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Fishing on the improve
  |  First Published: April 2012



The last month has been a quiet one for North Queensland anglers mainly due to the weather being very hit and miss.

On the odd chances the boats have made it out to the reef, results have been gradually improving. The cooler weather has the trout on the bite and they are being caught in good numbers. The commercial boats have also been getting in on the action.

Reefs to the northeast such as Swinger and Forrester have been producing the best results for the trailer boats with good reports of blue spot trout, long nosed emperor, green jobfish and crimson sea perch being landed during the day.

There have also been a few standout red emperor, jack and saddle-tail sea perch being caught on nights with plenty of moon up early.

Be prepared for some XOS Chinaman fish that will test even the best gear to the limits. These fish are probably the hardest fighting reef fish in northern waters and fish over the meter mark are often unstoppable. If you manage to turn them off the bottom, they will often succeed in burying you deep into the wire weed forests that cut 50lb braid like cotton.

With the water temp cooling down a few degrees, the numbers of sharks have thinned out substantially. In tropical waters you will loose fish to sharks all year round on most trips however the slightly cooler waters around the winter months often thin the numbers right out.

The barra fishing has been very good so far this year and if the illegal netters stay away from the Endeavour, fishing will no doubt improve over the next few years.

Although Cooktown doesn’t have any specific run off like the Northern Territory or Gulf, it does however have some swamps and lagoons in the freshwater reaches of Annan and Endeavour rivers. Flicking lures at the water colour change will often see great catches of smaller barra, jacks and tarpon.

When you scale down the gear you will see an increase in hits however every now and then a 130cm monster will come along and inhale your 400mm barra and demolish you before you know what just happened.

Before planning a trip to Cooktown, give Russell at The Lure Shop a call on (07) 4069 5396 for all of the information and gear you could need for the local area. The Lure Shop is Cape York’s largest range of fishing, hunting and boating equipment.

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