The water temperatures in the local rivers has finally hit the magical 25°C again, which means they have come alive with some of the biggest queenies that the area has seen for years.
Queenfish to 140cm have been encountered around the mouth of the Annan, with live sardines on a running pea sinker proving to be irresistible to these massive speedsters.
The gin clear water that Cooktown is renowned for during the end of the dry has ensured a great run of pelagics come into the biggest FAD in the area – the local Cooktown Wharf. Spaniards to 10kg have been showing up on the incoming tide every day and, once again, live sardines and pike have been the best baits.
Plenty of queenies, GT, golden trevally, bludger trevally and even the odd cobia have all been encountered by land-based anglers from the Queens Step’s to the Rock wall section of the Endeavour River mouth. The amount of herring, sardines, and hardiheads that congregate under the wharf during the dry season has to be seen to be believed. It leaves little doubt as to what all of the predatory fish are doing in the immediate area.
Lakefield has been firing again, as can be expected at this time of year. Former Cooktown guide Shane Miller recently had a field day on barra while walking a few of his old haunts on foot flicking lures. The 80mm Twin River Shad in purple/black proved deadly on many occasions, however he was gutted when a 90cm long fish came out from under his feet and stole his last lure in that colour. Before he knew what was happening it was all over!
Offshore, the fish have been chewing their heads off, however the steady 15-18 knot southeastly have made conditions uncomfortable fishing in most local sized trailer boats. The few that have managed to get out for a few hours early have seen some fantastic fingermark and saddle-tailed sea perch taken in close around the wrecks at Indian Head and South Bedford.
The bait fishers have been successful on the usual fresh squid fished off the bottom; a few better quality fish have been falling to metal jigs such as Bumper Bars fluttered off the bottom and the usual 7” Gulp Jerkshad.
A positive to the blue water brigade is the amount of small black marlin and sailfish that have been inundating the coast between Lockhart River and Townsville. Fish in the 10-30kg size are everywhere at the moment and with the annual Lizard Island comp coming up this month, it is a very positive sign. Although the Lizard Island/Cairns region is known for its big girls, the more marlin the better regardless of size I reckon!
I would like to say a huge congratulations to The Lure Shop’s owner Russell as he recently married Monique. It was a fantastic day from all accounts and I wish you guys all the best in the future. Russ better watch out as Monique is also a mean fisho and it looks like he will be getting out fished on many trips from here on in!
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 as the Lure Shop is Cape York’s largest range of fishing, hunting and boating equipmentReads: 582