Bye La Nina, hello El Nino
  |  First Published: October 2012

Summer is coming, the weather is warming up and the water is currently sitting at 24ºC. Enjoying the first of the warm weather coincides with the barra turning it on in Lake Monduran.

Goodbye La Nina, hello El Nino. All the rain has gone and things are back to normal with the country looking dry and barren, much to the farmer’s disgust.

The El Nino pattern returning generally coincides with a great year for small blacks and already they’re being caught in good numbers of Townsville. Small black marlin have already showed up and are coexisting with the whales on their annual migration. Hard to believe that these whales were almost extinct, they’re everywhere now.

Blue marlin are being caught in 200m+ and plenty of big reds are being caught south of Lady Elliot Island.

Lake Monduran looks great with plenty of weed surviving the winter. There are tonnes of habitat and food in the system. I had a trip up there recently and boated six smaller rats around 60-68cm. It’s yet to be seen if the big girls will bite this summer so lets keep our fingers crossed.

At the moment hardbodies are the go and the smaller the better. Depending on the depth of water you fish, 1-3m lures like Rapala X-Raps and the Jackals are ideal. Small weedless plastic and surface hardbodies will work well as the water warms up. Currently the fish like a deep slow sinking to suspending lure that sits in their face for a long time; slow erratic retrieves are best.

This time last year, post flood, was exceptional fishing for barra. They spilled from local dams and upstream freshwater habitats thrived in the saltwater creeks. They copped a fair hiding from local profishers but we should still have a great spawn this year, which should maintain stocks for years to come.

The reef fishing has been exceptional this year from the northern reefs around Fitzroy right down to the tip of Fraser.

We have had a ball with throwing poppers over the shallow reefs at the Northern end of Fraser Island. Large schools of 6-8kg yellowtail kingfish have been on the reefs and love hitting poppers and stickbaits.

Large GT have proved hard to land, especially for my young bloke Tommy who got dusted plenty of times on GT the size of car bonnets. Large barracuda, Spanish mackerel, grouper coral trout, and yellowfin all had a look at poppers. The GT mostly took our lures home for souvenirs.

We trolled out in 700m and landed a large yellowfin tuna that seem to be hanging out with the pilot whales. We searched for a couple of hours for billfish, but no avail. A week later a friend from Sydney caught a blue in 400m around 180kg.

Reports of plenty of wahoo and mahi mahi have been flooding in.

It looks like a great year all round. Hope to see you up here soon and enjoy the taste of fishing the Capricornia area.

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