In October, we finally had some good weather that allowed some great fish to be caught by those travelling out the front of the sand island. However, humidity of 95% and winds picking up to over 20 knots is a sure signal that November has arrived.
Throw in early storms and the best place to fish is on the deep holes in the river two hours either side of the low tide mark. The target species is black jew and they love to play as the tide slows.
Use good gear as the first run from a black jew can be like an express train in full flight. I like to use a running sinker rig with 60lb mono leader attached to gang hooks and a pilly. Remember to be patient as they usually mouth the bait and bite like a bream.
Some other fish can crash the party and the most frustrating is the catfish. At this time of year the big metre plus girls turn up and the fight can be awesome. A mate of mine thought he’d caught a huge black jew but seeing it for the first time showed it to be a huge catfish. His description is not printable but I was smiling for days.
Mud crabs are around and not too hard to catch. Always mark your pots correctly and you will be able to enjoy the taste without the fine. I am only repeating this as people get booked every month for not doing this very simple thing. Place them along the mangroves and space them 200m apart. Keep moving them around until you find the mud crabs and then you can enjoy the taste of fresh crab meat.
Well, the fishing season in the Gulf is winding down as the tourists all head back south before what is expected to be another ‘big wet’. Over on Sweers Island, the Resort is packing everything away for the cyclone season with all boats out of the water, including the two new Borger Cats commissioned earlier this year.
September finished up as a glorious month, weather-wise, with long spells of calm weather after a changeable August. The cold spells kept butting in, keeping the mackerel hanging around and resulting in the season’s record for the biggest catch being smashed right at the last minute by Andrew McGiness from Brisbane. He landed a surprise 23.4kg Spanish mackerel at the end of September!
The warm spells, in turn, brought on the barramundi, with one very nice fish being caught over at the Jewhole – known more for its jewfish and cod (and the occasional annoying batfish) than for barra! That is the great thing about fishing, just when you think you know an area really well, something will surprise you.
Another noteworthy catch was that of young Kevin Pascall from Wagga, who is a keen fly fisherman, and landed some sensational trophies on the beach just in front of the filleting table. He caught a huge giant herring, about 600mm long, with an 8wt fly rod and a Crazy Charlie fly. Kevin says the fish put on a spectacular aerobatic display, standing up and dancing out of the water.
Kevin almost caught a queenfish on the same fly rod, but the crimps failed and cut the wire trace – bummer!
So now it is the chance for the fish around the islands to breed up undisturbed, while we do the odd spot of fishing ourselves in between the monsoon storms and wait for the barra season to reopen on January 26!
See you all next year!Reads: 1450