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Fishing Reports

19 December 1999 - Volume 3 Issue 15

Christmas Greetings

This will be my last report for 1999, the festive season has caught up with us and I'll have to spend some time with family. That's not too bad, my kids, two beautiful girls aged six and eight still believe in Santa and get a kick out of all the Christmas hype, its a wonderful time and I trust you all have a very Merry Christmas.

The year has just flown by, so much has happened, the building of the web site took up most of the early months. And then we launched the monster to the world in early July. The immediate response has been fantastic and there are many people to thank for their hard work, sympathetic understanding (my wife and kids) and support over the better part of six months.

I have already mentioned my "web master" - hell he hates that name - Greg Slapp of PDIS in previous newsletters without who's assistance this could not have been possible. But there's the likes of John Mondora, fishing writer and photographer extraodinare, who supplied some magnificent photo's for the site, the game skippers like Kim Anderson of New Moon 111 and Graeme Walker of Class Act who not only critiqued the site but continued to supply us with the most up to date outside fishing info available anywhere.

To all my family, mum, brothers and sisters living in South Australia, to all my friends scattered over this magnificent country Australia, to all my new fishing buddies and readers from across the globe, to the hard working travel industry colleagues and tour desk sales staff, the warmest of sincere thank you's, and all the best for 2000.

We have some big plans for next year, there are plenty of components to my web site that are still to be rolled off the drawing board. All designed to continually inform and enhance your knowledge of our magnificent Tropical North Queensland region as a holiday and fishing destination unequalled anywhere on the globe for its diversity, accessibility, safety and quality of experiences second to none. Keep checking on us and if you have any suggestion to improve the site please drop us a line or two.

I do not intend to do a full report on each fishing environment at this time, not much has changed since my last report although we did have an unseasonably wet November whichput the big bill fish off for a few weeks. Just a few snippets of info to tide you through until next year.

The annual Ribbons ladies tournament was held two weeks ago and this event again proved a huge success as over ninety very keen female anglers braved the briny, broken nails and salt dried skin to bag some excellent light tackle opponents. Anglers camefrom as far away as PNG, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Bamaga to try their luck in the 16th annual event, Australia's first and only women's game fishing tournament.

In total 116 fish were weighed at the Cairns Game Fishing Club with two bill fish being tagged and released. Champion angler was Wendy Brace aboard New Moon III, with the champion team made up of Wendy, Katherine & Victoria Wall and Wendy Brace also fishing from this vessel. So Kim can do it for the girls as well !

The Queensland Fish Management Authority (QFMA) has recently released some very interesting stats from its Recreational Fishing Diary Program conducted over the last couple of years:

  • It is estimated that Queensland residents aged 15 years and over caught just over 46 million fish in 1997
  • 24.5 million of these fish were released
  • Whiting species accounted for 11.6 million fish caught
  • Approx. 530,000 mackerel were caught with 125,000 being released
  • Approx. 1.6 million tailor were caught with 334,000 being released
  • Approx. 294,000 barramundi were caught with 225,000 being released
  • Approx. 1.3 million southern snapper were caught with 750,000 being released
  • Approx. 583,000 Australian bass caught and 510,000 being released

Very impressive stats indeed, anyone doubting the value and importance of recreational fishing in this state had better have another look. Its marvellous to think that such numbers are sustainable but we must all take care to preserve fish stocks, breeding grounds, juvenile environments and water quality wherever we can. Our future depends on it. Anyone wanting further information on this and other management matters should check out the QFMA web site at or contact Jim Higgs, Manager, Fisheries Assessment Unit on

Summer time is a great time to be on the water, school holidays are with us and boating activity is at its peak. Please take the usual precautions with boat handling, sun protection especially with the kids, take plenty of drinking water and stick to the cooler part of the day in severe tropical heat. Its also a great time to fish, our tropical species are at their most active at this time of year, pre wet season. Many are hungry in participation of spawning and active feeding fish make the best consistent targets.

Take only what you need however and remember the fish are there for a purpose, to reproduce for the future. So clean up that reel, oil those bearings and fine tune those drags, spool your favourite outfit with some new heavier line and get amongst the worlds favourite participation sport FISHING.

Catch you on the water and compliments of the season,
Les Marsh

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