fingermark, queenfish and barracuda. The days total was somewhere in the vacinity of 70 fish with nearly half of them golden trevally!…………………. Great Fishing Dave!

These guides are about to close down for the summer rainy season and will be back on deck from April. Bookings for the early part of next season (April & May) are extremely heavy and with flights getting back to normal after the Ansett demise, they are anticipating a bumper year in 2002.

The Ribbons

The 18th annual Ribbons Ladies Only Tournament will be held on Saturday 1st December. This is a unique event and the local ladies and game boats dressing up for the occasion. This year the Friday night briefing will be held upstairs at the Pier Marketplace. For more information ring Di Hance on 07 4055 2110 (H) or 0408 471 114 (mobile).

See you on the water,
Les Marsh

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