Time to reap rewards
  |  First Published: April 2012

Finally we’ve had some weather that resembles a typical wet season. It’s important that we have this influx of rainfall each year as it kick starts the aquatic life cycle and boosts our angling successes throughout the year.

Prior to the recent downpour, it had been one long hot summer and the fishing had become more and more lack lustre by the day, especially offshore on the reef. Professional charter boats were coming back after a day’s excursion with nearly no fish and frustrated skippers.

The challenge to find any decent life out there was a daunting task and something had to give. Eventually the weather pattern began to improve and subsequently so did the catches. The large-mouth nannygai began to feed a bit more aggressively, the coral trout re-emerged having disappeared completely and other species followed suit. Catches improved considerably, which will continue in the next month or so.

Traditionally April and May, leading into the new and full moons, can deliver some really impressive catches, especially on the nannygai. It all seems to coincide with the cooler southerly currents reaching the tropical waters and all reef species find a new lease of life and become active. All the major players, including red emperor, coral trout, nannygai, mackerel, cods, reef jack and trevally, will be on the menu. So head back out to the wider grounds with the expectations of catching fish.

Much the same can be said about our inshore fisheries. Results have picked up dramatically with a drop of rain as, like the reef, the rivers and creeks were hot, tough work for little gain. Nevertheless, with the heavens opening up the fish quickly became active again. Big mangrove jack up to 3kg came out to play, barra catches became more frequent and some of the fingermark that have been caught inside the systems and around the headlands have been of legendary status.

Hopefully soon we’ll also see a run of prawns along the coast, which will take the fishing to a new level. All things piscatorial love a feed of prawns and, with a bit of research and exploration, you can easily find where they will congregate. Queenies and trevally have a knack of tapping into this food supply pretty quickly, so definitely expect plenty of action.

As long as we don’t get too much rain, you’ll come across a real variety of fish at this time of year and employing different techniques will produce results. Live baiting and lure fishing are the most productive, but there will be a time and place where a dead bait will be more effective (wet and murky conditions) and the same goes for using soft plastics (if the fish are feeding on smaller fry). Watch and study your surroundings and then ‘match the hatch’.

The Line Burner

I’m glad to announce that my own local fishing magazine, The Line Burner, will become a TV series on Foxtel. Without setting an exact date we are hoping to premier about midyear. In the meantime, we have already launched the website for the show and welcome you to run your eyes over it. Any expressions of interest to become involved with the program are also welcomed. www.lineburner.com.au.

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