Tropical Fishing at its Best
  |  First Published: November 2011

The past two months in the tropics have provided some excellent fishing opportunities right across the board and we have been blessed by many a run of calm days offering ideal boating conditions.

As to be expected the offshore fishing fleet gave the waters a good working over exploring all areas from game fishing to reef fishing.

There has been some really exciting marlin action running north to the Ribbon Reefs and our local Linden Bank has produced its fair share of mighty fish with its best month due now. There has been a variety of sizes caught from the 150lb models up to the 900lb machines. November can be a month you expect to see the 1000lb specimens show up with more regularity. Big congregations of bait showed up nice and early this year and the marlin fishing has been steady for quite awhile now.

With the Port Douglas Marlin Challenge being conducted at the start of this month it will be interesting to see what a concentrated and very focused fleet of boats will produce. Can’t wait to see the final results!

In between targeting the black marlin, the light game fishing has been exceptional at times. Reels have been turning over on a regular basis with yellowfin tuna, mac tuna, Spanish mackerel, wahoo, dolphin fish and barracuda offering great value.

With many days producing glassed out conditions it has also been the perfect time to target big GT. Sourcing the nervous bait on pressure points of the reef has seen some monster fish landed and not surprisingly many have outgunned the angler and high tech gear. It’s hard fishing in the warmer conditions but is also very rewarding when you tame this absolute brute of a fish.

For those who prefer a more relaxed form of fishing, the reef fishing days have seen some top quality results over the past month. Quality and quantity have gone hand in hand with some of our prized species really making their mark. Red emperor have been really consistent this year and the nannygai and coral trout have added great value to a productive day on the water. Beside the super trio there has been a plethora of other species turn up in solid numbers including black kingfish, golden trevally, spangled emperor, Moses perch, sweetlip, reef mangrove jack, gold spot and tea-leaf trevally and Spanish mackerel taken on the float.

Talking about Spanish mackerel, Steve Adamson of the Dragon Lady Charter boat returned back to base recently with a 36.5kg model which he thought might have gone a bit closer to the 42kg record. Despite falling short it was a super impressive fish and a once in a lifetime catch. It certainly had the local marina in a buzz upon returning back that day.

Our rivers and creeks have gradually warmed up and so has the fishing. The barra had a good run prior to this month’s closures and now must be released for the next three months. Fingermark and mangrove jack have really stepped up to the plate and have been caught in solid numbers and sizes. November is a great time to target these fish whilst conditions are consistent before the wet season arrives.

There has been a good run of queenfish and trevally sweeping in on the incoming tides and the javelin fish have been busy on the flats with catches up to 55cm. There are bream, flathead and estuary cod to round off a day potentially filled with fun and variety. Be sure to keep up the water fluids as the days are quite zapping on our calm water strips.

Looking ahead, the mercury level will spike this month and fishing the cooler low light periods will be more comfortable, particularly inshore up the rivers and creeks.

Night time trips can be very productive as the predatory fish tend to be more active. Also overnighters on the reef will likely see better results but always be mindful of the weather forecast. It can be a time of year where thunderstorms can form very quickly and create turbulent seas. The turn of the tide will see the best action at night and more often than not be rather frantic as the fish tend to feed aggressively for up to two hour slots. The light game and marlin fishing will continue to fire as well so there is still so much to look forward to in the coming month.

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