The weather up here in Weipa has been quite good for the start of 2011, and the fishing has started out similarly. The afternoon thunderstorms have made fishing after lunch near impossible, however early starters have been doing really well. Great catches of summer fingermark and mackerel offshore have continued into the new year, and the estuaries have provided some quality king salmon and barramundi fishing.
Large queenfish around the metre mark have provided some awesome fun for popper throwers, and have also been captured mid water on soft plastics and metal slugs. The big summer fingermark have also been lurking on some of Weipa’s reef systems, making for a great fight and also a great meal for the festive season. Black jew have been found in plague proportions in the estuaries, however finding a legal size one has proved quite difficult. It is always reassuring seeing large schools of these fantastic fish species, and is a good indication of a healthy ecosystem. Catches of good sized king salmon have been reported along mangrove edges and rocky headlands, however the high summer tides have made extracting them from their timber haven difficult at times.
With the monsoon trough lingering over the Cape, Weipa has received some great rainfall already this year, filling up the river systems and cueing the barramundi to begin their annual trek upstream. This is an excellent time of year to do some freshwater fishing, and already the results have been speaking for themselves. Reports of barramundi, saratoga, sooty grunter and tarpon have been flooding in, with anglers trying their luck on both fly and lures. The nearby freshwater reaches of the Wenlock River have been producing some consistent results as well as areas closer to home such as the lakes and Trunding Creek. As the rain continues to fall, access to areas such as the Wenlock River become impossible, so get in early before you cant get in at all.
Getting out early seems to be the best bet at the moment – not only are the fish chewing early, but you also avoid those threatening afternoon thunderstorms and squalls. Fishing live bait and squid on reef structure from Westminster to Thud Point should secure some quality reef species over the coming month. Always look for birds working low on the water. This is an indication of bait schools and generally the pelagics wont be far away.
Expect to see more and more rain over the next month as the wet season continues. I would also expect, or at least hope to expect a change in the weather conditions as we run deeper into this new year, making offshore fishing more accessible. The rain also seems to bring large volumes of bait into the bay firing up queenies, tuna and other pelagics. The beaches should also produce some good results for blue salmon, queenfish and barramundi.Reads: 2103