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Lustrous landlocked lagoons
  |  First Published: September 2012



The weather has still been rather ordinary which has to be expected at this time of the year, however offshore boaties were hoping for a few more breaks in the weather over the last month to get into the outstanding Spanish mackerel fishing.

Mackerel to 25kg have been caught in close around Boulder Reef and the southeastern edges of Egret Reef. Halco 190DD in either qantas or king brown colours have been hard to beat, however one of the local pro trout fishermen reported good catches on the fusilier coloured bibless Halco.

Wog heads with fresh gars and wolfies on chin guards are also getting results when trolled slowly around the contour lines around Big Uncharted Reef. Rigging trolled baits can be a bit fiddly, but the results speak for themselves and don’t be surprised if your efforts are rewarded with few trout and green jobbies.

The clean, rain free skies that the Cape region usually offers during the dry allow the keener anglers to drive a bit further and deeper into remote creeks and waterholes in search of some red hot land based barra, saratoga, sooty and tarpon fishing areas. The Cape offers some of the best land based freshwater fishing in Australia. I’m not going to give out any secret waterholes, but with a bit of research, a GPS and a few hours on Google Earth, any travelling angler can get stuck into some of these world renowned sportfish species.

Many of the Cape’s waterholes and lagoons will become landlocked during the driest months and as such they hold concentrated numbers of fish. Nearing the end of the dry, barra and toga will often be a bit on the lean side and the barra will often show their cannibalistic side and eat small and less fortunate barra.

Fish like sooties and coal grunter will readily accept falling fruit as a diet substitute, but the barra sometimes suffer in dry years, so most are more than keen to snaffle your artificial lure offering. Poppers, minnows and flies will all catch fish in these tannin coloured lagoons, however I find it hard to go past the visual and often spectacular surface strikes that fizzers offer. My favourite to use is the Koolabung Fizzer, however the smaller Bill’s Bug in chartreuse is also a deadly option.

The next few months is a fantastic time for freshwater action on the Cape, so pack your gear and head to Cooktown for a great starting point for some spectacular lure fishing action!

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

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