Well all I can say is that Murphy’s Law really applies to fishing. Last month I mention the good run of black marlin off our coast the we are excited about, but ever since we’ve had the worst early winter weather for years.
The entire northeast coast has been smashed by constant 25-30 knot winds, so you we have had no reef reports either. The past month has also seen record rainfall in some areas for this time of year. I just hope that’s the end of it and we can get on with some great fishing weather again
Even though reports have been very limited you can guarantee the reef fishing will be going off. Cold water and strong winds make the reef fish go crazy, but you have to get out there in order to experience it and that can be a little unpleasant for both beginners and experienced anglers.
It has been 16 months since cyclone Yasi, and we are noticing many events taking place in our fishery that make you wonder if the large storm had something to do with it. This year the commercial crabbers are having the best year on record by a long shot and they just keep on having awesome results.
This year, in particular in the last two months, we have seen so much bait enter the channel that big Spaniards and schools of northern bluefin tuna are being caught well up into the estuaries. Some of these herring schools would take up three footy fields and I certainly haven’t seen bait like it before. These giant schools of herring are also bringing GT, big queenfish and even the odd grey mackerel with them.
It’s quite simple to have some fun sportfishing; all you have to do is find the bait and flick small slices and plastics into the schools and you will be surprised what you might catch. We have caught barra and bluefin tuna in same area – you can figure that one out.
Another occurrence is a recent major influx of school-sized grunter. Most are only small and just on the legal size limit, but everywhere you look anglers are just reeling them in. I can’t wait until they grow up next year.
Barra and threadfin numbers have remained constant over the last few years, although I do believe that all the escapees from the barra farm destroyed in the cyclone have thinned right out. I have heard of them being caught as far north as Cairns and south to Bowen.
If the weather is on our side in July, we should see one of the best Spanish mackerel seasons for some time. They have been showing up in big numbers around all the inshore marks for those who have been brave enough to go out recently. This run should continue over the next 4 months, and I believe those little marlin will be among them as well.
The reef should really fire up particularly on the making tides, which should result in some good hauls of trout. Just remember that you are only allowed seven fish over 38cm per person and any blue-spot or oceanic trout have to be released over 80cm.
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