This year we seem to have had some of the most significant wet weather events in the last 20 years, and while some areas have already had enough rain it is good to see parts of the country that need it most also get their share.
The windy and rainy periods over the past month have also made the inshore water around 3ºC cooler than it should be. While we have seen some good fishing on the salmon and fingermark, but the lack of northerly airflow this season has made the oceanic grunter late to start.
The big grunter always seem to start when the first northerly arrives. They have only been seen in small numbers at present but by December they maybe chewing their heads off. It has also been good to see the barra get an early spawn in.
In late October they were free jumping and ignoring our lures after one of the downpours just before the full moon and I have witnessed them doing it again this month. They should row up and spawn again around March and April and we should see some significant fishing opportunities in the coming years.
Spaniards have also hung around inshore a bit longer this year with the cooler water and there have been a few good reports from the wrecks with some real big fish among them.
The GTs have also been performing well for those that are into self punishment. One of my clients nailed a 20kg plus GT while trolling for threadfin salmon, and after an hour of torture finally landed it about 3 miles from our fishing spot. It took us a good five minutes at 40 knots to get back.
All signs point to December being governed by the early monsoon. Apart from turning most anglers away the rain also limits many fishing opportunities when the rivers start to run fresh, and the only fish that can be easily caught in these conditions is the barramundi.
It’s important to remember barra are out of season until February 1 next year and should not be specifically targeted. Many are caught accidentally during the closure, and must be released unharmed. Don’t lift the fish by the bottom jaw vertically, as it will hurt them. It’s best to leave the fish in the water to take the hook out, especially if it’s a large fish.
I would recommend fishing offshore at night this time of year for all things demersal if you want to maximize your fishing trips and avoid the inshore freshwater influences.
During the hot summer days offshore can get a little slow particularly if there is a light northerly or no wind at all. However the southeaster still pokes its head out during summer and this is a much better time to fish the daylight hours.
Fingermark are also a popular target, with many fishos chasing them on the outer headlands of inshore islands. The best baits are live squid and big greenback herring, both of which can be caught on the spot at night under the squid light.
These are a slow growing species so limit what you take. Fingermark is one species that our Fisheries managers have really neglected and with irresponsible fishing practices the species could be turned upside down.
Once you have caught a few you should turn your attention to the big grunter that can be caught using the same methods in most of the same areas.
If you would like to come up for a charter next year remember to get in early as I only fish the best eight months and the regulars will take up a heap of good tides. Give me a call on 0418538170.Reads: 1834