At last the weather has been kind, the ocean has cleaned up and the fish are on the chew.
Although business has been very quiet and we have done minimal trips, the reef fishing remains to be the best I have seen it for this time of year. Even with the snapper and pearl perch six-week closure we have been catching a great variety of quality table fish.
I have been avoiding snapper and pearl perch areas and targeting species like nannygai, sweetlip, red emperor, parrot and Moses perch with great results. We have only been fishing the close grounds with light lines and our eskies have been filling up quickly. Nannygai and sweetlip have made up the bulk of the catches.
All of the fresh water that has flowed out into the sea has certainly fired up the bottom dwelling fish. On the down side, the mackerel fishing has been slow but catches are, and will continue to be, on the increase.
The water along the beach has cleaned up nicely. I have had good reports of quality catches of whiting from along the entire stretch of beach.
There have been big catches of flathead, mainly on soft plastics, and it is still easy to catch a feed of the ever present dart.
The down-turn in Queensland's tourism in the wake of the natural disasters will just about guarantee a beautiful stretch of beach to fish by yourself.
Definitely the highlight of the Straits are the mud crabs. It is a bumper season, with everyone setting pots getting a great feed.I have had reports of pot pinching going on so keep an eye on your gear.
Mangrove jack remain very active. Kauri Creek and Bullock Point are both very good places to start fishing for them.
A few threadfin salmon have been landed at Carlo Point. I have not really seen this before in this area, but it has been an unusual year.
Looking at the great reef fishing of late, April should be a good month. And with some stable weather the mackerel should be well and truly back on the scene.
To enjoy a day on the water with Keely Rose Fishing Charters phone 0754 863 150 or 0407 146 151 or visit www.keelyrosefishingcharters.com.au.
With the water cleaned up there should be a lot more quality mackerel, like this Spaniard.
Pearl perch, like these two caught by Ian McDonald a few days before the closure, are back on the menu from April.Reads: 993